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Germany Launches Program for Youth Volunteers


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Germany Launches Program for Youth to Volunteer Abroad

The German government launched a voluntary service abroad program similar to the United States Peace Corps on Monday. It allows idealistic young people to work with aid organizations in developing countries.

The German government was responding to demand from young people who want to participate in service programs in developing countries but don't know how to go about it or how to finance the time abroad.

In 2008 about 3,000 young adults are expected to take part in the new Weltwärts program, Development Minister Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul said at the program's launch Monday in Berlin.

Eventually, as many as 10,000 spots will be offered each year and the program will receive annual funding of 40 million euros ($54.5 million).

Adults under the age of 28 can sign up for anywhere between six and 24 months for volunteer programs in Africa, Asia, Latin America or Eastern Europe. Participants will receive a stipend of 580 euros each month which will defer travel costs, training and insurance as well as provide participants with spending money.

The government funding will ensure that even young people whose parents would not be able to afford to send them abroad can participate in the program, Wieczorek-Zeul said.

Full story, Source: DW-world

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Of note is that all who participate in this program do not have to do the mandatory military service

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