My ESC project has ended and my residence permit in Germany also was expiring at the same time. As an immigrant from Mongolia and a person who identify as non-binary and gay, I really do not want to go back to my home country where homophobia is a huge problem. Therefore, I was looking for jobs in Germany in order to stay legally. Unfortunately, it is so hard to find a job if you are a foreigner and cannot speak German very well. All the employers ask if you have a working permit from Germany whereas you need a job contract in order to apply for the working permit and residence permit in Germany. So, I really could not find a job even though I had applied to hundreds of job positions in Germany.
Luckily, I hear about the Voluntary Social Year (FSJ) and the Federal Voluntary Service (BFD) from another volunteer at my mid-term seminar via ESC. So, I researched more about volunteering options to stay in Germany and found out FSJ is only for young people who are under 27 years old. Well, I am already over 27. So, I searched about BFD more and this program has no age limit and has a lot of benefits.
The Federal Volunteer Service, which was established in 2011, is all about the community getting involved in the community. The Federal Volunteer Service (BFD) is aimed at all those who would like to get involved outside of their job or training in the social, cultural or ecological spheres or perform other activities for the common good for 6 to 24 months while being covered by social security and supervised by professionals in the form of free training and seminars.
I decided to volunteer at an organization that works with the LGBTQ+ community and filtered all the possible organisations on the BFD official website. You can find their contact information on the main website under Einsatzstelle suchen window. I sent an email explaining my current situation and interest to volunteer for these organizations in October. Luckily, most of them replied to my email and some of them suggested Schwulenberatung Berlin as it is the biggest LGBTQ+ organization in Germany. Happily, Schwulenberatung Berlin offered me a Bufdi position at their Queer Refugee Shelter in Berlin to volunteer. They are generous that they are providing my social security and unemployment insurance, as well as accommodation, food and pocket money. It feels like it is even better than the ESC.
I am so happy that my friend Linda's friend had a room to rent in Berlin and I moved to this amazing neighbourhood in Lichtenberg. Now, I am ready to take some German language courses in the evenings after my work. I have two German roommates, hopefully, I will improve my German and find a full-time job at the end of the next year.
I wrote all the necessary information about FSJ and BFD here to help people who want to continue volunteering in Germany. If you have any questions about these, feel free to contact me via social media links on my profile. I am happy to meet new people and extend my social circles and maybe we can grab a beer or two in Berlin :)