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.
> Enquete-Kommission "Zukunft des Bürgerschaftlichen Engagements" des Deutschen Bundestages (Hrsg.) (2002): Bericht. Bürgerschaftliches Engagement auf dem Weg in eine zukunftsfähige Gesellschaft. Opladen: Leske und Budrich.