Non-formal education in Germany. Volunteering in Westerkappeln

Hello, my name is Belén and I have been working as a teacher for about two years, a profession that I love. Due to my interest in learning about different educational systems around the world, I decided to do a European Volunteering Project in a Ganztstagsrundschule (the equivalent of an open center for children up to 11 years old), where I can work with the teachers of the school of this municipality and support the extracurricular activities and events organized by them during the course. non-formal education.

I have now been six months and I am very satisfied with everything I am learning and what I can contribute about my culture, knowledge or motivations. Actually, I would like to recommend doing this kind of projects to everyone who can, because it offers many opportunities to learn and to develop different skills: how to solve difficult situations, how to integrate into a new reality, etc.

As for the activities I have done or have participated in, they have been numerous and very different: sports classes after finishing school, helping children to do their homework, oriental cooking classes or dancing lessons.

One of the activities that I am most enjoying at this moment is a weekly session that takes place in the same center where I work, Haus der Wespe, to include newly arrived children in the host country, making an exchange of experiences mutual to know their reality.

Recently, I took advantage of the Carnival festivities in order to explain how we celebrate this festival in Catalonia and understand the origin of other traditions in Spain. During that day they showed special attention and wanted to know more about different festivities, which led to the creation of a new series of weekly talks on cultural celebrations from other countries within the same project.

In addition to the daily work at the center, I am fascinated by the number of people I am meeting, all different and interesting at the same time. Likewise, I have had the good fortune of knowing stories about classmates who have gone through difficult times in their country, with whom I have learned to have more global awareness and, although it is not always possible, to take action on all the problems. I think that getting to know people from different parts of the world helps to have a more open and critical mentality, and lets you know how to interact and get closer to people.

Now I am at the middle of the project and I have the feeling that this experience is getting shorter, so I want to take advantage of the little time left to me. In conclusion, this is an enriching experience to reflect and learn that, as I said before, I recommend to everyone!

Belén – Participant in a European Volunteering Project in Germany