Volunteering with Friedenskreis Halle e.V. was more than just being abroad and working
in one place of assignment. The whole experience was a learning process. It was a process of growing personally and professionally. This experience has helped me become more independent, more organized, self-confident, it has even changed my approach towards various things. No matter how cliché it may sound, being a volunteer is indeed a life changing experience.
I did my voluntary service in the elementary school Evangelische Grundschule Halle.
What I liked most about this school is that everything happens in an innovative atmosphere; it offers individual and interdisciplinary learning. The school is divided into two parts: school time and Hort (after school care). My tasks were also divided into two parts. I assisted teachers in the classroom, learning together with children German, English, Mathematics, arts and so forth and after school time I played different games and did different activities with children. When I started my voluntary service I couldn’t speak German at all and in the beginning I was afraid this was going to be a barrier between us but thankfully I was wrong. The children were so willing to communicate with me and teach me German using examples or even gestures; they would not laugh when I made a mistake but instead they would support me. I was there to teach them but in fact, I ended up learning a lot from them. Since the beginning of the voluntary service and until the end, the staff welcomed me and made me feel part of the team. The staff and especially my mentor were very supportive, and ready to help me every time I had a question. Doing my voluntary service at this school was one of the best decisions I ever made.
When I look back on this experience I think about all the moments that made me feel alive, the grounds my feet have walked, the kind people I met along the way who taught me new lessons in life. All these helped me grow and become the better version of myself. That’s why this will be the most valuable possession I will get from Germany. Once you live in a country you will forever belong there because you leave a piece of your heart in every place you have been and at the same time you take a part of that country with you wherever you go.
Leotrime Maxharraj from Istog , GAIA long-term volunteer in Germany (from 1st of January till 19th of September 2018)