In the last quarter of 2018, VISIONEERS plunged into a new adventure. The project #Gemeinsam für ein besseres Berlin, sponsored by the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth (BMFSFJ), aims to get young people excited about voluntary work and to promote civic engagement.
With the numerous activities that will take place over the next two years, in cooperation with other local non-profit associations, young people will be made more aware of social issues (needy people in Berlin’s society, nature & environment). Furthermore, a path to the development and maturation of their personality will be opened. Social skills such as empathy, responsibility and self-reflection will be strengthened and bridges will be built for a socio-cultural dialogue.
Officially it started in September last year in cooperation with HiMate!. With a group of 15 people, stumbling stones were cleaned at Rosenthaler Platz in memory of the Jews murdered in the Second World War.
Other activities included baking for a social café, as well as saving and donating food for the Berliner Tafel e.V. from the Green Week. However, the biggest event to date took place from October to the beginning of December, at the Geschenke der Hoffnung e.V. (now: Samaritan’s Purse e.V.) Christmas workshop.
The workshop was decorated, shoe boxes were inspected, the boxes were loaded onto trucks and countless waffles were baked, which were then sold in the cafeteria. This time was a special experience for the young people volunteering, as it gave them the feeling of being part of a bigger cause, of helping children in need.
Actions such as these, serving other people and advocating for social issues in an increasingly tense metropolitan society like Berlin is and will become increasingly important. Raising young people's awareness of issues such as sustainable consumer behavior, poverty and need, which also exist in western cities, also strengthens their social skills and gives them other important qualifications for their working lives.
The hope is that these young people, armed with passion and idealism, will stand up for others and be future role models and inspirations. As multiplicators, specifically coached and mentored, they are to continue this VISIONEERS project, autonomously but #together.