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Volunteers with “Weltwärts” in Namibia and Germany

By The Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany - Windhoek
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Through “Weltwärts”, a programme of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, approximately 3,500 young people are sent each year to emerging and developing countries in order to support social projects.

Since 2013, it is also possible for young volunteers from developing countries to be deployed to Germany. The programme gives the youth the opportunity to get engaged socially, to know and understand other cultures, improve their language skills and to broaden their personal horizons – an important requirement for successfully living together in a globalised world.

Young persons from Germany and increasingly also from Namibia are taking this opportunity: on Friday, 9 September 2016, 17 volunteers from Germany and six volunteers from Namibia, who are at the beginning of their deployment, were received at the German Embassy. There they were asked about their expectations for the coming year. The places for these volunteers are made available and financed by the German Red Cross. The volunteers are embedded with different partner organisations in Namibia: at the Red Cross Society (NRCS), in different Regions in the North of the country as well as NGO’s at the coast such as MYO, DRC; Promiseland and His House.

Seven volunteers will work in kindergartens, youth and community centres, an afternoon school as well as an old-age home. Ten volunteers will support the work of the NRCS in the Omusati, Ohangwena, Oshikoto, Kavango East and Zambezi Regions.

The Namibian volunteers in Germany will be placed for 12 month at the Red Cross Regional Offices in the cities of Gelsenkirchen, Witten, Bochum and Siegen.

All of them have an exciting year with new experiences and challenges ahead of them: the youths have to arrange themselves in an unknown country, a different climate, food, language and culture. In their working environment, they are expected to fully engage themselves and develop their own ideas.

During the first week they will participate in an introductory seminar in Windhoek and Münster. Afterwards, the young people will travel to their places of deployment. The Namibian volunteers said that they are departing for Germany with the high standards and principles of the Red Cross. One thing is certain: When the volunteers return in one year from their deployment, they will have grown in experience.