World Population Day was introduced by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) on 11 July 1989. According to statistical calculations, this was the day on which the world population passed the five billion mark. Since then humankind has continued to rapidly rise in number – by 230,000 a day. The UN anticipates a world population of 9.6 billion in 2050. The number of births is increasing significantly, above all in Asia and Africa. On the other hand, fewer children are being born in Germany – as in many industrialized nations – and demographic trends point to an aging society.
The Bonn-based foundation Senior Experten Service (SES) is building bridges between young and old and between North and South. It sends “experts in active retirement” to work worldwide. Although the retirees and pensioners are mainly active in smaller and medium-sized enterprises and institutions of vocational education or healthcare, they also work for organizations like the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ). As a rule, these voluntary assignments take participants to Africa, Asia and Latin America as well as Central and Eastern Europe for three to six weeks. The history of the SES began in 1983 with a handful of helpers and a few assignments. Today the foundation describes itself as the largest German organization involved in sending retired voluntary specialists abroad. It has almost 11,000 registered experts and has completed roughly 30,000 assignments in 160 countries since its foundation 30 years ago.
International World Population Day on 11 July