Caring for Yourself 1

We already learned that volunteering in the field of integration can imply plenty of joy and fulfilment. On the other hand this kind of work sometimes may be a source of frustration and disappointment.

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An example may illustrate potential problems voluntary helpers have to face:

Click here to read the example

Laura is volunteering for a charity organisation in Italy that cares for asylum seekers. Twice a week she meets a group of refugees from different countries and gives  Italian language lessons. She likes this job a lot and enjoys to meet people from different cultures. After the language class they usually go out to a bar for a drink. Laura is very interested in the stories the newcomers have to tell. She develops a friendship with Fatima, a woman from Syria. The two have a lot in common, both are very interested in music, often share files of musicians and bands and have fun together.

After four months Fatima all of a sudden stays away from the language class.  Laura is astonished and a little concerned. She sends messages to Fatima, but there is no reply. Then she calls Fatima and asks her what happened and why she does not come anymore. Fatima’s reaction is harsh: In an angry way she says that Laura should leave her alone and not call her anymore. Laura is shocked and disappointed. Some weeks later she learns from a colleague that Fatima and her daughter received a deportation order and have to leave the country.

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