Category Archives: volunteering

a drop in the ocean

I am a member of an NGO called Projekt Seehilfe e.V. We support refugees in Sicily with materialistic and idealistic help. Last year, I was one of three people that went to Sicily, together with another NGO from Germany: Hanseatic Help e.V.

I wrote two texts that summarized what I experienced there and what I thought when I was confronted with a type of problem that plays an important role in contemporary Europe. Because these texts are in German, I will publish an English version here. You can find the original article here.

A drop in the ocean

Mustafa* stands in front of the table, and he is looking at me. I just gave him the card of the NGO called Projekt Seehilfe e.V. with which I am in Catania, Sicily. Initially, I just gave it to his friend, who was much more talkative and who appeared to be interested. However, because he was standing right next to him, it felt wrong not to give him one as well. Holding the card, he looks like he does not know what to do with it. Timidly, he laughs. It seems that my assessment was correct. He stands in front of me, says thank you and looks me in the eyes. We didn’t even talk during the whole dinner, and I had the impression that he was just about to leave. We start talking. I cannot remember why and how we start the conversation – probably with one of these generic questions, like: “Where are you from?” Then, he starts talking. Continue reading a drop in the ocean

500 refugees arrive together with us in sicily

I am a member of an NGO called Projekt Seehilfe e.V. that supports refugees in Sicily with materialistic and idealistic help. Last year, I was one of three people that went to Sicily, together with another NGO from Germany, called Hanseatic Help e.V. In April this year, we will go there and help yet again.

In Sicily, I wrote two texts that summarized what I experienced, thought and felt when I was confronted with a type of problem that nowadays plays an important role in Europe. Since the texts are in German, I will translate them into English for this blog. You can find one of the two original articles, the one translated below, here.

500 refugees arrive together with us in Sicily

In 1939, John Steinbeck published “The Grapes of Wrath”. In this novel he deals with the destiny of a family that decides to leave home in search for a future with paid work, in the West of the USA. The novel is set in the United States during a time, when farmers in the Middle West where threatened by the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression. Because if this, many , including the protagonists of Steinbeck’s novel, left for California. The author describes very empathetically and realistically how the ‘Oakies’, as they were disdainfully called by the Californian inhabitants, confront many problems during their search for a new home: An undersupply of fairly paid work, rejection by the local population, no future in Eden. Instead, they face labor camps, disdain and hate of the locals. This only fuels the desperation of those who are refugees in their own country. Continue reading 500 refugees arrive together with us in sicily