South-North Volunteer Programme


What is the Bremen Mission South-North Volunteer Programme?

The South-North Volunteer Programme of Bremen Mission is an intercultural learning and ex­change program. It gives young adults from Ghana and Togo the opportunity to participate in a one-year voluntary service in Germany. The South-North volunteers get to know another cul­ture, encounter life in a foreign cultural context, and are exposed to and work in an environment different to one’s own.

Bremen Mission invites up to 8 young people to participate in the South-North volunteer pro­gramme. The participants are selected by the member churches in Ghana (EPC) and Togo (EEPT). Volunteers have the chance to grow personally in an informal learning process during their one-year-voluntary service in Germany, establish cross-cultural competence and intercul­tural leadership skills by working alongside those with a different background and viewpoints. They can learn, contribute and strengthen the existing partnerships between the Bremen Mission member churches. After their voluntary service, the returnees can share what they have learnt during their service with their own communities and networks at home. Host institutions in Germany get the chance to receive highly motivated volunteers that may bring in a new, different understanding of every day working culture, new perspectives and insights.

South-North Volunteers 2018/2019 with German volunteer coordinator

The South-North Volunteers will work in a church-related field, but not in a missionary context. Placements might be in kindergartens, congregations, youth centres, schools or in organisations with a focus on disabled people, adult education or elderly people.

The focus of a volunteer service in Germany is to assist where help is needed. No prior profes­sional training is necessary to start a volunteer service. All work related skills will be acquired during the stay. This also means that it is most likely for volunteers to work in a field different from their learnt profession. Volunteers need to be ready to give their time and dedication for the benefit of others, while engaging in a multi-layered learning experience.

All South-North volunteers of Bremen Mission participate in the weltwärts programme. It is the programme by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), which contributes funding to the programme.

The South-North Volunteer programme runs annually from April to end of March. Applicants should be available from January 2022 to prepare for their service and attend a German language course if necessary.

What are the volunteer requirements?

Applicants should

  •  be available from April 2023 until March 2024 and some time before and after for prepara­tion in their home countries (German courses, preparation seminar, etc.)
  • be between 18 and 28 years old when they start their service
  • have completed secondary school or vocational training or hold a higher education de­gree, or are otherwise personally suitable
  •  be prepared to learn German and speak at least basic English
  • be involved in the work of the sending organization (e. g. as youth group leader, in youth projects or other)
  • have specific interest in development policies and intercultural issues and exchange
  •  be willing to learn and contribute their knowledge and skills in the work of their hosting institution
  • want to integrate into a society with another cultural background than their own
  • have the strength of will and psychological strength to go through good as well as diffi­cult times

What is the programme schedule?
Tentative schedule:

  • June – October 2022: Application period
  • November 2022: Interviews and selection of candidates by EPCG and EEPT
  • November 2022 – March 2023: Preparation by the sending church, German language class within home country, Visa application and formalities
  • January 2023: Preparation Seminar (1 week)
  • 1st week of April 2023: Arrival in Germany
  • April 2023 – end of March 2024: Living and working in Germany

How to apply?

If you are interested in participating in the South-North Volunteer program, please contact your local presbytery or your local volunteer coordinator.
You will need the following documents for your application:

  • completed application form
  • curriculum vitae
  • one-page motivation letter written by the applicant, explaining why she or he wants to participate in this program
  • recommendation letter by a person that knows the applicant and her or his skills (e.g. from a pastor, teacher…)
  • completed medical examination form - can be handed in after selection
  • copy of the data sheet of your passport (valid until at least August 2024) – can be handed in after selection

The deadline for the Presbyteries for submitting applications to the local volunteer coordinators is October 2022. Suitable applicants will be invited for an interview to the head office of your church in November.

Bremen Mission does not accept applications by individuals submitted directly to our German office.

What to expect?

Read about the experiences of former South-North Volunteers:
Eric Edem Dedjoe-Djokotoe (2017/2018)
Bismark Komla Osiakwa (2018/2019)
Adzoto Nutifafa Germaine Kpelly (2018/2019)

For further information, please read our Call for Applications