German, 26 years old, EFIL.
What were you doing before this?
Before participating in this project, I was studying Sociology of Arts in Mannheim focused on Social Psychology. During my study, I was a volunteer for the association Caritas and I luckily had the opportunity to work as a student for the NGO Plan International Deutschland where I gained valuable insights into the fields of humanitarian aid.
Motivation to be involved in project?
Especially when I volunteered for Caritas to distribute clothes to refugee families in 2014, I noticed that all hands are needed for support no matter how skilled, unskilled, experienced or inexperienced you are as there are various ways on how to engage yourself. Since then I was looking for a project like Time To Be Welcome and luckily I got the opportunity to be a part of it in Paris.
Your proudest moment?
My proudest achievement so far was when I was volunteering for 1 year in India. It was a great experience to teach basic English, Maths and Arts to Indian pupils even though the language barrier was very challenging. But by using hands and feet, we found a solution to overcome our communication problem so that we had many enjoyable and funny moments in the classrooms.Recognising their proud faces after they learned e.g. the alphabets or how to calculate, was an unforgettable moment to me.
Strengths and weakness
One of my best skills is cooking as I love to cook because it calms me down and feels like meditating. I have been also told to have a positive way of being which might be one of my strengths.My greatest weakness are delicious food and my obstinate way of being.
Best moment volunteering so far
The best moments so far were during the trainings in Athens and Dublin. I enjoyed to get to know the other volunteers and it was nice to exchange experiences with people who are working for the same project but in a different place and structure. Furthermore, we had a great opportunity to learn essential exercises for our work with refugees e.g. during the Listening Ear Training.
I am fond of visiting markets either flea or local markets in which you can find fascinating second hand decorations, furnitures or junk and have a nice chat with the seller. Local markets remind me of my home country the Philippines due to the colourful and lively atmosphere.
How do you relax?
I enjoy running or going for a walk, especially in the nature after a busy working day. Otherwise I feel very relaxed by watching “Hercule Poirot” during a rainy and cold day while enjoying tea.
If you had a theme song, what would it be?
Lovely day – Bill Withers https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sYi7uEvEEmk
I can’t listen to this song without smiling and dancing.
If you were a film character, who would it be?
I think Moana.