A particularly active mentor: A portrait

People new to „Wir Sind Paten“ often wonder what it is we do here, who we are and how we found our way to each other and became part of this international family. In an effort to give you an insight into the core principles of the organisation, we interviewed one of the most hardworking and active members of our family, Aziz.

Aziz is a 27-year-old young adult and, like many of our volunteers, has a migration background. He fled Syria following the hostilities in the Middle East and since then he has found refuge in Germany, where he was given the opportunity of a new beginning. Aziz has not only successfully integrated himself in the new host community; he is now a full-time student of Computer Science in the fourth semester at the University of Leipzig. In his free time, he enjoys watching football and films, going on walks and swimming.  Most importantly, he likes helping people and therefore spends a lot of his time at „Wir Sind Paten,“ which he first discovered in 2017.

Aziz claims that the help he received from „Wir Sind Paten“ was manifold. It ranged from assistance in learning the target language (German) to socialising and making new encounters, many of which bloomed into long-lasting friendships. He even revealed that the characterisation „Labertasche“ was given to him during his work here by his own boss. In a sense, Aziz said that while working here he gained a better glimpse of his own identity in a new environment. Other than that, he summed up the perks of becoming involved with „Wir Sind Paten“ by focusing on the relaxing ambience and „a good feeling,“ which stems from the close contact with the rest of the volunteers.

When asked about what comes to mind when hearing the name „Wir Sind Paten,“ he declared with a smirk: „the office.“ When asked to sum up „Wir Sind Paten“ in one word, he said without hesitation: „friends.“ Even if this sounds peculiar to some, Aziz explained that he has made many great memories with great people in this place, so that it has developed a sentimental value for him over the years. During our small interview, Aziz expressed his unrelenting enthusiasm for the „unknown,“ which is a big part of the job. The „unknown“ is, according to him, not something that should be feared, but rather something that should be cherished. He opened up about the countless possibilities and situations he is confronted with every day, as well as the diverse backgrounds of people who come here every day asking for help or offering their services.

Still, I bet you’re curious about what Aziz has to say regarding new volunteers. During our conversation, questions such as „Should someone join Wir Sind Paten? Why?,“  „What is the ideal profile of a volunteer/employee?“ and „What can you do here?“ became the focus of discussion. Aziz affirmed his loyalty to „Wir Sind Paten“ and claimed he would certainly recommend it to others. He listed many of the advantages of becoming engaged with „Wir Sind Paten,“ including the cool team that makes up the heart of the project, as well as the cultural diversity stemming from the different backgrounds of our volunteers. In addition, Aziz referred to the wide-ranging events offered, all designed to bring people together. These include: Computerie, free tutoring in German and English, assistance with writing applications or finding a house, cooking events, jam sessions and outdoor activities in the summer. Regarding the question „Who can get involved?,“ Aziz‘s reply was clear and confident: „everyone who needs or can provide help.“

Following our chat, one thing became evident: Aziz is one of our most precious volunteers. Aziz has fun while working. Don’t lose time. Be like Aziz. Join us now!

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