05 March 2011

The German Red Cross


I received a letter today from the Deutsches Rotes Kreuz (DRK, or German Red Cross) and I was pretty excited when I read what was stated in it. They had given me the addresses of two daycare centres where I could volunteer at, one of which is only 15-20 minutes walk away from where I live. That’s really good.

I haven’t mentioned it yet that I’ve been considering to take up a one-year, full-time, paid volunteer program (Freiwilliges Soziales Jahr) after I’m officially done with the Integration Course. One in which I could work with children.

In Germany, a person can only do an FSJ once in their lives, and only up to the age of 27. There are many places to volunteer at such as hospitals, homes for the eldery, kindergartens, and the like, depending on what one favors. You don’t get paid much (which is why it’s called a volunteering thing) but you get experience just as good as work experience and ‘Renteversicherung’ which is money that goes to a retirement account.

The thought of it gives me a little hope – there is actually hope that I am not fated to die a slow, miserable, painful death of boredom… wow… and while I’m at it even improve my German and get some experience.

Jeder Anfang ist schwer (Every beginning is difficult). Everytime I take a step I’ve never taken before, I’d feel my nerves go insane. You can never really understand what that’s like unless you’ve actually had to start over in a world you’ve never known. I have no expectations – obviously since I have no idea what to even expect, but I would love to at least give it a try to even know what would become of it. Firstly I’d have to let the daycare centre know that I was referred to them by the DRK. Then an interview, if that may be. And if I’m lucky enough to be given the chance, then I can start in late summer this year. But we’ll see.

Michael already gave me a couple of pointers as to what he could imagine it to be, especially about the fact that I should be all positive about it – or as the germans would say: Alles locker! Everything’s perfect.
Oh you know what it’s like when it’s important to show everlasting enthusiasm, optimism, confidence, a never-say-die attitude, and of all things immortal joy, peace and happiness during an interview.

Well of course that goes without saying. I’ve went through tons of job interviews in Singapore. I applied for this in the first place because I know I did it before (and I can do it again) and I know how being around children had changed me. Around them I’m never bored, never not in the present moment, and never thinking too much. Ever since I had to leave my job in the daycare centre in Singapore I’ve missed it so much, you have no idea.

So I’m curious. I’m very, very curious to know if it works for me to do the same thing here in Germany. The experience would be priceless. So you know what? I think I will find my own way to the daycare centre after school, let them know that I’m interested, hopefully arrange a time and date for an interview, and get this over and done with. All on my own. I’m nervous but I know I can do this.

Will let you know how it goes…


  1. This sounds encouraging. I hope you'll get to do what you always wanted to do. You're good with kids, I know.

    I sent you an email about my Singapore trip, I hope you got it.

  2. Please tell me you don't have to dress like that....

  3. wow love the picture for the ad!

  4. @Aaron: Yes I got it, thank you.

    @yelly: No I don't think I would have to. Not a good example for the children. :P

    @Aysh: I thought so to! That's how they get 'young people' to volunteer. Haha.