“After completing my studies at the University of Teacher Education in Vienna I wanted to go abroad by all means. I decided for CONCORDIA, because the work with socially disadvantaged youth interested me. I particularly liked the fact that I was optimally trained through a language course and pedagogical workshops. In the past year I experienced very many stirring and intensive moments. I already had my most emotional experience after a few weeks when a girl who had difficulties settling in came to me and said: “Now I like it here. You are my family now. You are my sister. This is my home.”
STEFFI STUDER got involved in Romania as a long-term volunteer in a facility for young people with health impairments.
“Every day around noon I set off with the cheerfully glowing orange Concordia bag to bring meals to old people in the village. Besides me there are still many other people on the road on foot, more than in my same-sized hometown. I already know some faces and I greet them, just as I do the ones I don’t know. Sometimes people also approach me. Whether it is to ask me how I like it here (which I actually always and honestly say yes) or how things are running at the social center. Sometimes also to tell me something, for example, about the Austrian drill that has reliably been doing its service for twelve years already.”
SEVERIN PECHHACKER works at a social center in Moldova and regularly reports about his experiences on location in his blog (in German).
“While preparing for the school ball for our oldest pupils, we volunteers took a few pictures a little bit away from the events were taking place. That naturally drew the interest of the younger ones as well. It didn’t take long until the so-called ‘nastier boys’ also came closer and closer. I was sure that they were waiting to disturb us and cause trouble. But it turned out quite differently: They simply joined in and we all had a lot fun in the process. That was a really beautiful moment when the ‘tough guys’ showed me that they are only children, too, and that it was time for me to set aside my prejudices.”
GOTTFRIED GRILL completed his alternative civilian service in a family-like living community in Moldova, where he was responsible, among things, for the leisure time program.