Dates: 5 October 2020 – 30 September 2021
Venue: Bremen, Germany
Programme and action: European Solidarity Corps, volunteering projects – long-term
Please read the info on the hosting organization’s website..
Hosting organization: NaturKultur, e. V.
Volunteer: Olga Vlasova
Almost one year ago I was preparing all the necessary documents to start my ESC volunteering in Germany. Almost one year ago I was thinking which kind of experience I would like to get from this opportunity. I had a lot of ideas and plans but at the end it turned to be even more than I could imagine or plan…
Before I start, let me briefly describe my volunteering position: during the whole year (October 2020 – September 2021) I was volunteering at the Theater11 & KiWi Schule (Bremen, Germany), working on the projects around integration through different kinds of art (for instance, drawing, theatre, dance). Mostly I was working with bilingual children, teaching them different art techniques, classical ballet dance and languages (Russian and English). In addition, I participated in a so-called Shadow Theatre project, creating a design of the puppets for future performances. During my volunteering I also got an opportunity to slightly touch an area of project & budget planning. As my project “Achieve recognition through social media” was dedicated to work on organization’s visibility on social media platforms I was also partly responsible for this area.
And now let’s go back to the experience itself. Honestly speaking, it is not the easiest task for me to write about all the things that I have learnt, all the skills that I have improved, all the nice people who I have met during this year. There is so much to share that it is difficult to find a starting point. But let me just quickly take a look back at the beginning, middle and last months of my work in Bremen.
Although corona regulations became stricter, I experienced and learnt a lot during my first months of volunteering. Everything (tasks at work, people in my surrounding, general atmosphere in the city) was new for me and I was very passionate about getting to know my environment as much as possible. I was so lucky to experience supportive and warm-hearted approach from people who surrounded me. Moreover, I was happy that me and my hosting organization (Theater11) found a way to re-arrange originally planned tasks under the new conditions. So, I got a unique chance to apply my drawing skills to create a requisite for our new project. As a part of my volunteer program, I also participated in the Social Media Management Course that brought lots of interesting and useful knowledge in my life.
The next months of my volunteering were a lot about practicing and improving different kinds of skills, of course including the social ones I was discovering new cultures thanks to other volunteers who come from all over the world. I should add that every conversation was for me like a small imaginary trip to the country that we were talking about. It was especially very refreshing when the strict corona regulations were in place and there were no possibilities to go abroad. Additionally, it was a time when I acquired a plenty of technical skills at my workplace(s). I got a chance to open new classes at the school (English and ballet), learnt how to work with different programmes for video editing, and dived deeper in the area of the project planning. And the last but definitely not the least, that was a time of a rocket progress in improving my German language skills.
The last months of my volunteering brought such a diverse experience in my life as well. I was (finally) able to work on rehearsals and performances from Theater11 as corona regulations were not too strict anymore. Together with my colleagues from the theatre I was organizing and participating in an art summer camp for children which took place on a beautiful island Borkum in the northern Germany. I got a chance to make (this time) not imaginary trips () to some countries and amazing places in Germany.
Working later on creation of my Youthpass (being a volunteer you will definitely hear this word many times ), I realized even more how bright and diverse this volunteering year was for me. I would like to sincerely thank all the people who co-create this wonderful year together with me. I strongly believe that such the volunteering opportunity could bring a valuable experience to everyone who eagers to know more about themselves, others and the world around us.
Are you IN for the ESC year? 😉,