We want to discern the world in order to apply the acquired knowledge to the benefit of people and nature.This sentence from our mission statement best describes why we engage in international youth work.
Our partners come from Albania, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, France, Greece, Great Britain, Israel, Italy, Kosovo, Montenegro, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Serbia, Turkey. And we are open for more.
With the European Voluntary Service, we support an EU program that allows young people to gain work experience abroad. Unlike other programs, this is free for volunteers. We are host organization pleased with three active supporters but also assist in sending to other countries.
Our encounters with many partners are very different knitted. From bilateral encounters in the field of music to multilateral trainings with participants from up to 10 countries, we have much to offer.
Here quotes from participants of our international projects are posted.
After I finished my A-levels I decided to go abroad for one year, in order to back away from stress, to gain new experiences and to find something, that I would like to do after that year. My EVS in Greece on Chios island was a unique experience for me. I'd say that my project did not only meet my expectations, but it exceeded them.
My favourite part of work was my work in one of the local primary schools. I worked there as an assistant teacher the whole year, accompanied the teachers during the lessons and took over more and more responsibility. Especially in the beginning it was not always easy for me, since I didn't speak any word of Greek, but with the help of my Hosting Organisation, the Greek lessons and the close contact to the school's community during the working time, I got used to the Greek language quite fast.
Learning Greek was a lot of fun to me, and I was very happy to achieve a lot of progress. Thus, I became more and more included into the daily school routine.
Furthermore I really enjoyed working on the computers in my project. Together with the other volunteers I maintained various web sites of my organisation, uploaded new articles weekly and realized creative workshops for children and youngsters. It was perfect for me, so that I could extend my technological knowledge, what will be helpful for my future as well.
One of the best experiences was the living together with volunteers from all over Europe, learning about different traditions and habits and getting to know other languages. I made a lot of new friends during my EVS and got inspired by each one of them. I became much more open-minded and curious and support multiculturalism without any prejudices and fear now even more. This was definetely one of the most precious experiences I made in that year.
I was able to take a lot of responsibility and could show self-initiative. Thus, I became more independent and self-confident.
I did not expect that this year would change me as much as it did and that it helped me to make my decision, what to do with my life after my EVS. Since I really loved the work at the local primary school there, I decided to become a teacher myself. Without Greece, the help of "Roter Baum Berlin" and my Hosting Organisation "Experimental – TES" I guess I would have never come to this decision.
My EVS in Serbia was in fact a „once in a lifetime experience“ because of many reasons. First of all it gave me a self confidence boost because it was the first time I spent a longer period abroad- alone. But also I had the possibility to contribute my time to voluntary work in a great project- full time. But not only from the good days and successful projects I could profit but much more the lonely days and challenges in the projects made me learn a lot about myself. In the small Serbian city Vranje on the border to Kosovo and Macedonia I expreienced how life in the Balkans really looks like and what is the daily reality of people there. I gained a huge knowledge of the complex history and the community of different ethnics and religions in South Serbia. This experience gave me a closer and more critical view to the concept of Europe and the European Union. I learned the Serbian language and was able to communicate with local people that were not able to speak German or English which is one of the most satisfying accomplishments. I overcame the doubts of giving knowledge to others in another language like English. I overcame my fear to travel alone and I learned how to organize my daily life in a foreign country. Bojana my coordinator helped me a lot and gave me a feeling of a home from the first day. Even though she was busy with work she took the time to help me with obstacles so that I never had to fear any serious problems during that time.
After all it was more a personal than a professional profit that I took out of it but that is more worth than anything else.
In 2009, after a last semester as Erasmus student in Poland, I completed a bachelor in Sociology. This first experience abroad was very interesting but also frustrating cause too short. I decided then that it was time for me to go abroad for a longer time. I looked on the internet which possibilities I had and opted very fast for an EVS cause this seemed to fit perfectly to me and what I was looking for. Indeed, the EVS program was offering me the chance to go 1 year abroad and to work as volunteer for a social organisation. Perfect!
My EVS in Roter Baum lasted from june 2010 till may 2011 and it was a really amazing year. I had the chance to work in Buntes Haus with children (and their parents sometimes) and in Anna Landsberger with youngsters. In both places I had the opportunity to have my own projects, supported by people from the organisation. For instance, I did a music workshop with children and a couple of parents once a week in Buntes Haus. I also took part in the organisation of cultural events including concerts and differents artistic perfomances.
