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EACEA National Policies Platform


9. Youth and the World

9.6 Intercontinental youth work and development cooperation

Last update: 30 January 2023

Intercontinental youth work cooperation


Fieldwork stays are provided by Horizont3000. Working abroad for two years, qualified experts from Austria can use their skills and knowledge. These experts must have solid training and practical knowledge. The work of Horizont3000 has continued despite the pandemic.

Further projects and information

The umbrella organisation of Austrian youth information centres (Bundesnetzwerk Österreichische Jugendinfos, BÖJI) published a brochure (Fairantwortungsvoll, a wordplay of fair and responsible) on fair voluntary activities abroad.

Projects are provided by and within international youth organisations and their local organisation in Austria.

WeltWegWeiser - Servicestelle für internationale Freiwilligeneinsätze 

WeltWegWeiser is a project by “Jugend eine Welt” ("Youth One World") and a service point for international voluntary services. Up to 50 young people aged 18-26 become ambassadors for good practice in development co-operation.

Volontariat bewegt ('voluntary work makes a difference') 

Participants of the voluntary service (more information below) conduct training and network opportunities after their stay abroad. Hence, the participants are supported in their role as multipliers. After returning to Austria, they are advocating for topics of development politics and become involved in development work in Austria.

Development cooperation activities

Austrian Catholic Children’s Movement (Dreikönigsaktion, DKA)  

To increase the effectiveness of development work, DKA Austria thematically concentrates on five areas. These establish the framework for activities in projects and programmes, advocacy, education and public relations. “LernEinsätze” is a programme by the DKA for a one-month stay at partner organisations in developing countries.

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the programme. While stays at the Philippines have been cancelled for 2021, the organisation hopes to continue to carry out its projects in Ghana and Kenia in the summer of 2021, if permitted by the circumstances.

Volontariat bewegt (voluntary work makes a difference)

Volontariat bewegt is a non-profit organisation, offering one-year voluntary services in Africa, Asia and Latin America. The volunteers are between the ages of 18 and 35 and engage in social projects catering for children and youth. The organisation works on behalf of the non-profit organisation 'Jugend Eine Welt' and the Salesians of Don Bosco.

The COVID-19 pandemic has faced volunteers and sending institutions with major challenges. Priority is given to the health and safety of participants. Therefore, in March 2020 31 volunteers were repatriated from abroad and all further trips suspended. The next posting of volunteers is projected for summer 2021, under the observation of stringent safety measures.

Social development co-operation (Sozial.EZA)

Sozial.EZA is a Project by the Austrian Development Agency that promotes traineeships in Africa, Asia and Latin-American for students of universities of applied sciences. The participants are trained in a seminar series prior to their stay abroad. A sozial.EZA traineeship lasts at least for 15 weeks. In many cases, students can make use of public support. In this case, students receive public grants (700 €) provided by the Austrian Development Agency.

International voluntary assignment by Caritas Austria

The Caritas programme for international voluntary assignment provides the opportunity to work on Caritas projects abroad - in Kenia, Uganda, Peru, India, Nepal, Indonesia and Thailand. Young people aged 18 years or older can become part of these projects.

Austrian Service Abroad (Österreichischer Auslandsdienst)

The association enables Austrians to work at Austrian Holocaust Memorial Services, Austrian Social Services or Austrian Peace Services in foreign countries. It is an organisation acknowledged by the Federal Ministry of Social Affairs, Health, Care and Consumer Protection. Young people can thus fulfill their mandatory civilian service abroad. The stay may last from 6 to 12 months and is open to people of any age and gender.

The Austrian Service Abroad provides opportunites at 82 places in 37 countries. Since its foundation in 1998, more than 550 people have benefited from this opportunity to render their civilian service or a voluntary service abroad. In 2020, 56 people were deployed and 22 new posts created.

Grenzenlos (“without borders”)

Grenzenlos is an Austrian NGO with the main aim of promoting peace and tolerance through international non-formal education programmes that combine cultural integration with engagement in non-profit initiatives worldwide. Grenzenlos realises the platform and organises voluntary services in Africa, Asia, Anglo-America, Europa, Latin-American and Oceania. The programme has various target groups, project types and project times. Grenzenlos also organises the programme Melange in co-operation with WienXtra in Vienna. Melange is funded by the City of Vienna and the European Commission (Youth Program).

In the COVID-19 pandemic, Grenzenlos has enabled volunteers to cancel or postpone their trips. If inevitable due to the COVID-19 situation, programs were cancelled.

EU Aid Volunteers programme (Volunteering in humanitarian aid field)

Young people in Austria can also take part in the EU Aid Volunteers programme (soon to become 'Volunteering in humanitarian aid field'). EU Aid Volunteers brings volunteers and organisations from different countries together, providing practical support to humanitarian aid projects and contributing to strengthening local capacity and resilience of disaster-affected communities. Participants must be over 18 years and a citizen of an EU Member State or a long-term EU resident. Volunteers receive accommodation and travel expenses, insurance, ongoing learning and development, a monthly allowance, and a resettlement allowance to help with expenses of returning home.