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Barbara about her volunteering project

Barbara (fot. Vera Gewiss)

Barbara from Germany
volunteer in Martin Luther Evangelical Centre for Diaconia and Education in Wrocław (2011/12)


I have been to Poland two times before my volunteer service – one time near Gdańsk for a student exchange and one time in Poznań for a youth meeting. I have always enjoyed the time. In general people in Germany know not much about Poland and normally they don’t go to Poland, for example for vacation. I wanted to change this and so I decided to go to Poland.

I was looking for the possibility to help people, who are in need. I wanted to find new friends and trustworthy people.

As a volunteer I worked at the school [run by Evangelical Centre for Diaconia and Education] in Wrocław. Most of all I helped teach German at the Polish-German Primary School. I supported the teachers during lessons as a native speaker. I also assisted the pupils during the lunch break and on the way to the swimming-pool.

I gave assistance to the pupils with disabilities in the secondary school and high school. I gave extra lessons to them in German and English. I took care of two girls on a wheelchair and accompanied them on their way to school. At the school book bindery I assisted the pupil who had problems with concentrating on his work.

Furthermore, I helped in the school-chamber (office work). Once a week I went to the retirement home “Samarytanin”, where I spent time with the residents playing games, going for a walk through the garden, having conversations and listening to their stories.

The most difficult for me was to live in a country and not speak the language of this country. After the first months I could speak some Polish, but in the beginning I spoke just very few words. That was really hard for me.

What I liked the most was the great hospitality and warmness of Polish people. Many people helped me, invited me for a dinner, took me for the trips… I am very thankful for this! I’m happy about many nice people I met. During my time in Poland not everything was easy and I experienced many new things. I learned to be more relaxed, easy-going and spontaneous.