Volunteering has widely spread in Germany in recent times, holding a special place within German society, as it helps promote humanitarian and charitable activities, in addition to strengthening social relationships among individuals.
The presence of voluntary work in Germany also helps in cultivating ethics, enhancing values, and fostering respect among individuals. It creates a state of distinctive customs and values.
As it works on refining and disciplining the self, what is volunteer work and what are the areas in which one can engage? This is what we will clarify for you through this article.
Volunteering in Germany, how did it start and what is it about?
Volunteering in Germany is a form of work carried out by individuals who do not receive any compensation for their services. They work out of their own free will, without expecting anything in return.
Having a volunteer job in Germany offers an excellent opportunity to actively engage in shaping the German society, in addition to gaining insights and diverse perspectives in various professional fields. It provides exciting experiences and unique learning opportunities through interactions with others.
The concept of voluntary work in Germany cannot be considered new, as it has existed since ancient Greek times, where the participation of everyone was relied upon to achieve the common good.
The development phase began, giving rise to numerous voluntary work organizations in Germany.
At the end of the 19th century, women’s associations for the Red Cross emerged in Germany, marking the beginning of the spread of the idea of voluntary work.
You can also learn more about the “awo” organization in Germany, a helping hand that is found for everyone in need.
This was due to the Middle-Class women not being allowed to work at that time, but associations opened the door for them to be a starting point.
Volunteering Areas in Germany
There are numerous fields in which you can volunteer to gain various skills and experiences that will help you in self-development. These include, for example, social, environmental, and cultural sectors.
Volunteering in the social field can involve working in German hospitals or nursing homes, as well as engaging with individuals with special needs to meet their requirements. It also encompasses assisting refugees and other roles that serve the community’s best interests.
Volunteers are approved for appointment in this field, along with a focus on specialists in the field. Regardless of the nature of the work, what matters most is their continuous contribution to supporting institutions and serving the community.
Volunteering in the Environmental Sector in Germany
Volunteering in Germany in this field aims to increase environmental awareness and promote the idea of teamwork. It is possible to work in agriculture by taking care of a farm, or work in the market and meet the needs of citizens, or even go to a nature conservation union and provide assistance.
It is also possible to collaborate with some individuals and contribute to planting vegetation and afforesting an area in the country, in order to enhance the overall appearance and also preserve the environmental balance.
Volunteering in Germany in the Cultural Sector
Working in the cultural field can be achieved through participating in organizing various cultural events, or by working in theaters, cultural centers, or museums.
Also, read more about the comprehensive Job Center guide and how to fill out the Agentur für Arbeit form.
The aim of volunteering in Germany across various fields is to create numerous new friendships and to get to know people with diverse perspectives and viewpoints.
How to Get a Volunteering Job in Germany
Germany is distinguished by numerous fields that allow for volunteer work, but the problem lies in how to find volunteer opportunities in Germany. However, we offer you some simple ways to help you find these opportunities:
- Searching for volunteer projects online, there are numerous websites that offer a variety of short-term projects and call for voluntary work. Among these websites are Workaway and Worldpackers, which provide opportunities for volunteering.
- These websites contain thousands of significant projects from all around the world that entice you to join them, but the registration costs about 40 euros for a one-year period.
- Attending the work camps, which are launched with the aim of creating new groups of volunteers from all around the world, costs approximately 80 euros and lasts for two to three weeks.
- “Workcamps are distinguished by their organization and spirit of collective participation, and they can be accessed through Workcamp Germany.” Through IBG and IJGD organizations.
Voluntary Work Organizations in Germany
There are numerous voluntary organizations in Germany that contribute to providing volunteering opportunities and a distinctive working environment that serves the community at large. Moreover, they leave a positive impact on the individual themselves, which can be summarized as follows:
- The Social Voluntary Year can be obtained through FSJ, which provides voluntary work in the social field for a duration ranging from 6 to 12 months.
- FOJ provides the Environmental Volunteering Year, which offers work opportunities in the environmental field for a duration ranging from 6 to 12 months.
- The possibility of working voluntarily as a child caregiver in a German family while residing in their home, through cooperation with the Aupair organization, for a duration ranging from 6 to 12 months.
- Bufdi provides the federal voluntary service, which allows individuals to work in various fields within the same period mentioned earlier.
