knowing me - knowing you

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.


participants' comments
Here quotes from participants of our international projects are posted.

The European Solidarity Corps is a wonderful opportunity to live and work abroad for a specific period of time. The only requirement: you have to be between 18 and 30 years old.

My name is Benedikt, I'm 19 years old and decided to live for half a year abroad in Latvia. Here I worked in a youth house and made a special experience that will probably be a life- long memory:

Throughout that experience to live abroad I learned a lot for myself. I lived in a foreign country, with new people and a new language. Everyone who experienced that once knows what I am talking about. Thanks to the European Solidarity Corps I had a volunteer job, an accommodation with two other volunteers as well as a monthly pocket money which covers all your essentials to live.

I believe that these kinds of projects lead to a huge personally shape. You will learn a lot about yourself. Strengths, weaknesses or maybe you even find the answer where you want to go in life. “To travel educates” sums it up pretty well. A project of the European Solidarity

Corps opens your eyes and gives you a new feeling of being open-minded. A different perspective than your familiar comfort zone gives you at home.

I wish everyone who is interested in living abroad for a while such an opportunity and experience. Doubts are part of it – everyone has it – but in the end the good moments overweigh and of those you will have a lot. There's nothing left to say. Just go for it!

Link to a blogsite I have written on

https://www.youthreporter.eu/de/profil/BenediktsReports/

 

After graduating from high school, I decided to go abroad for a year to get away from the stress, gain new experiences and get an idea of what I want to be when I grow up. My EVS in Greece on the island of Chios was a really unique experience for me. I would say my project there not only met my expectations, but exceeded them.

I had the most fun working at one of the local primary schools. I was allowed to accompany the lessons there as an assistant teacher for the whole year and gradually took on more and more responsibility. Of course, it was quite difficult for me, especially at first, as I didn't understand a word of Greek, but with the help of my organisation, the Greek lessons and the constant contact with the school community during my work, I got used to it well after a while. I really enjoyed learning Greek and it made me happy to see more and more progress after a while. I was then able to become much more deeply involved in everyday school life and find my place.

I was also very happy with the computer work in my project. Together with the other volunteers, I worked for different websites of our organisation, uploaded new articles every week, made my own videos and implemented creative ideas with children and young people in computer seminars. For me, the work was really great to learn a bit more about computers and technology, which will probably be quite useful in the future.

One of the best experiences in my opinion was living with so many other volunteers from all over Europe, learning interesting customs and the other languages. I made a lot of new friends during my European Voluntary Service and was inspired by each of them. I have become much more open and curious and am now much more committed to multicultural coexistence without prejudices and inhibitions. Definitely one of the most valuable experiences of my year.

I was able to take on a lot of responsibility and show a lot of initiative, which has helped me to become much more independent and self-confident. I didn't expect it to this extent myself, but the year on Chios really changed me and also showed me what I want to do with my life now. Since I enjoyed working at the school and with the children in Greece so much, I now want to become a teacher myself. Without Greece, my sending organisation "Red Tree Berlin" and my receiving organisation "Experimental - TES", I probably would never have thought about it.

My EVS in Serbia was indeed a "once in a lifetime experience" for many reasons. First of all, it gave me confidence because it was the first time I was abroad for a longer period of time - alone. But I also had the opportunity to volunteer my time full-time in a big project. But not only could I benefit from the good days and successful projects, but also the lonely days and challenges in the projects made me learn a lot about myself. In the small Serbian town of Vranje on the border with Kosovo and Macedonia, I experienced what life in the Balkans is really like and what the daily reality of the people there is. I gained a great knowledge of the complex history and community of different ethnicities and religions in southern Serbia. This experience made me closer and more critical to the concept of Europe and the European Union. I learned the Serbian language and was able to communicate with locals who were not able to speak German or English, which is one of the most satisfying achievements. I overcame the doubts of giving knowledge to others in another language like English. I overcame my fear of travelling alone and learned how to organise my daily life in a foreign country. Bojana, my coordinator, helped me a lot and made me feel at home from the first day. Although she was busy with work, she took the time to help me with obstacles, so I never had to fear any serious problems during this time.

