Service learning combines three activities – engagement, learning and reflection.  Engagement is defined as a voluntary service by an individual or several persons for a social cause. The service activity may benefit a specific person or group of persons or society as a whole.


Based on the survey of volunteers, about one third of all Germans are already socially active, and one third willing and ready to become involved in community service (see  Gensicke/Geis 2010). Community involvement takes place in a organized fashion, this means primarily at non-profit organizations and at the local level. Politicians and administrators as well as community trusts and private enterprises support this citizen engagement in a variety of ways.