Summer series: Seeing Graz through another perspective – Part III

4 Volunteers, Blog post Number 3, a lot to 2 and 1 mission: Having the time of their lives while being a volunteer in Graz! Time is flying by so fast – it’s already the fourth week for our great international volunteers Ana, Tereza, Shu and Yassine who are working for Jugend am Werk. 

During these last weeks they have learned a lot about themselves and disabled people. Saying that „disabled people are capable of innovating and creating many pretty things and what I like so much about it is the moment when I see the smile on their faces“, puts also a smile on Yassine’s face. On the one hand our volunteers learned something about themselves: how to integrate easily and approach to the clients and the team members. On the other hand Tereza “hopes that the teenagers learned something from her teambuilding this week”, so in the end everyone gained some experience in a different way.

Additionally they could also improve their German in learning some new words and within four weeks they also got to know the Austrian and European culture. Shu states that she „learned lots of new things during her trip to Budapest, while taking the Eurorail for the first time“. Our four volunteers also try to cook together to introduce their cultures and national food to one another. Plus, in this past weeks Ana “learned about the Austrian economy and how Austria tries to introduce young people with problems of the professional world.”

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So aside from all the travelling and exploring Europe, you may ask yourself, how does a normal day look like as an EP? Work starts at 9 a.m. and ends in the afternoon around 3 p.m. In “incafé” there are usually people in the morning drinking coffee. Before midday, the preparations for lunch have to be done. Shu mentions that the rush hour is at lunch time when she „serves guests and sends the dishes to specific tables“. Despite all the work concerning the café, they prepare activities once a week for their colleagues to get to know them and their culture better. Tereza, who is working in a different project than Shu, states that her “work is different every week as there are more projects – sewing bags, handicraft and decorations, kitchen and two projects concerning gardening works.” Furthermore she says that working slowly is important because the goal of the organization is not quantity but “to give the opportunity to work to people who have problems finding a job”.

Time is going by too fast for our four volunteers. Although after four weeks they have a daily routine, every day is still special for them because there is always something new and interesting to explore here in Graz and Europe.

And if you can’t get enough of their stories, stay tuned for the next blogpost!

Author: Giulia Di Pietro

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