We are very pleased that you are interested in an volunteering through vostel.de. Before you start, we would like to invite you to get some basic knowledge about the function of our platform as well as the dos and don’ts of volunteering with us. We have summarized the essentials for you under the following sections 🙂
What exactly is vostel.de?
vostel.de is a volunteering platform and an intermediary between non-profit organisations and volunteers.
Non-profit organisations use vostel.de to promote volunteering opportunities by uploading them on our platform. These are verified by our team and published, if they meet all our criteria. Our platform gives interested volunteers the opportunity to find out more about specific volunteering opportunities and either register directly for a project or get in touch with the organisation themselves. The use of the platform is for organisations and volunteers free of charge!
vostel.de is currently available in Berlin, Darmstadt, Frankfurt am Main, Hamburg, Cologne, Munich, Nuremberg & Fürth and Wiesbaden. In total, over 580 non-profit organizations and almost 13.000 volunteers are registered on the platform.
What is vostel.de not about?
On vostel.de you won’t find fulltime-volunteering opportunities or volunteering programs that would include support in applying for visa, accommodation or travel funds.
I want to support social projects with vostel – how does it work?
Our filters allow you not only to search directly for particular topics and target groups, but also for specific districts in your city and volunteering opportunities that match your German language skills or your schedule.
You should think about how much time you can spare for volunteering work early on. While certain projects require you to volunteer once, others require regular and long-term support. Especially, when working for organisations where establishing trustful relationships with people is of great importance (for instance, when working with children), you should exclude a single or irregular volunteer assignment from the beginning. (cf. blog article “Thinking about long-term volunteering“).
What requirements do I need to fulfill as a volunteer?
In general, you should be motivated to volunteer for projects fitting your preferences and competencies, get to know and experience other living situations and constantly learn new things.
The specific requirements for volunteering in a specific project can be found in the project description. Many of the projects listed on vostel.de require little or no prior knowledge or experience. However, others, especially those that imply close interactions with people, often require prior target group-specific experiences. For that reason, please always read the requirements thoroughly and evaluate for yourself whether you fulfill them (especially in terms of availability and German language skills). In addition, you should also consider in advance whether you are sufficiently emotionally prepared for the project (cf. paragraph “What do I have to keep in mind for certain projects and what can I or can I not expect?”).
For some projects, you have to provide a health or police clearance certificate. This often concerns projects with food or children and teenagers. Please check out our FAQ to find out, how to obtain these certificates (under Health and Safety Certificate).
How do I volunteer with an impact?
The “impact” of your commitment may seem small at times, but you can be assured: Your support is needed and its impact often goes far beyond mere task fulfillment. In order for the time and effort you invest as a volunteer to be fully effective, there are some basic things to keep in mind which we have summarized for you in the following blog post.
What do I have to consider for certain target groups an what can I (not) expect?
Each project and each target group usually has its own or special requirements. To give you an overview of these, in collaboration with the organisations that work with us, we have summarized some target group specific tips.
A commitment for children and young people is actually a steady burner on vostel.de. In order to make your work with children and young people effective, there are a few things to consider. We have summarised the 4 most important aspects in the following blog post.
Many older people are dependent on support. This applies not only to seniors living alone, but also to those already staying in nursing homes. To help you evaluate whether a commitment with and for older people is the right thing for you, we have summarised three important points in our latest blog post.
What limits people with disabilities, however, are usually not their physical, mental and/or psychological attributes – they have often gotten used to them quite well – but the external circumstances and/or reactions of other people. So that you are well prepared for your commitment for people with disabilities, we have collected 4 tips for you here.
Projects with and for refugees have been an integral part of our platform. Over the years we were able to gain a lot of experience about important aspects when volunteerig for/ with refugees. We would like to share these experiences in the blog post “3 tips for volunteering with refugees” with you.
If these numbers concern you as much as they concern us and you want to do more than just donating change or clothes, maybe volunteering for homeless people is the right thing for you. We will let you know here, what you need to keep in mind.
If you don’t have the possibility to own a pet, you can integrate your love for animals into your everyday life, for example, with a commitment for and/or with animals. We have summarized for you here what is important.
We hope that we have been able to give you a comprehensive overview on the topic of volunteering. Should you have any further questions, please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Your team from vostel.de