In order to organize my thoughts during the seminar, I prepared a summary of the most common forms of discrimination as a project:
If you spot any mistakes, disagree with any content or want to add something (there are missing references…), I’m very happy about comments!
„This is our war! Every help you offer only reinforces your white superiority which we’re about to fight!“ This sentence, quoted freely from the short documentary „Fuck white tears“ became a central topic during our preparation seminar here at the Werbellinsee near Berlin. All of us volunteers are brought together on this immense area to participate in various lectures and interactive workshops in order to be confronted with everything that probably will cross our way during our stay abroad. From teaching methods to the right handling of ethical issues we come together daily to gather new perspectives on topics that at the same time are omnipresent in today’s media but rarely are profoundly analyzed without a specific reason.
The seminar offers all kind of support and sensibilizes us for anything unfamiliar we will most definitely encounter in our new working spaces. A special focus is kept on our role as German volunteers in a country which usually is defined as politically and economically inferior. Instead of serving the prejudices of colonial continuity, our function as an ambassador in cultural exchange rather involves strengthening the international relationships by bilateral communication.
World peace – something unachievable if you believe South African students protesting against discriminating laws: „You always say there are other ways to solve conflicts, for example by talking. But we’ve experienced centuries of cruelty and oppression. Our only response that expresses our anger in an adequate way is violence.“ I personally don’t believe in that! Although I neither believe in utopian concepts, I’m strongly convinced that organizations such as kulturweit and their partners such as the Goethe Institute, PASCH and many more contribute significantly to get closer to our common vision of a world in harmony.
Although I still have 4 days left, I already had the chance to talk to an amazing amount of diverse people that allowed me insights into their personal ways of thinking. Visiting the city of Berlin led by a refugee, spending 24h a day in the middle of 330 dedicated people and speeches by the organisation team, trainers and politicians make me appreciate the program here a lot. I’m very thankful for this kind of preparation and I’m looking forward to the upcoming days!
They say I’m an adult now. In fact, I just turned 18 and there’s not much of a difference yet which I imagine to change soon. At least I already got dozens of letters reminding me that I’m now responsible for anything myself, including insurances, bank accounts and a lot more official matters. Even facebook messaged me: Some security settings have been removed so I had to adjust them again. Feels good to be 18.
But having celebrated my birthday also means that there’s not much time left for me at home! It sounds odd, but I subconsciously started counting the breakfasts I still have with my parents – not enough! I’ve never had issues leaving home, even for a longer period, but 6 months are a long time and I’ll spend them in a totally different world! Exciting and intimidating at the same time.
I’m glad to be able to share these thoughts soon in Berlin though. I’m sure I’ll find other people there with similar worries and expectations and I can’t wait to get to know them and eventually keep in touch with some to travel during my stay!
Heya my fellow people!
I’m Jenny and welcome to my blog! I’m glad you volunteered to read it. I decided to start this although I’m not totally sure yet whether I’ll be able to keep it up to date…I apologize in advance for any missing content!
A few words about myself first: I will turn 18 soon and just graduated high school last month. After having spent a month in Israel, I’m now looking forward to my upcoming 6 months in Trujillo/Peru where I’ll volunteer at the Instituto Max Planck. What exactly am I gonna do there? That’s something I still need to find out…
However, I’m very excited for my departure on 13 September, which is sooner than it seems due to the preparation seminar in Berlin right before it. Although we were told not to bring too much stuff for our stay (especially clothes), I feel like I should be well equipped, just in case. Apart from that, I just got my visa but other things want to be organized too.
So hopefully see you soon when I can talk a bit more about the seminar and the 300 people that I really look forward to get to know there!