Placements for South-North Volunteers
From Summer 2019 onward, we are offering 3 placements for volunteers in Germany:
- One placement is directly in the head office of KURVE Wustrow
- One placement will be at "Freie Schule Wendland", an alternative school in the same area as KURVE
- One placement will be with Solidaridad in Freiburg
In 2019 we would like to further increase the number of our placements. We are currently looking for an organisation in the field of peace-building/environmental protection that suits all the requirements for placing an international volunteer.
All placement descriptions and volunteer profiles can be found below.
Supporting the Training Unit at KURVE Wustrow
Location/ County: Wustrow, Landkreis Lüchow-Dannenberg
KURVE Wustrow - Centre for Training and Networking in Nonviolent Action e.V. was founded in 1980. We envision a world which is based on nonviolence and which finds itself in a social and ecological balance. Turning concern about violence and military conflicts, ecological destruction and social injustice into deliberate nonviolent action is what we aim to support. This wish is expressed in our slogan "spreading nonviolence" - "Gewaltfreiheit verbreiten".
The history of KURVE Wustrow is especially connected to the resistance movement against the temporary as well as the planned “final” radioactive waste repository in Gorleben (a small town near Wustrow). So the goal was also to empower the non-violent movement through training. Still this aspiration is an important part of our agenda and we take it as our duty to care for a rising peaceful mindset in our region, Germany, Europe and the world.
For more information, please visit https://www.kurvewustrow.org/
We see this voluntary service programme as an opportunity to reflect on the idea of ‘development’ in the world and therefore as directly affecting the volunteers and the German society. Insights about how Non-Governmental organisations work and cooperate internationally, about social movements both in Germany and world-wide and about how to organise and manage projects will be part of the learning, too, as well as the acquisition of the german language during the volunteers' stay and many more things.
From the beginning, KURVE Wustrow has been an organisation which has closely cooperated with many volunteers. In the coming volunteer cycle, we will have four long-term volunteers in the organisation: besides two volunteers from India, we will have a placement for a German and for one more international volunteer, both of which also stay for 12 months.
While all four volunteers mostly work in different areas of KURVE Wustrow, they all share the support of the seminar house at KURVE Wustrow.
The volunteers will be sharing a flat together with the other two longterm volunteers at KURVE Wustrow. This flat is 500 m from the office of KURVE Wustrow, a small city in the lively region Wendland in northern Germany.
The most common and important method of our work we call training: training nonviolent action, practicing self-confidence and determination, trying out responsibility and courage, acting out situations of fear and aggression. A training is an experimental field to gain experience in nonviolent action and to try out something unusual and new in a safe environment.
War and violence, social injustice and ecological devastation pose enormous challenges. To meet these we seek to create awareness for nonviolent change and to strengthen people’s capacities for nonviolent action.
The training unit is organising Practitioner Trainings for staff and activists from peace initiatives, human rights groups and non-governmental organisations from Africa, the Americas, Asia and Europe. Practitioner Trainings take place in February/ March and in October/ November. Additionally, we hold an International Nonviolence Training in summer, which offers a basic introduction into nonviolent conflict transformation.
support in preparation of trainings
announcement of trainings
taking part in the selection process of applicants
visa application support (invitation letters, insurance etc)
communication with participants
support in realization of trainings:
logistic support during the trainings
help with travel arrangements
introduction of participants to the seminarhouse
prepartion of seminarroom
examination of participants evaluation after the trainings
assistance at educational events on topics such as intercultural exchange
participation in one Practitioner Training
if wanted: development of an own project
supporting the seminar house at KURVE Wustrow (see below for details)
Both volunteers will be working in the seminar house – together with the seminar house team and the other volunteers at KURVE Wustrow. This work will encompass about one day per week.
The tasks in the seminar house include:
- cleaning of bedrooms, bathrooms, seminar rooms, kitchen etc.,
- preparation of beds for guests,
- washing bed linen, towels, etc.,
- working in the garden like grass cutting or sweeping,
- in winter time removal of snow on sidewalk,
- support in the kitchen with the cooking for guests,
- and possibly other tasks.
