Germany creates fund for youths to work as volunteers in developing world

4th September 2007, Comments 0 comments

04 September 2007, Berlin (AFP) - The German government on Monday launched a state-funded programme which will aim to send up to 10,000 young people a year to work as volunteers in developing countries.

04 September 2007

Berlin (AFP) - The German government on Monday launched a state-funded programme which will aim to send up to 10,000 young people a year to work as volunteers in developing countries.

Development Minister Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul said the state would pump some 70 million euros (95 million dollars) a year into the programme, which is called Weltwaerts ("Into the World").

It is aimed at Germans aged 18 to 28 and will cover their costs while they work in developing nations for six months to two years, she told reporters in Berlin.

"We do not want volunteer work to depend on the size of the family's bank account," she said, adding that Berlin wanted to allow people "from the widest possible circle" to do development work abroad.

Development organisations who engage Germans will receive up to 580 euros a month per volunteer to pay for their travel and living costs as well as their insurance. It also allows for a modest amount of pocket money.

Wieczorek-Zeul said the government believed youths who take part in the part programme will acquire valuable skills, including foreign languages and learning to work with people from other cultures.

She said thousands of young people had already expressed interest in the programme.

AFP

Subject: German news

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