Starts: Autumn 2015
As the placement involves working with children and adolescents it would be of great advantage if the candidates spoke German well enough to be able to communicate easily with them.
We’re a therapeutic pedagogical institution for educational help in the city of Aschaffenburg (70.000 inhabitants). Our residents are children and juveniles, 2 to 18 years old, who, for different reasons, can’t live temporary or permanently with their families. The 49 children and youngstrs are living in 6 different groups. Each group lives together with the co-workers in a cosy and familiar furnished house. Our responsibilities are the daily provision, the pedagogic care and the support of the personal and social development of the youths. We work together with parents, youth welfare, schools and external specialists.
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During the Voluntary Service is a tutor for the volunteers available. The tutor ist the cotact person for all kind of problems. Also there are weekly team meetings, where the volunteers can get a feedback from the members of the team and there is the possiblity to talk about problems and difficulties. Furthermore the cooridnating organisation is regularly visiting the project or the volunteers can contact the coordinating organisation anytime.
Motivation and EVS experience:
Since 2003 the children´s home host European Volunteers. Our organisation is highly motivated to host European Volunteers because of the experiences made in the last years. In modern societies the contibution of other nations is much appreciated. The guests learn us, our children and youngsters, to see the world with other eyes. They show us that our approach is not the only one which is possible. Intercultural learning is a important reaction of the changes in modern world.
Our Volunteers give daily support and take part in leisure-activities of the children and youngsters.
Our aim is to give volunteers in the frame of our work a chance for a better personal development. They will have a lot of opportunities to get to know the different areas of our institution and they will work in projects.
Philosophy and working methods:
We are a therapeutic pedagogical institution for educational help in the city of Aschaffenburg (70.000 inhabitants). Our residents are children and juveniles, 2 to 18 years old, who, for different reasons, can’t live temporary or permanently with their families. The 49 children and grown-ups are in 6 different groups. Each group lives together with the co-workers in a cosy in familiar furnitured house. Our responsibilities are the daily provision, the pedagogic care and the support of the personal and social development of the youths. We work together with parents, youth welfare, schools and external specialists.
Life in our children home:
Our institution is placed in a idyllic part of the city near to the forest. The five houses encircle the playground for the children. Each group lives in a modern furnitured house with living-, play-, work-, and bedrooms (double to three bed spaces per room). In the main house next to the group houses is a big assembly room, which is used for meal times and events. The office of the leader is there as well. Altogether 40 mostly pedagogically trained staff members work in shifts. The children have all the time carers around them. At the play ground and the sports field the children can run wild. The groups use the sports hall and the swimming pool of the school next door.
Now a short look over the different groups:
House 1: therapeutic pedagogical children’s group I, 2 – 15 years
House 2: therapeutic pedagogical children’s group II, 2 – 15 years
House 3: therapeutic pedagogical boys group, 12-17 years
House 4: therapeutic pedagogical girls group, 12-17 years
House 5: therapeutic pedagogical childrens’s group III, 2 – 15 years
Main house: therapeutic pedagogical youth group, 16 – 21 years, single bedrooms with bath
Seven EVS-volunteers have worked with us since 2003. Here some personal impressions:
Bea from Spain: “This half a year had been a good experience. I’ve worked in house 1, where small children live. I love these toddlers into pieces. I think this project needs a volunteer who loves to work with children and has already made his or her experiences with them. He or she should be a creative and active person with loads of ideas.”
Laura from Italy: “First I worked in house 3, the boys group. But I think it would be better for a male volunteer. After some time I switched into house 2, the mixed group for children between 6 to 15 years old. There I´m very satisfied. I help in everything: support in homework (school), preparing the meals, speak with the kids, put children into the bed. After homework I´m often playing with them and we do some free time activities. Since some weeks I´m teaching once a week an Italy language course. That’s amazing and I´m very happy about my small class.”
Hayriye from Turkey: “In Städtisches Kinderheim Aschaffenburg you can find a friendly atmosphere. At the moment I´m working in House 3 with the juveniles and we are living here like a family i.e. we do homework together, we cook together, we go to holiday together, we make different activities… Although the kids are not with their family, but they´re getting here the warmth of a family. The educators make it possible, the like-a-family atmosphere, to the kids and juveniles. As a european volunteer, I´m so satisfied to be here.”
Judith from Spain:”Since I arrived in Kinderheim, I felt at home. I work in “Kindergruppe 3”, with children between the ages of 8 and 15 years old. We are like a family: we have lunch and dinner together, we cook together, we play together, we go on holidays together. We support them with their homework and we bring them to bed. I help with everything in my power and they give me the opportunity to develop my own ideas for free time activities: for example, I give Spanish lessons twice a week to children and teenagers or we are also preparing a “Spanish Cultural Day” for the whole Kinderheim. My collegues are very nice and I am very happy with my job and the friendly atmosphere in Kinderheim. I think that people who want to work at Kinderheim should be very active, open-minded and understanding and they should enjoy working with children.Regarding Aschaffenburg, I have to say that it is a nice city, where one can find a wide range of cultural events and very friendly people. The European Voluntary Service is a wonderful opportunity to meet many people from different countries and to develop oneself in a personal and professional way.”
