Life as a European volunteer in Stuttgart, Germany
The Jugendwerk der AWO Württemberg e.V. is a German non-profit EVS Hosting Organisation that is located in the very centre of Stuttgart, the capital of Baden-Württemberg, in Southern Germany. We offer two 12-month positions for EVS volunteers per year, on a 6-month rotating basis.
As an EVS volunteer at Jugendwerk der AWO, you will get the opportunity to help with the organisation of youth camps (Freizeiten) and workshops for children and young people from Stuttgart and the surrounding area. You will be able to take part in training weekends and a First Aid Course with the aim of obtaining the JuLeiCa certificate (Jugend Leiter Card – http://www.juleica.de/). Completion of the JuLeiCa training will enable you to be a leader on the summer and winter camps, many of which are based in amazing destinations abroad (The Alps, Spain, Sweden, Corsica, Croatia…). For more info about our youth camps, check out the Freizeiten page (in German only).
A second key responsibility of an EVS volunteer at Jugendwerk der AWO is organising our intercultural project “Active Culture”. Stuttgart is a very multi-cultural city, with 40% of the population being of foreign background, and Jugendwerk is very keen to cater for this diverse international audience. “Active Culture” aims to give foreigners and locals alike the opportunity to meet each other and share experiences from different countries and cultures. This could be in the form of a country-themed evening with traditional food and info about a certain country (e.g. Tunisian evening), a trip to a place or building in Stuttgart that is important for a certain culture (e.g. Mosque, Cem House), an introduction to a traditional dance from a certain country (e.g. Salsa evening), and many other things. It’s a very versatile project and there is always room for new ideas! As an EVS volunteer you will be responsible for organising these evenings every two weeks, advertising them, and generally making sure that everything runs smoothly.
Jugendwerk der AWO also organises international youth exchanges together with partner organisations all around the world. We have a long-standing partnership with “Axilli” in Guadalajara, Mexico, with whom we organise an exchange twice a year: a Mexican group comes to Germany in the summer and a German delegation visits Mexico over New Year. We’re cooperating with an organisation in South Africa as well: the Sofire-Town Crew from Johannesburg came to Germany in summer 2012 as the first stage of an exciting new exchange programme. Aside from those, we take part in several other exchanges with partners in Europe, varying from year to year. As an EVS volunteer at Jugendwerk you will help with the organisation of these exchanges and also have the opportunity to take part in them yourself. For more info about our youth exchanges, check out the Jugendbegegnungen page (in German only).
A final key element of your time as an EVS volunteer at Jugendwerk der AWO is of course to learn German! At Jugendwerk, you will receive great support for your German language acquisition. During your first 3-4 months you will be given the possibility to attend an intensive language course during the mornings, 5 days a week, and work at Jugendwerk in the afternoons. This is a great way to learn German and you will be amazed at how quickly you pick it up, even if you’ve never learnt a word of German before!