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The voluntary service abroad does not simply begin with the departure, but almost a year earlier and it Is far from over after returning to the home country. The experience will continue to have an intense effect. To succeed, there is an extensive program of seminars, ranging from the preparations in the country of origin, the accompanying seminars in Germany and the follow-up after returning home.

  • Application

    The first step towards a voluntary service with SoFiA e.V. is a written, detailed application. We have prepared an online application form in order to do so. In the past it has proven itself to be of good use to begin early with your application. At the latest your application form should be completed by the time of your orientation weekend.

    The deadline for deployment in summer is at the 31st of October of the previous year.

    You can find instructions on how to fill the online application form on this page in the download section. 

  • Orientation weekend

    The second step into your voluntary service with SoFiA e.V. is, besides the application form, the participation in one of our orientation weekends. During the orientation weekend, we gather some thoughts on our motives for the voluntary service in a free and easy environment. Also, you will have the opportunity to exchange with former volunteers. Besides that, the orientation weekend can help you, if you are still not sure whether a voluntary service is the right thing for you.

    You can find the dates to our orientation weekends in our flyer in the download column. The flyer also serves as registration form.

    In case of specific questions or further doubts there remains the opportunity to arrange a personal meeting.


  • Selection

    Within the selection of volunteers it is about to obtain an authentic picture as possible from the applicants. Only in this way it is possible to determine whether and where international voluntary service is possible and relevant for the applicant. Like that it will be possible to allocate the candidates in an appropriate field of activity. The selection is made according to a set procedure and with a specific list of criteria.

  • Assignment of volunteer projects

    SoFiA endeavors finding a suitable deployment site for each candidate. To reach this objective, the profile of the candidate and the profile of the possible site are compared to match each other. With this approach the application documents will be sent to the qualified organisations, in order to get a first idea of the future volunteers.

  • Preparation

    The preparatory phase includes orientation seminars dealing with the expectations of both, the volunteers on the one hand and the sponsoring organisation on the other. Information seminars providing knowledge about the geography, history and culture of the country concerned and language courses for the respective language of the operational area are offered as well. As an integral part of the service an attendance is obligatory.

    In detail, the preparation includes:

    • Preparatory weekend, late January,
    • three preparatory one-day meetings in Trier, safety training,
    • health,
    • partnership,
    • preparatory weekend for the specific country/culture,
    • internship in the field of activity (if required),
    • preparatory visit to the project (if in Europe),
    • ten days preparatory seminar,
    • sending-off ceremony in Trier,
    • language course in the host country.
    • Actively shape!

      Circle of Supporters

      To realise the voluntary services SoFiA is dependent on the support of solidarity circles. In addition to relatives and friends, members of the association as well as financially strong companies can belong to this community of solidarity.
      In addition to the financial support these circles create a moral support for the volunteers. The volunteers in return report to this circle of supporters in newsletters about their work.

    • Implementation and monitoring


      The service will begin on August 1, wherein a degree of flexibility by a few days under the consideration of the circumstances abroad concerning the employment site (eg holiday periods, etc.). On site, the volunteer are companied and consulted by native people for the entire duration of the service. Regular progress meetings with other volunteers will take place in the country of the volunteer’s service employment (according to the circumstances). As an integral part of the Voluntary Service an intermediate seminar will be organised in Europe, Bolivia and Rwanda itself. In all other countries, we refer back to the range of offers from fid-Service- and Consulting-Centre.

      Abroad onsite the volunteer receives an allowance. Accommodation and catering is assured.  Social protection and recommended foreign insurance information can be found at: fid-Service- and Consulting Centre.

    • Follow-up at home

      Especially the time after returning to Germany and the country of origin is for many volunteers the hardest part of their voluntary service.
      At home it is often difficult to introduce the positive experiences from the country where the service took place. Often the old home has become kind of strange. At this stage it is important to have support. To ensure this SoFiA performs both, a returnee obligatory seminar for all volunteers, as well as a personal evaluation interview with each individual volunteer. In particularly difficult situations, the professional staff of the Church's counselling centres are also available.