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The volunteer service includes the elements Preparation, Execution and Return.

The selection and preparation of the volunteers is taking place in their home countries and organised by the partner organisations abroad. The preparation of a voluntary service in Germany includes practical, substantive, linguistic and personal aspects. Even North-South volunteers can be involved in the preparation of the reverse-volunteers.

During the service in Germany the volunteers will be accompanied by a direct contact within the project and the responsible assistants from SoFiA. A 25-day seminar program gives volunteers the additional option (outside of their deployment sites) to reflect their experiences and exchange information, to discuss specific issues of their voluntary service more intensively and to deal with social, political, cultural and religious issues in their host country and their country of origin.

The follow-up of the voluntary service is organised and performed by the partners abroad.

During the voluntary service some of the key topics and elements are:

  • Application & Selection

    For a voluntary service the following prerequisites have to be met:

    • Age: Between 18 and 29 years
    • School / educational or vocational qualification
    • Physical and mental resilience
    • Willingness to learn German
    • Willingness to try new things
    • Employees or personal involvement in a partner organization or in the context of the ‘World Church‘ in the home country.
    • Compliance of personal motivation with the framework of SoFiA e.V.

    The following documents are required:

    • Application Form
    • Curriculum vitae
    • A letter of motivation and
    • A letter to present yourself

    Please send your application directly to our partner organisations abroad.

  • Preparation

    The following points should be considered in the preparation:

    - Apply for visa
    - Vaccinations and health check
    - Police clearance certificate (if possible)
    - Plan your journey

    - Acquisition of German language skills, goal: Level A1

    - To address the objectives and conditions of the program
       “reverse volunteer services and World-Church partnerships" in the Diocese of Trier
    - Clarifying the importance of voluntary work for World Church partnerships and with regard to development cooperation
    - Examination of the circumstances of life in Germany
    - Examination of history, politics and culture
    - Possibilities of returnees work

    - What do I need for my trip to Germany?
    Contact the German partner group, deployment site and host family -
    - Addressing the personal expectations and objectives of a voluntary service

    Additionally country-specific topics can be added by the respective partner organizations abroad.

  • Introduction phase

    For the volunteers the Service in Germany starts with a four-week introductory phase in Trier. During this time they are accommodated host families and will attend an intensive language course ‘German as a foreign language’. In addition, various preparatory meetings and workshops will be held, which prepare the volunteers for the circumstances in their deployment sites.

    During this time each volunteer will be supported by a personal coach. They support the volunteers in all material questions, dealing with authorities and in everyday life. At the end of the introduction period, the volunteers will be send out through a common Farewell celebration to their final locations.

  • Implementation and monitoring

    The professionally-pedagogical assistance includes the legally established 25 educational days (seminars, training program), a visit to the deployment site by the responsible assistant of SoFiA e.V., an evaluation session will be held as well as the individual assistance of the volunteers and of the operating sites during crisis and conflict situations. In addition, the volunteers always have a direct contact person in the deployment place and within the German Partner Group.

  • Seminar program

    The seminar program is structured as follows:

    • An intermediate seminar in April (6 days). Topci: "Intercultural Communication and Global Partnerships".
    • An intermediate seminar in July (8 days). Topic: "History and Politics in Germany".
    • A seminar on educational center of BAFzA in September / October (5 days). Topic: "Political & civil education".
    • A final seminar in December (6 days). Topic: "Other realities in Germany".
  • Returning home

    Key issues for the follow-up are on the one hand the retrospective and reflection of the experiences in Germany and, secondly, the examination of the question how the volunteer can now support the Partnership- / One-World- Activity by his/her commitment after having returned home.