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The path to funding

Here you will learn how to plan and apply for a weltwärts exchange in the field of cultural education.

In a nutshell

What do we fund?

Extra-curricular youth group exchange ...

  • of young people between 16 and 30 years of age from Germany and one or more countries in Asia, Africa or Latin America (exception: countries with an unstable security situation). A special focus of funding is on projects with partner organisations in African countries.
  • which specifically addresses one of the 17 sustainability goals of the United Nations.
  • which is jointly developed and applied for by the partner organisations involved.
  • which enables a back-and-forth encounter and takes place over a period of a maximum of two years, including the preparatory and follow-up phases.
  • whose encounter phases include intensive artistic cooperation between the groups, thus enabling not only global learning but also intercultural learning processes.
  • whose individual encounter phases last for a minimum of 14 and a maximum of 30 days each.

Who do we fund?

Funding is provided for exchanges that are jointly planned and implemented by a non-profit organisation from Germany active in cultural learning and a project partner from a country of the Global South.

Important: Also organisations that are advised by the BKJ submit their application for a weltwärts encounter directly to Engagement Global

How high is the funding?

Funds from the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) cover up to 75 percent of the project's total expenditure. At least 25 percent of the expenditure must be covered by own funds or third-party funds. These may, for example, be participant contributions, donations, municipal or state funds, but not federal funds, e.g. from the Federal Government's Children and Youth Plan.

The total costs can generally be up to 50,000 euros. If an application is submitted by 30 September, amounts for larger-scale encounter projects which exceed these sums may also be applied for.

How is a funding application submitted?

Applications for funding must be submitted jointly to Engagement Global by the project partners in the form of an application partnership. Applications for funding can be submitted in German, English or French.

What are the application deadlines at Engagement Global?

Project startApplication to be received by
1 April 202431 Dezember (outline concept must be submitted by 5 Nov 2024)
1 Jan 202531 July 2024 (outline concept must be submitted by 5 June 2024)

Important: When submitting your application, please bear in mind that the project should start with the preparatory phase at least three months before the first encounter. Sample calculation: If you are planning the first meeting for the 3rd quarter, the project should start in the 2nd quarter and applications should be submitted by 30 December of the previous year. We also recommend that you contact Engagement Global by phone or email at least three months before you plan to submit your application, in order to receive appropriate advice on the application process. For general advice on cultural education projects in the context of weltwärts encounters, you can also contact the BKJ at any time.

Eight steps towards a weltwärts exchange in the area of cultural education


Analyse your own situation

  • Is our organisation in Germany already actively involved in international youth exchanges or is it interested in organising youth group exchanges with countries of the Global South in future?
  • Have we already developed specific plans or ideas or even found a potential partner organisation in another country?

Familiarise yourself with the funding guideline for Teams up! exchanges

  • Do the criteria of the Teams up! exchanges fund match our youth exchange formats and do we follow the general funding principles, such as partnership, sustainability and the full involvement of all participants?
  • Is our organisation interested in addressing development issues, such as the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), through cultural education?
  • Is there an SDG that particularly interests us or the young people in our organisation?

Engagement Global: terms and conditions


Initiate partnerships

Have we thought about which partner country of the African continent (if applicable, together with a third partner country in the Global South) would interest us or are we already working with an organisation in a specific country?

  • If not, do we have a strategy on what form partner matching or initial contact with a partner organisation could take?

We will be pleased to advise and assist you in finding a partner organisation.

Eligible partner countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America can be found in the DAC list of developing countries and territories (PDF).  Please note that we cannot provide funding for countries with travel warnings issued by the Federal Foreign Office (Reisewarnungen des Auswärtigen Amts).



Develop a project idea

A sound idea that succinctly outlines your artistic project and the form of the artistic work with the two youth groups is essential for successful youth exchanges. You should also consider how your project connects with your chosen Sustainable Development Goal. It is important that the project idea is developed together with your partner in the Global South from the very beginning and includes the perspectives of South and North and of the young people involved. If you wish to apply for funding through Teams up! exchanges, it is generally best to completely redesign your project.

You are welcome to submit an initial project outline to the BKJ for assessment. We recommend that you contact us for a first consultation at least six months before the planned start of your project.


Finalise your project

More detailed planning of your exchanges begins on the basis of further discussions with your partner organisation.

  • How can our artistic project be realised within the specific time frame available for the exchanges, for example within two periods of 14 days?
  • Do our plans include periods of reflection and time slots to deal with the transcultural situation?
  • How are we going to explore the chosen Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) and which interesting practitioners and places could be involved?
  • Who is going to be on the management teams and which and how many young people will be taking part in each country?
  • Who is going to be responsible for which parts of the organisation as things develop?

Lastly, you should check whether your plans meet the key funding criteria of Teams up! exchanges.


Prepare a draft application

First, you should get an overview of the documents that have to be completed:

  • application form
  • cost and financing plan
  • schedules
  • documents for the organisation assessment

The preparatory, intermediate and follow-up phases are just as important for the application as the two actual exchanges.

You can download all the necessary forms and information from the weltwärts exchanges fund website, where you will also find assistance with completing the application form and the cost and financing plan to help you with your first draft application.

Generally, applications should be manifestly prepared in partnership. Applications may be submitted in German, English or French. Engagement Global currently provides forms and information in German, English and French.

Organisation assessment

Please note that alongside the actual project application process, your organisation will be assessed directly by Engagement Global. Among other things, the assessment will look at the non-profit status and creditworthiness of your organisation. Organisations already registered with Engagement Global for other programmes will undergo a much shorter assessment. If your German organisation is too small to successfully pass the organisation assessment, you can “piggyback” onto a larger organisation.


Submit your application to Engagement Global

You must submit your complete application to Engagement Global at least three months before the start of your project. The BKJ itself is not involved in the application process, it only advises cultural education institutions on the Teams up! format in a general way. The exchange with the BKJ can be used to jointly reflect on whether the planned project in principle meets the criteria of Teams up! encounters combined with concepts of cultural education. 

Application deadlines

Project startApplication to be received by
1st quarter30 September of the previous year
2nd quarter31 December of the previous year
3rd quarter31 March
4th quarter30 June

Wait for funding confirmation and then seek further available guidance

After submission, the applications are reviewed and commented on by Engagement Global and, if necessary, returned to the applicant with requests for improvement. The applicant can then process the requested changes and submit an improved version of the application within a specified period of time. The final funding decision is made by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) on the basis of the review by Engagement Global. Feedback on whether a project will be funded or whether the funding is subject to certain conditions is provided by Engagement Global usually at the earliest one month before the planned start of the project. 

As BKJ, we will be pleased to advise you on the content and practical aspects of the actual organisation of your exchange even after your application has been granted!

Partners and funders

A project of

Logo der BKJ

Funded by

Logo von Engament Global – Service für Entwicklungsinitiativen

With funds from

Logo des Bundesministeriums für wirtschaftliche Zusammenarbeit und Entwicklung

Within the framework of

Logo des DAJW

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Your contact persons
Porträt von Volkmar LiebigVolkmar Liebig

jugend.kultur.austausch global

+49 30 - 48 48 60 54

Anja Schwalbe

jugend.kultur.austausch global

+49 30 - 48 48 60 53


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Die Bundesvereinigung Kulturelle Kinder- und Jugendbildung (BKJ) ist der Dachverband für Kulturelle Bildung in Deutschland.