“Gemenskap” is the next Swedish word I want to tell you about. It means community but can also be translated to solidarity or connection. With its meaning it describes a huge part of an ESC, because working together and building this fellowship is one of the goals of almost every European voluntary year. Also, “Gemenskap” is one of the seven key words Rapatac uses to summarize its concept and values, so it really describes big parts of the project I am working in.
As I already mentioned in my last post, today I want to write a reportage about Rapatac, the organization I am working in. Of course for me it is not possible to include everything about my work and Rapatac in general in the post, it would be way too much. But I will try to summarize the most important parts and if you want more information, you can check out the Rapatac website! http://rapatac.se/
First of all I need to say, I could not be more lucky to get the opportunity to work in such a great environment, challenge myself but also have the chance to help at this amazing center.
The concept of Rapatac is unique and was invented by Moussa Ndiaye who also wrote a book about his ideas of how to support and motivate kids and the youth to grow up to a strong individual that can proudly take part in society.
Everyone that comes to work here in Rapatac does the “Rapatac – Education” first, no matter if you are a permanent employee, a prep, or a volunteer. It is important to have this understanding and connection in order to create a powerful team in which we can trust each other. For me, I was really glad they let us know all the rules at the beginning so that it was easier to become a reliable and respected team member.
Also, as I already mentioned in the post about Sweden, the power distance between the employees and the employer here in general is really low, what means that no matter if you are the boss or a volunteer, you can always talk to each other freely and discuss topics whenever you feel like they need to be addressed or changed. From the beginning Moussa and the whole team always made time for our questions what is also one of the ideas of Rapatac: The 10-second-rule. Give every person you meet at least 10 seconds of your time and attention to connect and show that you care. It doesn`t hurt anyone or takes a lot of time but can make such a big difference in anyone`s day or even life.
Giving the kids a safe place like that and combining that with education is the highest goal for all of us. Because the main priority still is school and education. Besides all the fun activities and almost endless possibilities at the center the kids have also rules and responsibilities. In order to learn to handle these, they often get challenged in different ways and have some commitments. They know, every day when they come in they have to read for at least 15 minutes. Instead of that or on top of it they have the opportunity to do their school work with the help of volunteers and preps and can take part in activities like chemistry, democracy, technology or English club.
Although school always comes first, Rapatac is also a place to escape, meet with friends, and participate in high quality free time activities. The kids can choose out of many options in a lot of different fields like music, art, sport, media, and much more. After they decided for one or more activities they have the obligation to come. In this way they also learn how to structure their week and stay consistent and focused on individual goals. With the help of the highly motivated team and different sponsors all areas are equipped with great tools we can use for our activities. This is also an attraction and motivation to come to Rapatac and be a “Rapatac-Kid”.
So, having this whole package full with possibilities but also responsibilities Rapatac really is attractive for a lot of people. Surrounded by this environment everyone can learn the values of education but also of themselves and others. Everyone is encouraged to dream big but also work for their individual goals and challenge themselves. Helping and inspiring them to do so is the most important goal we as the leaders have here at the Rapatac Activitycenter.
With this, I want to end today`s reportage about Rapatac.. Maybe, with my post I was able to spread the ideas and concept of Rapatac that for me personally is really inspiring. Now, I hope you all have a great day and I will talk to you all soon!