The inter-cultural work in the youth Red Cross is highly inspiring. For four years I’ve been doing voluntary work and hope to continue for an other few years.
From the 18th until the 22nd of April I was able to participate in the European Cooperation Meeting (ECM), as a delegate from the Youth Swiss Red Cross. The ECM is the meeting of all Red Cross / Red Crescent countries from Eurasia. The ECM wants young people to participate in the decision making processes of the Red Cross / Red Crescent.
But before I tell you all about what was happening at the ECM I want to show you what kind of work I do with the Youth Swiss Red Cross.
At the moment we have three major projects running. One project group goes to shelters for asylum seekers and plays with the children there. (Refugees who come to Switzerland for religious or political reasons can ask for asylum. Within 9 months it gets decided if they are allowed to stay in Switzerland.) Their everyday life doesn’t have a lot of change in it. That is why we, the Youth Red Cross, go and do activities with the young people.
The second project is the coaching project. Children coming from foreign countries get put into integration classes. Which means that there is one teacher and about 20 foreign kids, not speaking any German. We support the children in giving them extra help in especially German. We meet up with the children from the immigration class once a week to do one to one extra help lessons. For us from the Youth Red Cross it is also very inspiring. We get in touch with completely new cultures and see the progress the students make weekly. We also try to explain about the Swiss culture and how things work. Most of the time we are the only other Swiss person they now besides their teacher.
I myself have enjoyed many funny stories with each student. How they told me about their fist kiss, how they tried to cheat at the maths exams… I get the feeling I learn just as much as the students do.
Our third project goes to old people’s homes. The idea is to spend time with elderly people who don’t have a lot of family to visit and take care of them. We play chess, go for a walk outside and just accompany them for an afternoon. It’s interesting to listen to all their life stories and sometimes one can hardly believe what some people have experienced.
Besides the Youth Red Cross, which I am involved in the Swiss Red Cross has three other youth organisations: water-lifesaving (SRLG), two youth Samaritan organisations (Help & Military Samaritan)
At the ECM our aim was to improve Youth participation in decision making processes, because we (the youth) are the ones who have to live with the decisions made. We want to be included in taking decisions for the future. At the ECM we had workshops about different topics such as communication and social media, youth in decision-making processes, evaluation, follow-up and reporting system, youth in strategic innovation and many more.
The ECM gave us the opportunity to exchange ourself with all the different representatives. It was great fun to get in contact with people from countries you’ve only read on the map.
Many new ideas and vision are now in my head and I am highly motivated to implement them.
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