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What can the funding be used for?

Three kinds of projects are eligible

The new funding line is not only intended for youth exchanges. Other priorities are training for project partners and innovative pilot projects in international youth work.

Youth exchange projects

Southafrican-German youth exchange. Photo: Gerhard Lück

Funding is available for joint projects by and for young people in Germany and the Global South. The groups spend up to two years working together on a topic or project. During that time, both the youth group from Germany and the group from the partner country go on one outgoing visit and one return visit to the other country. The visits are embedded between a preparation phase and a follow-up phase, during which the participants communicate and share knowledge through other channels.

Examples of possible projects might be scouts working together in environmental education, choir groups staging a joint concert for human rights or sports groups from the North and South collaborating on a project designed to promote health.


  • Participants must be between 16 and 30 years of age
  • Participants must be permanently resident in Germany/one of the participating partner countries
  • The group size per country for the outgoing and return visits must be no smaller than five and no larger than ten, not including the group leaders. The other project phases, preparation and follow-up, can involve more people
  • The visits to each country must last at least 14 days and at most 30
  • Any exceptions made to the age and group-size rules must be explained on a case-by-case basis

The youth exchange projects are intended to facilitate face-to-face contact, give participants an insight into life in the host country and to trigger learning processes. They acquire skills that enable them to think as global citizens, past the borders of their own country, and to actively work for change in the way in which we co-exist as members of the global community. Furthermore, the projects strengthen the groups involved.

Accompanying projects

Funding can be provided for projects aimed at strengthening structures and actors and improving the quality of youth exchange projects. One example would be a project to promote knowledge-sharing and networking between the project partners’ workers (both the paid and the unpaid). These accompanying projects are primarily meant to improve quality and to prepare or follow up on youth exchange projects. The only restriction applicable to exchanges for employees or information disseminators is that the visits must last at least five days.

Measures to raise public interest in exchange projects and, in particular, to engage new target groups are also eligible for funding. The same goes for activities to produce materials, methods and strategies with which to evolve development-related international youth exchange.

Pilot projects

Funding is available for innovative projects that are of particular relevance to development-related international youth work and can be applied in other organisations too. There are no age or group-size restrictions for these types of project.