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Mission statement of the ijgd

The Internationale Jugendgemeinschaftsdienste (ijgd) as an association and institution of extracurricular youth education has been bringing together voluntarily dedicated young people from all over the world since 1949. As a non-profit, specialised organisation and one of the oldest and largest agencies of workcamps we organise various services within Germany and abroad ranging from a two week workcamp to a voluntary year. Fields of activity include social issues, ecology, democracy or monument preservation.

We work with people of all ages, although our work focuses on young people between 16 and 26, who we connect with our project partners and deployment sites. Volunteers receive our pedagogical guidance for the entire duration of the service. Our pedagogical, political education forms part of all our offered programmes and gives all participants the chance to become aware of social conditions.

Our work includes methods of non-formal education and we also support informal learning. For this purpose, we create spaces that allow young people to discover their own potential and competencies and have a chance to try out new things. We work with an 'error-friendly' approach. Volunteers apply creativity, act in solidarity and take on personal responsibility.

We are open-minded and independent of any political parties or religious institutions. We therefore reject social conditions that allow discrimination against, or exclude people based on: heritage, sex, sexual orientation, age, disabilities, economic status or religion. Human dignity is inviolable. With this in mind, we strive to convey an anti-racist, anti-sexist and inclusive human image.

It is our ambition to integrate as many people as possible into our work. We want to create a better world for ourselves and others without the logic of efficiency, even if for now this is only possible in our groups.

The flat hierarchy of the association, along with its transparent and open structure, offer volunteers, honorary members and the full-time employees the opportunity to have a say, take part in shaping the association and to participate (for example in self-initiated working groups). Honorary members receive professional support from our full-time employees, because the ijgd lives from the activities and commitment of all those who support the volunteers, our work and goals. We cultivate a good cooperative relationship with a network of project partners and deployment sites.

Agreed upon at the general meeting of 2014 in Helmstedt.