The one thousandth international volunteer, Della Bii-Mai from Cameroon, started her voluntary service in Potsdam as part of the South-North Exchange of Bread for the World and weltwärts on Monday, September 4, 2017. The development volunteer service weltwärts, established in 2008, is a joint venture of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and the civil society - currently about 160 non-governmental organizations under the umbrella of Engagement Global. Weltwärts focuses on joint intercultural learning, therefore volunteers gain experiences abroad, acquire language skills and also personal competences. Since 2013, young people from the partner countries in Africa have been able to take part in the volunteer service in Germany and help to promote the equal exchange between the partners and to further strengthen existing partnerships.
Della Bii-Mai is going to do her voluntary service from September for a year at the foundation partnership with Africa in Potsdam. The Foundation promotes intercultural dialogue and sustainable partnership between African countries and Germany. For 11 months, the 26-year-old Cameroonian will contribute to the concept and implementation of workshops in schools and develop international campaigns with partners in African countries.
Della Bii-Mai has already been involved in the local partner organization of Bread for the World, at the Community Initiative for Sustainable Development (COMINSUD) in Bamenda, where as a volunteer she started working with young people to prevent drug abuse while assisting in other projects run by the organization. Additionally she has been active as a youth leader in her church community for several years and has volunteered for the non-governmental organization Rescue Women Cameroon (REWOCAM), which aims to provide women and girls with opportunities to succeed and thrive as leaders.
Within the framework of the German-African Youth Initiative, the funding of exchange programs has been further expanded, enabling more young Africans, who are committed like Bii-Mai to participate in the South-North exchange. In this context the number of participants from African countries rose from 532 in 2015 to 820 participants this year, who took part in international exchanges with weltwärts and other South-North programs.