There are many opportunities to volunteer on campus - in buddy programs, events, groups and clubs and much more. In the city of Dortmund, too, there are a wide variety of organizations and projects looking for volunteers. This is where the FreiwilligenAgentur Dortmund e.V. comes in: As a link between volunteers and organizations, it strengthens civic engagement and facilitates contact between the two groups.
In this interview, Managing Director Karola Jaschewski explains how students can take advantage of the services offered by the FreiwilligenAgentur Dortmund e.V.
What does the FreiwilligenAgentur Dortmund do?
Karola Jaschewski, Managing Director: We bring two groups together: Citizens who want to get involved, and organizations, associations and initiatives from all areas that are looking for volunteers. The FreiwilligenAgentur sees itself as a contact and exchange platform. We are convinced that a city lives from the commitment of its citizens, and we want to promote and support this. The FreiwilligenAgentur Dortmund has been in existence since 2002.
What does "volunteerism" actually mean?
Volunteers get involved without receiving anything in return. They do this out of personal conviction and with all their heart. In this way, they contribute to social cohesion, which ultimately benefits the entire urban society. People who volunteer do something for the community and for our city - an invaluable service that takes up a lot of time and cannot be compensated with money.
What role does civic engagement play in Germany?
A very important one! In Germany, about 40% of the population - that's about 28 million people- are involved in civic activities. Thematically, this is very broadly based and ranges from sports groups for children, serving food to the needy or in the volunteer fire department, to environmental protection and a number of other topics.
The FreiwilligenAgentur is committed to the enhancement and development of civic engagement and thus contributes to making our city more colorful and attractive.
And what do I get out of volunteering?
People who volunteer do so for very different reasons: they want to be active for the common good or for their fellow human beings, or they want to contribute their personal or professionally acquired skills and knowledge. You get to know new people and can make a difference together with them. In concrete terms, social skills, methodological skills and personal skills are strengthened. In short, involvement creates community and a bond with other people. Newcomers in particular use volunteering to get to know the city and the people from Dortmund or to organize their free time in a meaningful way.
Can I also get involved there as a student? And can I specify what I would like to do?
Absolutely! It is up to you to decide what you would like to do, and you are invited to contribute your talents. We offer a wide range of activities, from sports and culture to social areas.
The FreiwilligenAgentur sees itself as a link between organizations and associations on the one hand and people who want to get involved on the other. On our website you can find an online catalog of activities, with which you can specify possible activities and give information about your own requirements. In this way, you can find what you are looking for among the many offers. If you would like to know more about individual tasks or if we haven't found the right one for you yet, you are also welcome to ask for personal advice.
Thank you very much for the interview!
The interview was conducted in December 2022 with Karola Jaschewski, Managing Director of the FreiwilligenAgentur Dortmund, and Julia Pehle, International Office.
Contact the FreiwilligenAgentur Dortmund e.V.:
Location: Kleppingstraße 37 in downtown Dortmund (Berswordthalle).
Tel.: 0231 50 10 600 | E-Mail: infofreiwilligenagenturdortmundde
To the website of the FreiwilligenAgentur Dortmund e.V.
Certificate "Studium International"
Students can also apply for the "Studium International" certificate for international involvement on and off campus.