In the end, it was more of a personal gain than a professional one that I took out, but that is worth more than anything else.

In 2009, after a final semester as an Erasmus student in Poland, I completed a Bachelor's degree in Sociology. This first experience abroad was very interesting, but also frustrating because it was too short. I then decided it was time for me to go abroad for longer. I searched the internet for the options I had and I very quickly decided on an EVS because it was a perfect fit for me and what I was looking for. In fact, the EVS programme offered me the opportunity to work abroad for a year and volunteer for a social organisation. Perfect!

My EVS in Roter Baum lasted from June 2010 to May 2011 and it was a really great year. I had the opportunity to work in the Buntes Haus with children (and their parents sometimes) and in Anna Landsberger with young people. In both places I had the opportunity to have my own projects, supported by people from the organisation. For example, once a week I did a music workshop with children and a few parents at the Buntes Haus. I also took part in organising cultural events including concerts and various artistic performances.

This was my first concrete contact with social work and I must say that I really learned a lot of essential things (how to deal with children, with adults, with conflicts...). One of my strongest memories of this year is that I was one of the leaders of a musical youth exchange between Germany and Israel. First of all, I had to learn how to work in a team and plan activities for young people, but also because I then had the chance to go to Israel with the German group and get to know this amazing country, its history and culture.

When I arrived in Berlin, I couldn't speak German and it was a bit complicated at the beginning to arrive in this big new city, living in a new flat, with new people from different cultures (Italy and Montenegro), with a new job and not being able to understand / be understood by most people.

But I felt very good here. I met nice people who became friends of mine and it was great to see that my colleagues at work were very happy to have us there and very open to all our ideas and suggestions. Roter Baum even gave me the chance to play my own music on stage, which was stressful and very interesting at the same time.

This year as a European volunteer at Roter Baum was definitely one of the most important of my life, and the best proof that I really felt comfortable here is that 3 years later I am still living in Berlin and working for Roter Baum.

2011 habe ich den Bachelor in Sozio-Kulturanthropologie gemacht. Nach der Fakultät bestand mein Hauptziel darin, praktische Erfahrungen und berufliche Kompetenzen zu sammeln. Auf persönlicher Ebene wollte ich mich weiter herausfordern, was bedeutete, dass ich unter anderen Umständen arbeiten und leben musste. Aber eine Komfortzone zu verlassen ist nie einfach.

Ich war mir der Probleme bewusst, auf die ich stoßen könnte. Das Erlernen neuer Sprachen ist nicht die einfachste Sache der Welt. Treffen und Arbeiten mit neuen Leuten kann manchmal sehr stressig sein. Aber jetzt, da ich am EVS-Programm teilnehme, kann ich nicht leugnen, dass ich eine der besten Entscheidungen aller Zeiten getroffen habe.

Ich hatte das Glück, vom Roten Baum in Berlin angenommen zu werden. Mit dieser Organisation hatte ich die Möglichkeit, sowohl im Büro als auch auf dem Feld zu arbeiten, was bedeutete, dass ich mich direkt an junge Leute wandte. Die Kommunikation mit Jugendlichen, das Erlernen der Sprache und die Fremdkultur waren der wichtigste Teil meiner EFD-Erfahrung.

Während meiner EVS-Zeit hatten wir mehrere internationale Seminare. Als Freiwilliger hatte ich Gelegenheit, einen besseren Einblick in die Durchführung internationaler Projekte zu bekommen. Durch die Zusammenarbeit mit Jugend- und Sozialarbeitern aus allen Teilen Europas habe ich viele Fähigkeiten und Werkzeuge erworben, die ich in meinem zukünftigen Beruf als Erzieher einsetzen kann.

Als Volontärin habe ich vom Team von Roter Baum große Unterstützung erfahren.

Während meines Aufenthaltes in Berlin habe ich viele interessante Leute aus der ganzen Welt getroffen. Einige von ihnen wurden meine guten Freunde. Ich habe jedes Museum besucht und bin in fast jeden Club gegangen. Das Nachtleben in Berlin ist eine unbeschreibliche Erfahrung.

