How can a teenager help poor people

Volunteering needs you!

Old, sick and poor people as well as certain animal and plant species urgently need the help of others. We'll show you where children and young people can also do voluntary work!

"For the community, for science, for health, for politics, for the church, for education, for the family, for culture, for the environment, for sport, for the future, for all of us": A special postage stamp published in 2008 summarized the various fields of volunteering in Germany.

However, there are even more options for volunteering. Especially in the context of individual projects or within associations and initiatives, helpers are often sought spontaneously. There are now said to be a good 100 million of these voluntary workers in Germany. This is often not so easy for children, because most projects are aimed at adults.

We asked around at the largest clubs and organizations for you: How can children and young people volunteer with you? These are the answers!


Active sponsors

There are over 1600 projects all over Germany in which active sponsors are involved. These can be entire families who regularly take care of orphans or individuals who work with children in daycare centers, libraries or primary schools. The reading mentoring projects could be suitable for children. These usually take place in a publicly protected framework and are also aimed at children as readers.

Further information is available here:

Arbeiter-Samariter-Bund e.V. (ASB)

The ASB is a national aid and welfare organization and stands above all for emergency rescue and first aid. Trained specialists are of course indispensable. However, they have announced the year 2014 as the 'Year of Youth' and accordingly launched many campaigns by and for young people. Children under the age of 16 can work independently in the school medical service. In addition, the ASB has its own youth association, the Arbeiter-Samariter-Jugend (ASJ).

Further information can be found here: and here:

Workers' Welfare Organization (AWO)

The work of the AWO applies to disadvantaged children and adults, senior citizens, people with disabilities, people with a migration background, the homeless, the unemployed and the sick. The engagement of children takes place within the AWO in youth organizations. From the age of 16, for example, it is possible to take part in training as a youth leader. Another option is the 'Social Driving License' project, in which students between the ages of 14 and 17 can get to know volunteer work. In addition, game days are often offered in retirement homes. And there are also classic opportunities to participate - such as youth camps and leisure activities in youth centers.

You can find more information on the homepage of the Federal Youth Organization of the AWO:

Federal Association of Station Missions

The station mission helps homeless and poor people with warm clothes, food or emergency shelter. There is a constant search for employees who want to help people in need at the train station. Further information and offers for minors, for example about internships at the station mission, should be obtained from the respective regional missions. You know exactly where the need is greatest.

The information about where the mission is active in your area can be found here:

The johanniter

Even under 16s can get involved in the youth association of Johanniter-Unfall-Hilfe, the Johanniter-Jugend. Here you have two options: You can work as a member of a regional Johanniter youth group or you can work as a school paramedic through the school. The youngest children in these youth groups are six years old. There are currently 238 youth groups in Germany with over 4000 members. Many of them deal with first aid, but other group activities such as cooking, Whitsun camps and much more are also on the program. School paramedics usually start work in the eighth grade. Here you will learn how to help your classmates in an emergency.

Further information is available here:

Federal Association of German Food Banks

The food banks try to exchange food between rich and poor people. This means that retailers or private individuals can donate their impeccable but unused food to the board, which people in need can then help themselves to. Thousands of voluntary helpers and donors support the national project - and others over the age of 13 are always wanted.

Here, too, you should inquire about the boards in your city directly:

German Red Cross (DRK)

The German Red Cross is one of the largest organizations in Germany and therefore has a lot of opportunities for children and young people. Any child from the age of six can become a member of the Youth Red Cross. Later on, the volunteers can specialize in certain areas - for example, the mountain or water rescue service is waiting. There are also a number of different projects depending on the regional association.

You can find all contact details on the Jugendrotkreuz homepage:

German Committee of Youth for Understanding

Bad news for children on the part of the YFU: The volunteers in the organization are usually at least 16 years old, as most of them only get involved after their own exchange year. Voluntary work is also geared towards young people from the age of 16 and up. In this respect, the younger children still have to be patient. Some basic information - for later - can be found at:


As part of the Malteser Association, children and young people have the opportunity to get involved in the school medical service: around 8,000 children across Germany have already completed such first aid training. They react when there is an emergency and look after the person until the rescue service arrives. The Maltese Youth is another major topic of the organization, in which various projects are implemented. The best known of these always takes place on St. Nicholas Day: Then the Maltese youth visit older people in the homes or meet people with disabilities. They can also take part in the federal youth camp, which takes place once a year.

Further information and the contacts to the regional associations can be found here:

Technical Relief Organization (THW)

As with the other aid organizations, it is also possible for THW youth to volunteer as a child and young person. At each of the 668 THW locations there is a youth group in which children and young people aged 10 and over can participate. Sometimes there are also so-called mini-groups, which are aimed at children between 6 and 9 years of age. In these groups, the girls and boys meet regularly in order to be introduced to the technology of the THW and to learn the 'basics of rescue methods'. Of course, excursions, sightseeing and trips to the tent camp are also on the program.

Further information can be found here:

Reading Club of the Reading Foundation

Young people under the age of 16 can volunteer for reading, for example as a "reading scout". The scouts receive suggestions and support for their commitment at regular, free workshops organized by the Reading Foundation.

You can find more about this at

In addition, young people can get involved as volunteer readers in daycare centers or retirement homes. They are supported with practical information and assistance from the Reading Foundation's "Reading Network". This is true not only for young people, but for all volunteer readers nationwide.

nature and environment


BUNDjugend offers projects, campaigns, seminars and free time all over Germany, the majority of which are also aimed at young people and children under the age of 16. In addition, many young people are organized in youth groups; they use the regional associations of BUNDjugend as a contact point. From practical nature conservation to a personal climate experiment, children and young people can choose what suits their interests, but they can also plan their own activities. In addition, the BUND offers many local offers for children, including within the framework of over 2,000 different district and local groups.

More information about BUNDjugend projects is available here:


EUROPARC Germany coordinates the nationwide Junior Ranger program, which, by the way, has been cooperating with GEOlino for a long time. There children and young people can get involved in nature conservation. The aim of the junior ranger program is to get children and young people excited about biological diversity and to encourage them to actively support nature and environmental protection.

All of this always happens in the great outdoors and within groups with the same interests. There is more to read here:


Young people under the age of 16 can get involved with Greenpeace in so-called "green teams". These are small groups that children set up with friends or at school to get involved in environmental issues of their own choosing. Greenpeace supports the teams with a beginner's manual, information material and hands-on activities. The last nationwide children's hands-on campaign on the subject of the Arctic ended on April 10, 2014. On the occasion of the Arctic Conference in Berlin, over 60 children handed over 50,000 signatures to the Federal Foreign Office to protect the Arctic.

On the Greenpeace children's page there is a lot more information about Greenteams