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On 14th September 2018, H.E. Amb. Gina Blay delivered the opening remarks at a Forum to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Volunteering Service ‘Weltwärts’.

H.E. Amb Gina Blay delivering the opening remarks for the event

H.E. Amb Gina Blay delivering the opening remarks for the event

In her remarks, Her Excellency Gina Blay commended the volunteers for their immense contributions, towards the advancement of the African continent. She also lauded the Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development for the foresight in establishing this organization and harnessing the energies of the youth towards this noble course globally. She emphasized that the impact of the work of the Volunteers in places where they had served had been enormous and enduring especially in bridging the development gap between the North and the South.

The Volunteering Service, ‘Weltwärts’, was initiated by the Federal Development Ministry in 2008. Young people between the ages of 18 to 28 work for a year in developing countries to acquire international experience.

‘Weltwärts’ has become the largest international volunteering service in Germany. In the last 10 years, almost 40,000 young people have worked with partner countries. Last year, most volunteers came from Baden-Württemberg, followed by Bavaria and Berlin. About 180 German organizations cooperate and send volunteers to their partner organizations in Africa, South America, and Asia.

‘Weltwärts’ projects are as diverse as the people. Volunteers support disadvantaged youth at vocational schools, collect research data for sea protection, support cohesion in townships through sports projects or help at hospitals. A construction engineering student, for example, helped build a drinking water supply in Ethiopia.

NB: copyright of pictures – BMZ