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Understanding and concept

Voluntary services by foreign volunteers are carried out on the basis of the Framework Concept of SoFiA.

The idea of reverse services means the reversal of the voluntary service of German volunteers abroad, enabling foreign volunteers to do service in Germany, thus opening up the former one-way street in both directions.


Reverse services pursue three targets:

  1. Social learning fields are intended to be opened for the volunteers and their places of assignment.
  2. Partnerships are intended to be initiated and strengthened by the voluntary services.
  3. With the voluntary services a contribution is made to the mission of the Universal Church. The process of globalisation is not only a question of globalisation of markets and profits, but rather of the global validity of justice, peace and the protection of creation.

In an increasingly globalised world, universal church co-operation is no longer one-way traffic, but takes place on a partnership basis and in dialogue form. International voluntary services have played an ever more important role in the diocese’s development political education work and universal church partnership processes in the past few years.

Since 1998, more than 240 foreign volunteers from 18 countries have already completed a voluntary service in the Diocese of Trier. Major impulses for the further development of the Reverse Programme came from the World Youth Day in Cologne in 2005. Since then, interest in international voluntary service has been growing among our foreign as well as German partner organisations.

Understanding for the meaning and purpose of international voluntary services is growing among foreign partner organisations. Interest in the implementation of voluntary services within the framework of universal church contacts is growing. They express the wish for reciprocal exchange. Considerable impulses for the further development of reverse services came from the World Youth Day in Cologne in 2005. International voluntary services are an instrument with which the promising start at the World Youth Day can be consolidated in a sustainable manner.