In the North–South–Exchange volunteers of the churches within the EMS fellowship in Germany go to other churches and institutions in Africa, Asia and the Middle East.
Young people (18-28) generally without a certain profession, who are actively involved in the youth work of the church or who are interested to experience the life and faith of Christians living in different culture. Young adults who are interested in the programme apply for a place of service and will be interviewed by the EYVP team and the Liaison Desk of EMS.
What are they going to do?
The EYVP volunteers should not be seen as visitors! They share the daily life and work of the people around. They can overtake certain tasks in social institutions of the church: with children in nursery schools or boarding homes for handicapped people, within the youth or women’s work, for agricultural work in initiatives of the church, work in training centres or guest houses e.g.
There should be persons (mentor) around who can introduce the volunteers and who can answer questions concerning work or the time after work. The working hours should be according to the accustomed working hours of the local staff.
The costs for a volunteer’s term will be shared by the three parties involved:
the EMS as sending organization
the inviting church or the hosting institution or place of service
EMS is responsible for insurance, travelling costs and a pocket money for the volunteers. The volunteers themselves have to bear the costs for visa.
Every German volunteer has to find 10 people who are ready to accompany the volunteer in mind and in prayers. The volunteer informs the supporter through circular-letters about his or her experiences. The supporters pay a certain amount of money for each month of the stay to the EMS. This money helps EYVP to bear the costs for volunteers’ services of young adults of the churches within the EMS fellowship in Africa, Asia and the Middle East who come to do a volunteers service in Germany or a different church within the EMS fellowship.
The German volunteers have to undergo a certain time of preparation. Seminars are organised before (about three weekends) and after (one week) the stay. Since 2008 the volunteers participate in a midterm seminar. The midterm seminars are either provided by the EYVP or other sending organizations in the same country or region.
Themes of the seminars:
- The volunteers have to prepare prayers, they will have common services. The history of mission will be discussed and the negative and positive consequences.
- The volunteers are informed about the economical interdependency and the international economical system with it’s unjust implementations.
- The volunteers get information about Church and Country from EMS.
- Cultural differences are dealt with during the seminars: the different roles of men and women, differences in concepts of education, different manners to face and solve conflicts, the difference between individual-oriented societies and coonomical system with it’s unjust implementations.
- Within the midterm seminar they will reflect on their experiences and plan for the second half of the term.
- After they returned to Germany or to their home countries they will discuss how they further can be involved in ecumenical or global learning. The volunteers report and discuss their experiences in their congregations or in conferences of EMS. Often the support groups are the first who want to get a report.
First steps of a cooperation
If you could imagine to send or invite a volunteer, please contact your local delegate of the international EMS Mission Council or contact the EYVP.