South-North Exchange

Participants

The Ecumenical Youth Volunteers Programme (EYVP), which started in 2000, gives young adults an opportunity for living and acting within the EMS fellowship. The EYVP runs annually from end of January to end of July.

Would you like to find out more about what you can do within the framework of the Ecumenical Youth Volunteers Programme?
Please contact a representative of your home church or a member of the EMS Mission Council. With his or her endorsement we will be happy to send you our Expression of Interest and application forms.

Places of service for volunteers in Germany are, for example:

  • Kindergarten and Nursery
  • Church Communities
  • Youth and Women Groups
  • Work with People with Disabilities
  • Outreach Social Work
  • Schools

These places of service generally correlate to the volunteer´s interests and abilities. The working hours are the same as those of the local staff. In the hosting congregation, you will be assigned a mentor. A mentoring committee will introduce you to the various aspects of volunteering and answer questions concerning culture, religion, social structures and leisure.

Preparation

The volunteers have to undergo a certain time of preparation. For the volunteers from churches in Africa, Asia and the Middle East in Germany the sending church should provide their preparation. They should also give them the opportunity to have German lessons in their home countries. EMS will cover the cost of a language course. During their stay in Germany they will also undergo several seminars provided by the EYVP (introduction, midterm and evaluation) to help them adapt to the German culture and cope with the intercultural communication.


Themes of the seminars:

  • 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 community-oriented societies.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Finances

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
  •  the volunteer

EMS is responsible for insurance, travelling costs as well as costs of visa. For volunteers from churches in Africa, Asia and the Middle East the hosting organization is responsible for the pocket money.