Do you want to get actively involved in environmental or social work? Or would you like to have contact with people from your home country or of the same religion as you? You’ll find a wide range of possibilities in Germany.
You are free to decide what voluntary work you want to do, as under German legislation everyone is free to choose which legal association, party or religious community they wish to join. However, you may be expected to pay a membership fee. You can ask the organisation you wish to join for details. Of course, you can also found a club or another kind of organisation yourself.
One thing is certain: it will do nothing but good. Because your commitment means not only exercising social responsibility and helping others, it is also a way of achieving personal development. You can let your potential and creativity unfold, meet other people, get to know local or internationally operating bodies and improve your language skills. So why not play a day-to-day role in this and help to shape your environment by giving something of yourself!
Active citizenship as a parent
Many schools and day care centres in Germany depend on the active involvement of the parents. You regularly get to meet the teaching and educational staff as well as other parents at parents’ evening. As well as this, you can also join a parents’ group. By maintaining a constant dialogue with teachers or educators, you will be able to take an active role in the day-to-day life of your child at school or at the kindergarten (Kita). Moreover, you will be kept informed about his or her education and school work or get counselling, as well as being able to contribute your own ideas. You can find out exactly what you can do by asking the teachers or other parents. Also, you can find a list of parents' associations on the German-language Web site „Planet Beruf“.
Involvement in intercultural work
Virtually all towns and cities have places where peoples of different cultures and immigrant organisations can meet. Here, people of different origins, cultures, religions, ages and nationalities come together. Besides their involvement in social issues, these associations usually offer a multitude of different intercultural activities – cultural festivals, leisure activities, sports, and grants for basic and advanced education. But the principal aim is to foster cultural exchange and mutual respect. Many towns and cities have an office for multicultural/intercultural affairs, or for integration, an integration officer and a council of religions. Here, committed individuals work towards ensuring that different cultures and religions in Germany live together in harmony. Perhaps you would like to do voluntary work with one of these organisations, or share your culture and traditions with others too.