Hi, searchers for adventures! My name is Karina and since 6 months I`ve been doing my voluntary service in Berlin. And I definitely have something to share with you. I would start with telling you, why in my opinion you need to do a volunteering year abroad. When you're quite young, just after school or even after graduating from a university in Ukraine, you might have a question “So what`s next?”. And right after this question in the fourth academic year I saw a proposal about a voluntary project in Germany. I was studying German translation and I really like this country, so I had decided, that it was a great chance to find an answer for a question “So what's next?”.
In Berlin I came to the FEZ which is a centre for leisure and recreation. I got into the team with my coordiantor Micha Kunsmann, and so my adventure started.
My main activity in FEZ is project management, and not just easy things - people here trust me with organizing events - from making lists of materials up to discussing contracts with professionals, who make workshops here. Also I'm working with children of different age. And topics that we have here are about democracy, healthy communication and many others. During these 6 months I`ve learned many things that will be useful in my future. FEZ team and my coordinator gave me enough freedom to develop and learn, however I still have a lot of free time for self-development, for fun and for collecting energy for my future accomplishments.
I`d like to add, that personally for me the knowledge of the German language became a huge advantage, because I can be quite independent. When you have active communication with many people, it is really helpful when you can understand them without problems from the first time.
There are 4 European volunteers in our organisation, who have one flat for two people, and the organization itself has many young people. So there is no problem in finding new friends. We're going out together sometimes or having non-formal meetings with snacks and live conversations. We have even our own group - Youth@FEZ.
Moreover, I have 24 vacation days in a year, so I have enough time for travelling. Besides, the project is funded well enough not to worry about the food, monthly transportation and pocket money.
In general these 6 months have changed me in a good way, in particular thanks to the support of my coordinator and my relatives and friends, who taught me a lot of things. And most importantly, I've found an answer to the question “So what's next?”, because I had a chance to try so many things and to understand, what I want.
So if you`re thinking of making a voluntary year, I`m telling you - don`t think, do it and you definitely won't regret.
Karyna Rybalko, 21 years old, Kharkiv