On Friday (13 February) at 12.00 noon Gernot Erler, Minister of State at the Federal Foreign Office, will introduce a new volunteer programme. "Kulturweit" (Bridging Cultures) is the Federal Foreign Office's new cultural volunteer programme. It is being implemented in cooperation with the German Commission for UNESCO. Programme partners include the Goethe-Institut, the German Academic Exchange Service, the Educational Exchange Service, the Federal Office of Administration – Central Agency for Schools Abroad and the German Archaeological Institute.
Along with Minister of State Erler, author Jürgen Neffe, German Commission for UNESCO Secretary-General Dr Bernecker, Goethe-Institut President Professor Lehmann and German Archaeological Institute President Professor Gehrke will be present to answer questions.
The new international volunteer programme offers young people between the ages of 18 and 26 the opportunity to get involved in cultural relations and education policy. The Federal Foreign Office relies on the support of its trusted partner organizations for this initiative: the Goethe-Institut, the German Academic Exchange Service, the Educational Exchange Service, the German Archaeological Institute, the Federal Office of Administration – Central Agency for Schools Abroad and the German Commission for UNESCO are providing positions for volunteers in foreign countries. Volunteers can choose to serve for 6 or 12 months. The "Kulturweit" volunteer programme is based on the provisions for the voluntary social year.
"Kulturweit" provides new possibilities for civic engagement. The volunteers support cultural relations and education policy through their work with the partner organizations. Through the direct contact they have with other cultures they also gain international experience for their personal and professional development.
The German Commission for UNESCO is responsible for coordinating and implementing "Kulturweit". It provides information on the volunteer programme and receives all applications.
Beginning on 20 February 2009, volunteers can apply by visiting www.kulturweit.de. Only online applications will be accepted.