Volunteering in rural areas

Volunteer work in figures

Around 44% of Germans are involved in voluntary work. In rural areas 46% of people volunteer in some capacity. In big urban municipalities the figure is 39%. Volunteer fire fighters are a classic example of volunteer work in Germany - especially in rural areas. It’s the fun that counts: around 94% cite the enjoyment they gain from volunteering as their main motivation.

Most volunteers (16.3%) work in the field of sport and physical activity, followed by schools or nursery schools (9.1%), culture and music (9%). More than half of the volunteers spend up to two hours a week on this voluntary service. Especially in rural areas, they often accept several tasks or offices.

"Action alliance for rural life"

The "Action alliance for rural life" aims to strengthen rural areas based on its motto of "Regional networks for united strength". The alliance is made up of the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL), the German Association of Rural Districts (DLT), the German Association of Chambers of Industry and Commerce (DIHK), the German Association of Towns and Municipalities (DStGB) and the German Confederation of Skilled Crafts (ZDH). The alliance aims to highlight fundamental issues, such as digital transformation, educational infrastructure, skilled labour, but also shine a spotlight on volunteer work and regional added value in rural areas.

Paid work strengthens voluntary work

The collaborative project entitled “Paid work strengthens voluntary work”, jointly initiated by the Association of German rural districts (Deutscher Landkreistag) and the BMEL, is being launched in 18 rural districts in 2020. This project tests models to see how sustainable structures for strengthening volunteer work can be established and improved at district level.

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