Bericht von Adla Šljivo, unserer Freiwilligen aus Bosnien

I'm writing this sitting next to the Saale river, watching the sunset painting the sky in pastel colors. Everyday I prove to myself that this was the best decision I could have made. It all started in January and 8 months later I'm in a bus driving for 24 hours. All formalities and traveling were worth it as soon as I saw Inger picking us up in Leipzig, driving us home while the sunrise was welcoming us. Since arriving this city brought me peace and opportunity to do what I enjoy the most and that's being in the woods by river listening to music or reading. I could go on walks for hours and still discover more creative work of  local artist, which are giving the city a soul along with the breathtaking architecture.

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Freiwilligenbericht von Marina Milic (englisch)

My volunteer story begins on April 1, 2022. Although almost 3 months have passed since then, I remember very vividly the day when I arrived at the airport in Leipzig after 16 hours traveling by bus. I remember that it was much colder than it was in Serbia, that it was raining, and that I was very scared. Fortunately, that feeling didn’t last long. As the saying goes, a man can easily get used to the good things, and so can to Halle and his new life here.

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Bericht von unserer Freiwilligen Suada

On December 2021 started my volunteering journey in Halle and my place of assignment would be KindsElternCentrum in Lieskau.
From 13 of December up to now I have been working with kids from 4 up 6 years old.

The first day I was a bit stressed because I didn't know what to expect, how the kids would be with me and my colleagues too. Even though I had previously worked with kids in Turkey for almost 4 years, I was afraid that I wouldn't be able to do it. I was afraid that my lack of understanding german would make it harder for me.But with the time I saw that my fears were a bit baseless! There I found a very good environment full of very nice people and amazing kids. At first I had to get accustomed with the kindergarten rules and where everything was and how to acquire stuff.

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Bericht von Stefan Milosavjevic, unserem Freiwilligen aus Serbien (engl.)

My volunteering program started in November last year at Passage 13 in Halle. The first months were spent adjusting to new social and work environment and meeting new people. Colleagues in the organization and other volunteers helped me in facilitating this process. However, the biggest problem that everyone faces is language - it limits the possibility of a normal social interaction. Nevertheless, after a few months, I learned a basic knowledge of German and that helps me communicate and interact with the young people I work with.

Passage 13 is a relatively new organization operating in Neustadt. The organization has a large space that allows young people to socialize and educate themselves. Passage 13 brings together different social groups (youth, women, and other groups). The team working there helped me integrate into the new circumstances and gave me full support along the way. After two months, I organized a reading club at Passage 13 in collaboration with the University of Halle, which aimed to bring together young people and the general public to read and reflect together on social, political, and other topics. In the realization of this project, I had the full support of my team with which I work. The reading club will be a place where people will gather every two months and agree on future activities.

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Zwischenseminar der Outgoing Freiwilligen in Mali Idos/ Serbien

Anfang März haben unsere Freiwilligen ihr Zwischenseminar absolviert und somit die zweite Hälfte ihres Freiwilligendienstes begonnen. Einladen konnten wir ebenso Freiwillige der Organisationen Kurve Wustrow, Jesuiten weltweit und Internationaler Bund Kassel. Die Freiwilligen absolvieren ihren Dienst weitestgehend auf dem Westbalkan, aber auch aus Bulgarien und Griechenland kamen Freiwillige hinzu.
Das Seminar war geprägt von zahlreichen Diskussionen über die Rolle(n) der Freiwilligen, die Geschichte und aktuelle politische Situation in den Balkanländern. Aber auch der Austausch über alltägliche Fragen, die vielen Seiten des WG-Lebens und Herausforderungen in der Selbstversorgung waren zentral.

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Mahnwachen gegen den Krieg: nicht aufhören, zu erinnern

Text von Wilhelm Ullrich (FSJ 2021/2022)

Seit mittlerweile über drei Wochen halten wir auf dem Markt von Halle täglich eine Mahnwache für den Frieden in der Ukraine ab. Und auch wenn ab nächster Woche nur noch zweimal die Woche hier sein werden, möchten wir weiter machen. Warum? Diese Frage wurde uns nicht selten gestellt.
Ich würde hier gerne mit einer Gegenfrage antworten. Wie oft pro Tag denken Sie an den Krieg in der Ukraine? Oft? Selten? Gar nicht? Am 24. Februar sind viele Menschen durch die Nachricht des Einmarsches entsetzt gewesen. Doch jetzt ist wieder Alltag eingekehrt. Die Nachrichten sind zur Tagesordnung geworden. Wenn ich bei der Mahnwache bin und Menschen vorbei gehen sehe, die einen Seitenblick auf die Schilder werfen und denken: „Stimmt, der Krieg herrscht ja immer noch”, dann weiß ich, warum ich dort stehe. Als Erinnerung. Dieser Krieg geht weiter. Und auch wenn wir das nicht jede wache Minute im Kopf behalten können, sollten wir nicht vergessen.

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Bericht unserer Freiwilligen Suada, die im KindsElternCentrum Lieskau arbeitet

“Every person can make a difference and every person should try”, said John F. Kennedy a long time ago but nowadays it seems so accurate. When even we are in 21 century, we still face a lot of wars, crimes, hunger, and inequality... We still face judgment based on skin color, race, nationality, or religion. And me all my life, starting as a student, as a volunteer, teacher, and journalist I have tried to fight against these. Last week I hold a small presentation about Albania, my country of origin in the kindergarten where I currently work as a volunteer KindsElternCentrum Lieskau. It was a way to let kids know a bit more about me, my beautiful country, our culture, and language but most of all to show them that there are other countries and cultures. I wanted to show these kids that being different is not bad, in fact is great because we can learn so much from eath-other.

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Ermal Progni berichtet über seinen Freiwilligendienst

5th of March 2020, a calm day before the storm. After a positive interview I am accepted to the program. Little did I know that in one week everything would change and I would have to wait 1 year and a half to get to Halle after all the travel and visa delays.

My journey starts in late august and my place of assignment would be Friedenskreis Halle e.V. I arrived on the weekend and had 3 days to prepare before starting. Fortunately, I found my other volunteer room-mates and asked them a million questions about the city and the organization.

The first day I was a bit anxious but that disappeared after entering the office. Bojana, my coordinator and mentor whom I met on the first day, welcomed me again. There I found a very vibrant office full of very nice people. At first I had to get accustomed with all the office rules, where everything was and how to acquire stuff. A lot of information but I was excited. I will always remember that first lunch break. It is a time where everyone in the office gathers and speaks of everything apart from daily business. There I got the chance to introduce myself a bit more and get to know the others more personally and their passions and opinions. I felt so welcomed as if I don’t come from another country and I don’t really speak the language or know the culture. They were curious and treated me as an equal, especially from my mentor Bojana, whom I can’t thank enough for all her guidance and care.

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