Voluntary service

Our program

We understand voluntary service as an expression of our Christian faith.

As our motto “Go and learn” describes, Christliche Dienste is committed to sending young people abroad into assignments that include both learning and service elements. This means interacting with our partner organizations as equals. Volunteers contribute to their service assignments, using their gifts and talents. They open themselves up to a new culture, a new language and new social environment.

In order to ensure a holistic learning experience and to best serve our partner organizations, Christliche Dienste expects volunteers to serve in an assignment for at least one year.

The minimum age for beginning a voluntary service term is 18 years. Applicants should have turned 18 by July 1 of the year they plan to leave for service.

Project partners

The volunteer placements are run under the direction of local project partners from each country. The projects range from small initiatives of individual groups and churches to local projects which are supported by larger church umbrella organizations. For the most part, the placement agency will cover the costs of room and board for the volunteers. Usually the volunteers work alongside national employees and receive their orientation to their service assignment and the local culture on site.

Assignment locations and countries

Bolivia, Canada, Germany, Paraguay, Portugal, Thailand, Uruguay and the USA (updated 2020)

Volunteers support partner organizations involved, for example,

  • in serving people with disabilities
  • the elderly or people with addictions
  • single mothers
  • refugees
  • housing construction for the homeless
  • conflict mediation
  • and fair-trade marketing of products from countries in the Global South.

Financing

A significant portion of the work from Christliche Dienste is supported through grants from the German government within the programs weltwärts or International Youth Volunteer Service. Various other groups such as churches, sponsoring organizations, individuals and businesses support Christliche Dienste through donations. The growing demand for service assignments requires increasingly more resources in order to maintain quality standards.

Volunteers form a circle of supporters for their service. We ask that through this support or through their home congregation volunteers contribute 200 Euro towards the costs of voluntary service.

These funds help to cover the costs for room and board, pocket money, vaccinations and visa costs as well as insurance and travel cost.

The International Youth Volunteer Service program (IJFD)

is a funding program from the German Federal Ministry for Family, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth. Christliche Dienste has been a recognized sending organization since the program began in 2012. Most oft he volunteers completing service through this funding program serve in countries in the Global North. Assignments undergo an approval process through the German Federal Office for Foreign Affairs.

Federal funding covers a portion of the costs incurred in organizing the voluntary service assignments.

Additional information about IJFD can be found on their website.

is the development volunteer service program started by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). Through this federal funding young people between 18 and 28 years old have the chance to do voluntary service in a country in the Global South. weltwärts is a service learning experience. The cultural exchange and the intercultural learning that happens together are central to the program. The volunteers gain experience abroad, expand their language skills and grow personally.

This program began in 2008. From the start Christliche Dienste has been a recognized sending organization for weltwärts voluntary service assignments. About 30–35 volunteers with Christliche Dienste participate yearly in the weltwärts program. Federal funding covers a portion of the costs incurred surrounding the voluntary service assignments.

Additional information about weltwärts can be found on their website.

Quality

Christian Service is a member of the “Service Action Group for Peace” (AGDF) and in the “Evangelical Forum for Development Voluntary Service” (eFeF). Our services comply with the quality standards of AGDF and are certified by “quifd.de” (quality in voluntary service).

We are recognized as a sending agency for the “weltwärts” program of the Federal Ministry for Economic Coordination and Development, and for the International Youth Volunteer Service (IJFD) as well as for the alternative civil service program (ADiA).