- Between 18 and 28 years of age
- Advanced language skills (incl. reading, writing) in English and motivation to learn German
- Interested and openness to orient themselves in a new environment and ability to adjust to the local living conditions
- Openness to interact and communicate with new people/ participants
- Openness to try to organise certain tasks independently (after orientation period)
- Basic computer skills in MS Office and familiarity with E-Mail programs
- team spirit
- Flexible in taking on new tasks and motivation to learn and share own experiences
- Readiness to participate in all accompanying seminars for volunteers (preparation in India, On-arrival, mid-term and completion seminar in Germany, possibly evaluation in India)
- Interest in peace building and non-violence action and strong motivation to support our team in its tasks related to the coordination of trainings
Placement 2 - Freie Schule Wendland, Lüchow
Location/ County: Grabow, Kreis Lüchow-Dannenberg
We are a group of parents who want their children’s school to be a place where they can learn independently and self-determined with enthusiasm and joy from the inside. To this end we have founded a school that follows an alternative concept of learning and can be attended instead of a regular public school. A school, where everyone deals respectfully with one another and holds a non-directive attitude are the basis of self-determined learning. In a relaxed and attentive atmosphere we create a space for learning that gives children the opportunity to follow their natural curiosity and develop their potentials freely.
Freie Schule Wendland
- Started in 2015
- Works across age groups
- Comprises primary school and high school
- Looks after maximum 80 students
- Is located in Grabow which is part of the municipality of Lüchow (Wendland)
- Is a member of the federal association of free alternative schools in Germany
Based on the findings of J. Piaget, M. Montessori, R. Wild and the brain researcher G. Hüther we rely on imparting key skills like the ability of methodical learning, social competence, responsibility and team spirit as well as creativity. We design an anxiety-free school day without grades, which is structured by courses, offers, projects, internships, travel etc. A typical day starts with a morning circle that gives opportunity to exchange news, clear organisational things and sometimes play little games, after which we have breakfast together. During the day there is 90 minutes of so called “free working time”, where students can choose what they would like to do – reading, writing, colouring, playing chess, all depending on what else is on for the day. In the “offer period” the children can choose from different “classes” such as guitar lessons, metalwork, physical exercises or theatre. They can also offer courses themselves. During presentation time once a week, information on what has been done in the offer period that week is shared and offers for the following week are announced. The day ends with a concluding circle. With offers and afternoon projects other ideas such as creating and maintaining a school garden, learning about healthy food, eating habits in other countries or bee-keeping can be realised. The adults are relationship-oriented companions of the children in all this, helping them to grow beyond their limits in unity (freely adapted from G. Hüther).
Since 2015 we have had German volunteers working at our school. Our school has already offered projects about global topics like climate or clothing production, which have caught a lot of interest from the students. We believe hosting an international volunteer from the Global South will introduce a global perspective on our world in our school and enable us to also pass this perspective on to our students.
The volunteer will support our students along with the learning companions. Moreover supporting the learning companions with every-day tasks will be necessary. This may include cleaning up and arranging school-rooms, making copies of material or making small organizational preparations for events.
It may also be possible for the volunteer to offer specific classes for the students him*herself. We can offer advice on the individual project that volunteers are supposed to plan and implement, which ideally would take place during holiday time.
The volunteer will be received in the school as a responsible team member.
Requested volunteer profile for riesa efau:
- willing/motivated to learn German language (most of the work is in German)
- good knowledge of English is beneficial
- likes to work with children
- keeps a respectful rapport with them on eyelevel
- respects the differences in people
- able to deal with conflict
- 21-28 years old
- team player
- Willing/Motivated to participate in all accompanying seminars for volunteers (preparation in India, on-arrival, mid-term and completion seminar in Germany, possibly evaluation in India)
Placement 3 - Solidaridad Freiburg
Location/ County: Freiburg/ Baden-Württemberg
Solidaridad is an international market and solution-oriented civil society organization represented in almost 40 countries and was among the founding partners of the Fairtrade Movement. In 2018, our German Office was founded in Freiburg. Our mission is to facilitate the development of socially responsible, ecologically sound and profitable supply chains to support our local farmers all over the world by ensuring fair payment, as well as healthy work and living conditions. We do this by bringing together supply chain players and engaging them with innovative solutions to improve production, ensuring the transition to a sustainable and inclusive economy that maximizes the benefit for all.
At Solidaridad Germany, you will support the newly established office as a research assistant. Your tasks could range from the screening and subsequent application for tenders, the preparation of campaigns and administrative support for travels. We will work out specific tasks with you, as our small team makes it necessary to adopt to upcoming tasks flexibly. While we currently focus on building up a network in Germany, you could also for example help to improve the e-learning class we recently set up to train our international network. Depending on your interest, you will get a chance to set up and work on your own project that supports our work. Throughout the year, there will always be tasks that pop up spontaneously, for example organizing team events. In our small and young team, everything is constantly in motion and there is room for your creativity!
- 23-28 years old
- Bachelor’s degree or similar
- Preferably already work experience with sustainable value chains, campaigning or research
- Interest in a fair and sustainable world
- Working level English and motivation to learn German
- Interest and openness to a new environment and field of work
- Team and Start-up spirit