FSJ/FÖJ in Germany
Voluntary Social Year / Voluntary Ecological Year
The Voluntary Social Year in Germany (Freiwilliges Soziales Jahr – FSJ) is a voluntary service that lasts between 6 and 18 months. It has an educational as well as an orientation purpose for young people between the ages of 16 and 27. Organisations in which an FSJ can be served, are usually focused on social work, culture, politics or education. On www.pro-fsj.de you find more information and accredited organisations in Germany.
Young people interested in culture have the possibility to serve a FSJ-Kultur (www.fsjkultur.de) – a voluntary year dedicated to cultural topics and cultural education. Furthermore, the FSJ can be specialised in sports, politics and preservation of monuments.
Similar to the FSJ is the Voluntary Ecological Year (Freiwilliges Ökologisches Jahr – FÖJ), where volunteers work with non-profit organisations in the environmental field. More information is provided on www.foej.de.
The FSJ/FÖJ are both financed and realized by the Federal Ministry of Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth (BMFSFJ), as well as by the federal states and several agencies. In the context of this voluntary year, the agencies organize five seminars per year which are obligatory to each participant.
There are two German organisations which are specialised on so-called reverse services and invite foreign volunteers to Germany:
- SoFiA e.V. - Soziale Friedensdienste im Ausland (www.sofia-trier.de/dienst-in-deutschland/einsatzstellen-in-deutschland)
- Internationaler Bund Kassel (www.internationaler-bund.org/en).
All accredited organisations for FSJ/FÖJ can be found in the BMFSFJ-List (PDF, 591 KB) by the BMFSFJ.