Experience Report: A Reflection Seminar at the BFD

At the seminar, work and fun alternate. That means that the reflection seminar was very versatile: There were activities, discussions, we ate together, and at the end, everyone even watched a play together.

Everything began in the morning in Berlin with a welcome speech for the participants. Among them were quite different nationalities, which, of course, all had something in common: they were all doing the Federal Voluntary Service. This means that they were working for a social cause and were actively involved in society, usually for six to twelve months. Especially for people who are new to Germany, a Federal Voluntary Service offers a good opportunity to gain a foothold in the world of employment and for people to orientate themselves, or simply to meet new people. But, why exactly such a reflection seminar?

It mainly serves the exchange, for example about the experiences that the participants have gained during their Federal Voluntary Service. Furthermore, there was also an exchange about the reasons for doing a Federal Voluntary Service, or about which difficulties arise, and what one likes or dislikes. So praise is expressed, but criticism is also not spared if it becomes necessary, and the reflection seminar offers a framework for openly addressing problems. Since the participants came from various institutions, these topics alone were enough to cover the seminar without any problems. Nevertheless, that was not all, since the participants were also challenged: They also had to play an active role in shaping the seminar. New ideas were devised together and developed into small projects, but problems were also addressed by all participants. For example, our two Bufdis (Federal volunteers) from Leipzig and Dresden had to give a short presentation on the problems they were confronted with. In short: It was a pleasant and instructive time.

Alternatively, as another Federal Volunteer said: „It was a wonderful day with discussions about experiences and constant interaction, so that we came back with new ideas“. And he continued: „Besides, all the people who were there were incredibly nice to us and open to all our concerns“.

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