• Organisation: Kreisjugendwerk der AWO Karlsruhe-Stadt
  • Location: Southampton, United Kingdom
  • Deadline for application: ASAP
  • Start of project: October 2019
  • End of project: September/October 2020


The volunteer will live in a five-bedroom house which is on the same site as Tools for Self Reliance. The volunteer will have their own bedroom but will share communal areas such as the kitchen, bathroom and lounge with the other ESC volunteers. There are bicycles available for the volunteers to use. The volunteer will work Monday – Friday 09.00 – 17.00 with a 30-minute tea break at 11.00 – 11.30- and one-hour lunch between 13.00 – 14.00. The allowance is £80 each week. (approx. €90).

Tools for Self Reliance is situated in Netley Marsh which is on the edge of the New Forest, approximately 11km from the main city of Southampton and 4km from Totton. For more information about Tools for Self Reliance and our work in the UK and Africa please visit .

Tools for Self Reliance is a UK based charity, established in 1980. Our mission is to contribute to poverty reduction in Africa by working with partner organisations and our supporters in the UK to empower people to build viable and sustainable livelihoods through the delivery of technical, business and life skills training and through the provision of tools for their trades.

From our headquarters in Southampton, we aim to send four to five shipments each year to our projects in Africa. We collect and refurbish hand tools, hand and electric sewing machines as well as some machinery. We raise funds in the UK to enable our partner organisations in Africa to deliver 12 months vocational, business and life skills training to the project participants. When the participants graduate from the training, they will receive a kit of tools to support them to develop a business.

We have 30 active refurbishing groups from as far afield as Aberdeen down to Devon and they support and contribute to our work in Africa. These refurbishing groups collect tools in their local area, refurbish them and either pack them in to kits or send the tools to Tools for Self Reliance headquarters in Southampton for inclusion in future kits.

The ESC volunteers will be based at the headquarters in Southampton, but they would have the opportunity to accompany the Group Support Officer on visits to some of the groups.

Tools for Self Reliance has a small staff team of six full time workers and four part time. We have around 700 volunteers in the UK, 130 of which are at Netley Marsh headquarters. They support our work in a variety of ways including tool refurbishing, giving talks to publicise our work, ebaying unsuitable tools as a fundraising initiative and attending events.

We are pleased to say that many of our daily volunteers have supported us in our work for more than 20 years.


The principal activities will involve the volunteer supporting our charitable aims by contributing to practical tasks including learning about tools, industrial equipment and working practices in the workshop and warehouse and health and safety.

These tasks will necessitate working alongside retired people from the local community, people from other countries, and people from diverse backgrounds, occasionally young people from local schools and colleges and adults with learning difficulties. This will meet objectives regarding cultural and intergenerational diversity, understanding of learning styles, as well as gaining practical, problem solving and team working skills. The desired outcome for the volunteer will be to improve future employment, return to education and development prospects through the acquisition of skills and practical experience.

Tools for Self Reliance value the opportunity to offer as many different experiences and learning opportunities to the volunteer during their ESC project. We appreciate the flexibility to incorporate their skills and interests into their weekly activities.

In our experience, the volunteers who come to Tools for Self Reliance are young people with very little or no work experience and this experience may be the first time they are in a work environment. Through their volunteering, they will learn effective communication skills and safe practices. During the day to day work preparing shipments for Africa and learning refurbishing skills with the daily volunteers there will be occasions where the volunteer will work as part of a team or on their own. Both of these situations require different skill sets. When working independently on a task, the volunteer learns to problem solve, recognise when they need to ask for guidance and seeing a task through from beginning to end. When working in a team, they will learn or enhance skills such as listening to other people’s opinions, putting forward suggestions and task planning. All of these new skills lead to an increase in confidence and self-esteem as well as job satisfaction. They are also lifelong skills which will be beneficial to the volunteer in future further education, work and social settings.


Communication in a foreign language: Improving English language skills is very often cited by young volunteers as a reason for wanting to do ESC. Increased comprehension and expression of the English language will be achieved by daily contact with the daily volunteers and staff in the organisation. Staff and daily volunteers are committed to supporting the volunteers with their English language. The sharing of colloquial language is mutually enjoyed by the ESC and daily volunteers and in our experience, the volunteers enjoy learning about the history of saying and phrases which are frequently used. This is reciprocal as the daily volunteers have reported that they enjoy learning about the ESC volunteers local language and sayings. Sharing the house with other ESC volunteers from different nationalities to their own also enables them to practice with each other and improve their conversational skills.

Cultural awareness: Tools for Self Reliance is keen to provide opportunities that lead to a better understanding of each other’s cultures and demystify cultural behaviours and attitudes and therefore avoid potential misunderstandings. Tools for Self Reliance, including its daily volunteers, places a great deal of value on working in this European framework as it enables people to see life from a wide variety of viewpoints. The project will lend the opportunity to increase the ESC and daily volunteers’ cultural competencies and develop a greater understanding of cultural diversity and of their own culture.

Personal project: The volunteer will have the opportunity to develop a personal project which will take place from around month three. This is encouraged by Tools for Self Reliance, and time during the week as well as support will be allocated. The personal project will incorporate the volunteers’ skills and interests. It will give the volunteer the opportunity to use these, practice previously acquired skills and develop new ones. It will require the volunteer to use skills such as developing realistic ideas, task planning, using your initiative and problem solving. Staff and/or daily volunteers will be available to support the projects should it be wanted or required.



Flight and Visa costs reimbursed and assistance provided

Apply by sending us your CV and Motivation letter (with the subject of your email as “ESC Southampton”) by 4th of October on


For any questions or clarification feel free to contact us