Ich habe Deutsch gelernt und ich habe mein Spanisch verbessert. Ich traf auch eine Entscheidung, Portugiesisch und Albanisch zu lernen. Warum nicht? Das EVS-Programm hat mir geholfen, einige meiner Potenziale zu entdecken und meine Kompetenzen zu verbessern. Der Himmel ist die Grenze.

Für mich war das Projekt "Jelena Šantić - Leben für Menschenrechte" eines der besten, die ich je in meinem Leben hatte. Das war, weil ich die Chance hatte, mit verschiedenen Leuten zu arbeiten und am Ende tolle Arbeitsergebnisse zu machen. Ich spreche von professionellen und persönlichen Dingen. Ich liebte die Art und Weise, wie wir spielten und wie die Musik zu uns kam. Ich würde niemals glauben, dass einige Musiker so viel für einen Tag tun können und zusammen so umfassend sein können. Wir hatten einen Punkt, was wir tun können, dann lassen wir unsere Gefühle hinter der Musik verstreichen und denken nicht an etwas anderes, tun nur das Beste, was wir können, das fühlt sich großartig an. Ich würde gerne mehr Zeit mit dieser Gruppe haben, um bessere Sachen zu machen, aber jetzt hatten wir ein Lied, dass ich für immer mit Nostalgie retten werde und jedes Mal daran denken, wie schön es ist.

Gute Leute, tolle Organisation, tolles Land, viel Spaß und gute Ergebnisse ...

Big Up für Martin, der jeden Moment für uns da war. So kann ein Tag kommen, wenn der Mut der Menschen versagt, wenn wir unsere Freunde verlassen und alle Bande der Gemeinschaft brechen, aber es ist nicht dieser Tag. Eine Stunde Wölfe und zerschmetterte Schilde, wenn das Alter der Männer zusammenbricht, aber es ist nicht dieser Tag. Und ich hoffe, jeden einen Tag zu sehen. Wer weiß? vielleicht morgen

Ljuba Lang

Für dieses Projekt gibt es nur gute Worte, die jeder von uns sagen kann. Es war eines der besten, in denen ich je war. Nur die Idee, verschiedene Leute zu mischen, verschiedene Persönlichkeiten, um für ein Ziel zusammenzuarbeiten, war unglaublich. Jeder war daran interessiert, seinen Job zu beenden und gute Ergebnisse zu erzielen. Die Gastorganisation hat ihren Teil sehr gut gemacht. Wir waren begeistert von den Einrichtungen und vor allem haben wir Berlin geliebt. Großartige Stadt, großartige Leute.
Das Allerbeste war die Kooperation und dass jeder Konflikte und Politik hinter sich ließ und jeden Mangel an Kommunikation in der Vergangenheit zerstörte.
Dieses Projekt hat gezeigt, dass wir alle Teil der europäischen Familie sein können, wenn wir zusammenarbeiten.
Ich werde mich an jeden einzelnen von euch erinnern und ich hoffe, euch alle in der Zukunft zu sehen.

Also, dieses Projekt war eine großartige Gelegenheit, mehr über wahre Kämpfer wie Jelena Santic zu erfahren. Wir haben wichtige Lektionen gelernt, nicht aufzugeben, und wir alle haben die Arbeit pünktlich beendet! Das Wichtigste war, dass wir Spaß an der Arbeit hatten, und das sagt uns, dass gute Organisation und gute Bedingungen (und gutes Essen) (alle dank Martin und Tika Truck) Menschen animieren und gute Ergebnisse bringen können. Eine Menge Bier und Prost, einfaches Aufstehen vom Bett, ich schlafe 3 bei Nacht (ich entschuldige mich für das Schnarchen). Das Größte für mich war, dass ich ein paar tolle Leute gefunden habe und wir uns schon wieder privat treffen wollen :)) Es ist ein guter Tag für die Freiheit, es ist ein guter Tag um weiter zu kämpfen ... 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!