– the children´s home is situated in a municipal district of Aschaffenburg (70.000 inhabitants). By bike or bus it takes 10 to 20 minutes from the city centre.
– Aschaffenburg is a beautiful, old city with a castle. The city offers diversity, has several cinemas, theatres, museums, a language school and music school.
– Aschaffenburg is situated 45 km near Frankfurt/Main (airport) which has 700.000 inhabitants.
Proposed activities for EVS volunteers:
We are glad that the volunteers stimulate the everyday life. They are seen as a further family member. Of course, this can also be difficult for them, for example when they hearing about the family history of the children or realising their adaptive difficulties in everyday life. The children and teenagers are curious and frank to learn more about other cultures. In our team are working 6 qualified educators and one of them will be the tutor of the volunteer. But it is important that the volunteer has enough freedom, too. He/She lives in his/her own flat appox. 20 minutes by bus or cycle from the children´s home away.
The volunteer will work in one group due to his/her character. Following typical tasks will be in all houses:
– general assistance for the children: homework, leisure activities, hobbies (music, sports, theatregroup, swim etc.); domestic duties
– participation on the organization of leisure activities (doing sports, hiking, holidays, cycling trips etc.)
– cooking together – for example a meal from the native country of the volunteer, or a typical German meal is served by the children and teenagers, also snacks, desserts or cakes
– preparation of parties, such as the big summer party with performances of the children (e.g. open days, anniversaries, carnival)
– pick-up and delivery service for the children (e. g. appointments with the doctor and others)
– the kids need a structure in their live, e.g. important meeting points are the daily lunch or dinner and put the children into bed. The volunteer should take part there: eating together and helping with the children (e.g. reading fairytales).
After a certain settling-in phase it is expected that the volunteer develops own ideas. Courage and initiative to realise them together with the children and teenagers are highly welcome.
Working hours are mostly in the afternoons, if the children and youngsters are coming back from school. The weekly working hours are 30 hours exlusive language course (It is possible to join a language course for max. 8 hours additional.The intensity of the language course depends on the language skills of the volunteer.)
Monday + Tuesday:
13:00 – 19:00 (supervision of lunchtime and leisure activites/helping with homework/supper/put children into bed)
13:00 – 19:00 (supervision of lunchtime and leisure activities/helping with homework/supper/put children into bed) + language course in the morning
11:00 –17:00 ( participation at the team meeting, supervising homework and leisure activities)
Friday: 13:00 – 19:00 h (participation at the team meeting/ leisure activities) + language course in the morning
Sometimes we have weekend activities, so it might be that the volunteer would have to work on weekends. Days off will be on weekdays instead. Days off and holidays should be talked over with the team.
Holidays: The volunteer is entitled to have 2 days off per month.
The knowledge of the language will be tested in the beginning of the volunteer’s stay. The adult education centre (www.vhs-aschaffenburg.de) does a grading test according to which the volunteer is assessed to the appropriate classes. If the volunteer’s German is good enough he will attend grammar or conversation courses. If he has problems in communicating, we will enable the participation at a crash course or give private lessons.
Volunteer profiles and recruitment process:
The volunteer should be mature, patient, empathic, active, open-minded, interested in e.g. sports, music or other creative hobbies, cheerful, communicative, responsible and able to work in a team and likes family live.
Tthe volunteer should already have experiences with children. A further advantage would be a good knowledge of German and/or a high motivation to learn this language.
It is not necessary to have a driver’s licence.
Number of volunteers hosted:
Risk prevention, protection and safety:
A weekly timetable for orientation in his/her work will be discussed with the volunteer . We would like to avoid, that the volunteer is overstrained. The volunteer can speak regularly with his/her tutor or with team colleagues. Because of the work with behavioural conspicuity of the target group and the non-knowledge about social professional knowledge & conflict management, the team colleagues are especially looking forward to give support and help to the volunteer.
16 or 17 year old minor applicants can not be hosted in our institution.
This organisation is willing to involve volunteers who face situations which make their participation in activities more difficult, from the following categories for different types of project:
- Educational difficulties
- Cultural differences
- Economic obstacles
For the selection of the volunteers we will need:
– Europass CV with picture (made in the last month)
– Motivational letter, writing that your sending organisation will be “Building Bridges”
Remember to write in the motivation letter that your sending institution is “Asociación Building Bridges”.
All documents written in english you can send to: firstname.lastname@example.org with subject “EVS Alemania Städtisches Kinderheim”