This was my first concrete contact with social work and I have to say that I really learned a lot of essential things (how to interact with kids, with adults, how to handle conflicts...). One of my strongest memory from this year is when I've been one of the leaders of a musical youth exchange between Germany and Israel. First of all cause I had to learn how to work in team and to plan activities for youngsters but also because I then had the chance to go with the german group to Israel and get to know this amazing country, its history and its culture.
When I arrived in Berlin, I couldn't speak any german and it was a bit complicated at the start to arrive in this big new city, living in a new flat, with new people from different cultures (Italy and Montenegro), having a new job and not being able to understand/be understood by most of the people.
But I actually felt fast fine here. I met nice people who became some friends of mine and found it great to see that my colleagues at work seemed very happy to have us there and very opened to all our ideas an propositions.
Roter Baum even gave me the chance a couple of times to play my own music on stage, which was in the same time stressful and very interesting.
This year as european volunteer at Roter Baum was definitely one of the most important year of my life, and the best proof that I actually felt really fine here is that 3 years later I'm still living in Berlin and working for Roter Baum.
I obtained bachelor’s degree in socio-cultural anthropology in 2011. After faculty, my main goal was gaining practical experience and professional competences. On personal level I wanted to challenge myself more further, which meant working and living in different circumstances. But, exiting a comfort zone is never easy.
I was aware of the problems I might come across. Learning new language is not the easiest thing in the world. Meeting and working with new people sometimes can be very stressful. But now, being a participant in the EVS program, I can’t deny that I’ve made one of the best decisions ever.
First of all, I was lucky enough to be accepted by the Roter Baum organization in Berlin. With this organization I had the opportunity to work both in the office and on the field, which meant addressing directly to young people. Communication with youngsters, learning language and foreign culture was the most important part of my EVS experience.
During my EVS time we had several international seminars. As a volunteer I had opportunity to gain greater insight in the implementation of international projects. Through cooperating with youth and social workers from all parts of Europe, I have gained many skills and tools which I will be able to use in my future profession as educator.
As a volunteer I enjoyed great support from Roter Baum’s team.
During my stay in Berlin I met many interesting people from all over the world. Some of them became my good friends. I visited every museum and I went to almost every club. Nightlife in Berlin is indescribably experience.
I learned German and I improved my Spanish. I also made a decision to learn Portuguese and Albanian. Why not? EVS program has helped me do discover some of my potentials and to upgrade my competences. Sky is the limit.
For me the project "Jelena Šantić - life for human rights" was one of the best that i ever had in my life. That's because I had a chance to work with different people and take some great results of work in the end. I'm talking by professional and personal stuff. I really loved the way that we were practicing and the way that music joined us. I would never believe that some different musicians can do so much for one day and can be so comprehensive, together. We had a point what we can do, then we just let our feelings spread away behind music and don't think about anything else, just doing the best we can, that feels amazing. I really would like to have more time with that group to do better stuffs but now we had a song that i will save with nostalgia forever and everytime remember our humanity how beautiful it is.
Good people, great organisation, great country, allot of fun and great results...
Big up for Martin who were there for us at any moment. So, A day may come when the courage of men fails, when we forsake our friends and break all bonds of fellowship, but it is not this day. An hour of wolves and shattered shields when the age of men comes crashing down, but it is not this day. And I hope to see everyone one day. Who knows? maybe tomorow
For this project, there are only good words that each and everyone of us can say. It was one of the best I have ever been to. Just the idea of mixing different people, different personalities to work together for one goal was amazing. Everybody was interested to finish their job and have good results. The host organization did their part very well. We loved the facilities and most of all we loved Berlin. Great city, great people.
The very best thing was the cooperation and that everybody left behind conflicts and politics and destroyed every lack of communication we had on the past.
This project showed that if we work together, we can all be part of the european family.
I am going to remember each and every one of you and I hope to see you all in the future.
So, this project was great opportunity to learn something more about true fighters like Jelena Santic was. We learned important lessons of not giving up and we all finished work on time! The biggest thing was that we were having fun in working proces, and that tells us, that good organization and good conditions (and good food ) (all thanks to Martin and Tika Truck) can animate people and bring good results. A lot of beers and cheers, easy getting up from bed eaven i sleep 3 ours by night (i am sorry for snoring). Biggest thing for me was that i found some amazing people and we are already planning to meet again private :)) It's a good day for freedom, it's a good day for keep fighting on... Love ya :))
I am impressed by the city, youth centers, organizations, activities and work. This was a great project, where I met many new people and made excellent working atmosphere. I am very grateful Roter Baum organizacici and Martin, who allowed us all. For me this is one of the best projects that I have ever participated through. I wish that all lasted a little longer, but I'm satisfied with the results we achieved in a short time. I hope there will be many more projects like this. SO!