- You can volunteer in Europe or through the European Voluntary Service (EVS) in the fields of education and culture for a duration ranging from two weeks to 12 months.
- Wwoofing provides the opportunity to work on various farms, along with the freedom to move from one farm to another for a period ranging from several weeks to months.
You can also learn more about the features of Tafel in Germany.
Benefits of Volunteering in Germany
As we have explained, volunteering has numerous advantages, especially in enhancing human qualities, acquiring new skills and experiences, and learning how to effectively engage in the community.
However, there are other benefits that accrue to the individual engaging in volunteer work in Germany, including the following:
- Contributes to expediting the procedures related to applying for permanent residence or German citizenship.
- Increasing opportunities for employment or Ausbildung, especially when applying for jobs related to the social sector.
- Participating in the German labor market and familiarizing oneself with its aspects facilitates future dealings when working officially.
- Effectively increasing contribution to the local community and understanding its needs.
- Improving the German language due to increased and broader interaction with diverse individuals and nationalities.
Volunteer Work Visa Requirements in Germany
The Volunteer Work Visa in Germany is considered one of the most important visas dedicated to foreigners who wish to engage in voluntary work freely within Germany.
As for the duration of the residence permit for voluntary work (Work Visa) in Germany, it cannot exceed one year. However, there are some essential conditions that must be met, which are as follows:
- Approval from the German Federal Employment Agency is required, or alternatively, participation in the service is permitted under an international governmental agreement, even without their approval.
- Providing a contract with the organization offering volunteer work that outlines the description of the volunteer service, along with information about the duration, hours, and nature of the activities.
Also, read more about what is a Minijob in Germany. Opportunities for Small Jobs
Terms of Volunteer Work in Germany
If anyone wishes to apply for voluntary work in Germany, certain conditions of voluntary work in Germany must be met for the individual to qualify for various opportunities. These conditions include the following:
- Acquiring diverse and varied experiences in various fields is essential. For example, gaining extensive expertise in education or in handling children and the elderly.
- Getting accustomed to community involvement and actively engaging with society on a tangible level.
- Fluency in the German language, along with proficiency in English, is considered one of the essential requirements for volunteer work in Germany.
The required documents for applying for voluntary work in Germany.
A set of important documents must be provided when desiring to register for voluntary work in Germany. These documents include the following:
- Please provide a personal identification, a copy of your passport, and several personal photos.
- Presenting a statement that highlights previous achievements in the field of public services and any volunteer work, if available.
- Certificates of the training courses I have previously obtained in various fields.
- Please submit your business records and clarify the areas in which you have worked in the past.
- Writing a cover letter and a recommendation letter in order to get the job.
You can also find out more about how much the Jobcenter in Germany pays and unemployment benefits.
How to register for voluntary work in Germany
Volunteer registration in Germany varies from place to place. There are no specific steps or procedures that must be followed in order to complete the volunteer registration process in Germany. It all depends on the place where you want to participate.
In general, the documents mentioned above are submitted to the relevant authority, along with the volunteer opportunity that the person wants to participate in. The volunteer form must also be filled out, and all personal information required to complete the registration process must be provided.
Volunteer salary in Germany
Volunteering in Germany is the act of working without pay or any other form of compensation. It is done voluntarily by an individual who wants to help others or make a difference in the world.
Therefore, the salary for volunteer work in Germany cannot be determined, as there is no salary or financial compensation in general.
There are some volunteer opportunities in Germany that are paid, meaning that the applicant will receive a salary for their volunteer work during the specified period of the program or the volunteer work. However, this is considered an exceptional case, and the salary varies depending on the organization that announces the volunteer work.
Read more about the most important services of Caritas Germany for refugees.
Frequently Asked Questions about Volunteering in Germany
What are the sponsors of volunteerism?
Sponsors are non-profit organizations that work to make volunteering possible. The staff at the sponsor organization plan and implement the volunteer service, and provide support and assistance to volunteers.
What is the purpose of volunteering?
The goal of volunteering is to provide help, assistance, and effort to work towards achieving good in society. It is called volunteer work because humans do it voluntarily without being forced by others to do it.
What are the qualities that a volunteer should have?
Volunteering is a great human trait that includes meanings such as patience, the ability to give, solidarity, and cooperation throughout the long history of humanity. Volunteering is also characterized by the spirit of giving without compensation or reward.