The workcamp took place from 25.08. – 08.09.2018 in Youth Club Ruppertshain Kelkheim.
The group was working in the youth centre with professional workers, besides that there were some local volunteers helping them. The main goal was to build a wooden shelter and make creative design for it for the youngsters spending time in the youth club. Most of the time the group worked together. There was no separation between men or women type of work.
Participants did tasks like:
- preparation for the “You and me day”, we organised a self-made exhibition presenting countries the volunteers came from as well as home-made lemonade
- paint the shelter walls
- build a shelter
- repair the floor at the fire place
- cooking for the group
The schedule was quite relaxed, besides of the work were planned such activities like historical tour with a guide through Kelkheim town, city tour in Frankfurt as well as some local festivals. The group working for around six hours but not each day. From 9.30-12.30 and 14.00-17.00. A lot of time was spent cooking and going to the grocery store.
During free time participants:
- visited the major of Kelkheim
- got a visit from local Eritrean community – we had traditional dinner and played games together
- had short trip to castle Königstein
- visited some of the local festival
- took part in the “You and Me Day” festival
- traveled to Frankfurt/Mainz
- had historical tour with a guide through Kelkheim town
- had piano evening in the local café
- had final BBQ with major and locals
Mainly we were sitting in the game room inside the youth club chatting and playing games for hours. These were the most interesting parts of the day, when you get to know about the life of others and their culture, opinions and experiences. While eating we used to present some traditional sweets and games from all countries volunteers came from.
As the schedule was full of trips and festivals, that can be considered as a free time, we spent a lot of time actively, communicating with local people, doing some interesting stuff together (e.g. tour through the forest to learn how to identify and use herbs)
Such international workcamps are impossible without learning experience. The cultural exchange just happened in an informal way. The group didn´t need any motivation to talk and share their thoughts.
Thanks to the locals and their tour through the forest the group learnt how to identify and use herbs.
During the “You and Me Day” participants met an artist playing the piano in the local café. The guy was so nice and invited the whole group for the piano evening next days. While sitting all together and chatting in the café the artist played traditional songs of each country presented in the group. Thus everyone could come closer to other cutlers. This evening made big impression on the participants.
During the tours through Kelkheim town and Frankfurt city participants were able to learn some important historical facts.
Living in the international group is not all the time easy, but makes a lot of fun. After the middle of the first week there were a few problems regarding missing of warm meal during the lunch. As a compromise participants decided to have warm meal only for the dinner, because the group was too often out of the youth club and came back only in the evening.
The biggest challenge for the group was the fact that the place for sleeping was quite far away from the youth club. By the way the route was through the forest without lanterns. Finally participants overcame it by building small groups to come back to the sleeping room.
Another controversial moment was regarding showers. There were days when group were not allowed to use showers or only during some specified hours. The group decided this problem by breaking the rules.
In the end, it was alright and in general there was a good climate in the group. Everyone was ready to help where-ever he or she was able to and everyone was interested in the life of the others and wanted to learn something about their culture.
The people from the Workcamp in Kelkheim cared a lot about the group and organized awesome opportunities like entering the local festivals, organized the meeting with the major, the Eritrean community and also the city tours.
They helped us with everything and made the experience of the Workcamp even better.