In June of 2018, we hosted the FAWCO Youth Program right here in beautiful Berlin. The purpose of the program is help the youth discover volunteering, develop their culture understanding, awareness of global issues, and sense of global citizenship. The FAWCO program, open to teens age 15-18 from FAWCO member clubs worldwide. This years 12 participants came from AWC Amsterdam, AWC Berlin, AWC Bern, AWC Oslo, AWG Languedoc-Roussillon, AIWC Genoa, IWC Torino, and Munich IWC, represented 11 cultures and spoke 9 languages. Previous years have been hosted by AWC clubs in Dubai, Shanghai, Mumbai, and Dublin.
Thanks to the efforts of AWC Berlin member, Molly Brown, this year’s group served refugees, homeless, disabled, and sick people living in Berlin through their volunteer work at multiple organizations. We are grateful for the opportunities arranged by: Berlin Stadtmission (through Serve the City), Jack, Ronald McDonald House, Welcome Baby Bags, St. Elisabethstift Seniorenheim, and Laib & Seele.
The group also participated in many cultural and educational activities, including two walking tours, a museum visit, a “Youth in Democracy” caucus, and a cooking workshop at a Ulme35 (a refugee cultural integration center). One of the week’s stand-out experiences for the youth, as well as participating AWC members, was a session with 96-year old Holocaust survivor, Margot Friedlander. She told us her story of survival by reading excerpts from her book, “Try to Make Your Life,” and answering our questions. When asked why she does this at her age, she said “It is to make sure that you never let this happen again”. She ended with a message of accepting and embracing human differences. As if this wasn’t enough, we managed to squeeze in several World Cup games, including a public viewing at the infamous Brandenburg Gate Fanmeile. Whew!
This week was made possible through the support and coordination of FAWCO, as well as the generous time and effort of the numerous AWC volunteers who planned, facilitated, chaperoned, and opened their homes in order to create a memorable experience for all. A special thank you goes to President, My-Linh Kunst, whose hard work and leadership pulled it all together.
Want to know what the youths thought of the program?
Read essays from:
Anna Sheehan, AWC Berlin
Augustin Michel, AWG Languedoc-Roussillon
Daniel Martinez, AWC Bern
Dorian Hofele, IWCT Torino
Dylan Halley, AWC Amsterdam
Federico Erculei, AIWC Genoa
Kat Collins, AWC Amsterdam
Lucrèce Lamontanara, IWCT Torino
Michelle Wurschmidt, AWC Oslo
Natalie Parker, AWC Amsterdam
Niklas Neubauer, AWC Berlin
Sophie Romain, Munich International Women’s Club