„European talents on the road”

Since 2017, the WERKstattSCHULE e.V. hosts each year 3 European Volunteer Service in its organisation. Thanks to this ERASMUS + program, 6 youngsters got the possibility to discover another country and support the activity of WERKstattSCHULE for 12 months in the city of Heidelberg.

Simona, Claudio, Klinton, Joséphine, Adrien and Ilke from Italy, France and Turkey arrived in spring to start their volunteering adventure. For most of them it was the first time in Germany, for most of them they didn’t speak the language at all and for some of them it was also the first time living by their own. Many first accomplishments!

To explain more concretely what our EVS do in their daily life here a sample of what is the typical day of an international volunteer of the WERKstattSCHULE:

– Start your day by 15 minutes of bicycle. Heidelberg is full of bicycle roads.

– Meet your colleagues and with them, jump in the car or truck with all the material you need and drive to the school where the volunteer will support the team in the organisation of the workshop

– During this workshop the volunteer support the colleagues by helping the youngster in its activity, guiding them in their learning creation

– Then the day finishes with a team meeting to know what was good, what could have been improved and what can be needed for the next session.

The team of WERKstattSCHULE got workers with many different talents: wood carving, mosaic, serigraphy, theatre, film making, music, cooking, painting or any constructions skills such as bench, mobile home, a stage or lamps in concrete. Our volunteer got the chances to discover many new fields and develop their skills in the area they like.

Each time, the presences of our EVS in the different workshops create some curiosity between the students and from teachers.  Usually the same questions come up “where do you come from? What are you doing here? and so on “. Since then, WERKstattSCHULE is developing more and more the promotion of the different mobility program for youngster. This year, the EVS will organised the first information session about mobility and volunteering.

Moreover, punctually the WERKstattSCHULE hosts youth camps for youngster coming from abroad. For our EVS is the opportunity, to help the team in logistic organisation, in the management of activities but also in the animation.

Also, we made possible our volunteer to live a “housing project” named Hagebutze it is located in the old casern of the American army where now live 70 people aged from 3 months to 79 years old. This project has been founded 3 years ago by people who wanted to create a living place made of sharing and exchange through the organisation of concerts, parties, dinners, meetings, cinema debates, dance workshops and more. Our volunteers got a shared apartment in this original location. This place contributes a lot to the good integration of our volunteers in their new life.

To conclude, here some quotes of our past EVS:

“The atmosphere is always friendly. At the same time, you can learn a lot with work and experience from each person.”

“It permitted me to learn many things and to feel more comfortable with kids in using tools on constructions sites, still learning with coworkers in the WERKstattSCHULE. You do easy things in the beginning if you don’t have any experience in it, but step by step you make progress in this job and be more independent.”

“I think it is WERKstattSCHULE really does a good job for society, especially for the young, even the most needy. You will find good people, available, you will learn new things that you do not know.”

About Hagebutze “In Heidelberg it’s almost impossible to find a better place to live. Except if you are an aristocrat and you want to live in the castle”