Last Saturday, we went off to Wannsee to pick up some children from the refugee shelter, and spend a day with them. When we got there, we were delighted to see that our names were on the daily schedule at the entrance. “We girls are going with Cindy and Carina to ‘Kreativ Tage Berlin” (Creative Days Berlin), it said. The social worker welcomed us warmly, showed us around the shelter, and answered any questions we had.
The shelter is a small one, similar to a youth hostel. The charity organization supporting the facility is the ‘Christliche Jugenddorfwerk Deutschlands’ (The Christian Association of Youth Villages, Germany). Efforts are made to keep families together in one room, a few of these having their own bathrooms. We also saw a kitchen, washrooms and a playroom. The children have made beautiful autumn pictures and decorated the hallway with them. One of the pictures is titled ‘Autumn’ in German, Arabic and Albanian – very international, of course. There are German lessons three times a week at the shelter.
After the tour, the girls, Nina from the Maldives and Najla from Syria, greeted us very warmly. We quickly worked out how we were going to understand one another – a little German, a little English – and we were off. We went to the fair ‘Kreativ Tage Berlin’ (Creative Days Berlin) together with another woman from the shelter and the social worker. While we were there, we watched some dances and a fashion show. Then, the girls painted their own material bags. It was fun, and the bags looked quite impressive! After the painting activity, we had all really warmed to one another. On the way home,we laughed a lot, took Selfies, and listened to some of Nina’s music.
For Cindy and I, it was a really nice first experience doing voluntary work, and definitely not the last.