„Leidenschaft für Kinder, die etwas anders sind“
Freiwilligeneinsatz von Lea aus Dänemark in Graz
Lea Knakkergaard aus Dänemark hat Asperger Syndrom. Sie unterstützte den Unterricht in der Knallerbse-Schule im Pfeifferhof in Graz.
„Als junger Mensch mit Asperger-Syndrom habe ich eine besondere Leidenschaft für Kinder, die aus irgendeinem Grund ein wenig anders sind als ihre Altersgenoss*innen.
Als ich von der Knallerbse las, war ich aufgeregt. Die Bildung unserer Kinder hat in Dänemark, meinem Heimatland, keine Priorität. Ich habe es genossen, die Kinder kennenzulernen und hoffe, dass ich, sobald ich mich eingelebt habe, meine eigenen Ideen einbringen und diese wunderbaren Schule mit meinem eigenen Touch bereichern kann.“
In diesem Artikel schildert sie ihre ersten Eindrücke und was sie bewogen hat, sich für diesen Freiwilligeneinsatz im Europäischen Solidaritätskorps zu bewerben.
Leas Mentor, Andy Quinn, hat uns ein paar Fragen beantwortet:
The European solidarity Corps program in one sentence:
A possibly life changing opportunity, for anyone and everyone to immerse yourself in a foreign culture and donate your time and resources in a valuable and fully supported European project.
How did you design the mentoring?
Concerning the mentoring side of my job, I would not say that I have some sort of special plan that works for me, because the project is not about me! I try to treat the Volunteers that we receive in a way that I would feel comfortable with, if I were a Volunteer. This means to me that I need to listen with an open ear and heart to what the volunteers are telling me, and to earnestly consider their worries, concerns or questions, I need to have a good communication with them, as well as letting them know that I am there to support them. Honest reflection, regular mentor-volunteer meetings and inviting the volunteers to give me honest and valuable feedback is really important, as well as encouraging them in setting up their own projects or implementing their ideas and bringing something from themselves and their culture into the school I also make sure that our volunteers feel respected and valued in the roles that they have with us in the school, a simple thank you can go a long way to making someone feel that they are valued for who they are and what they do
What is the main advantage of Knallerbse especially while hosting a volunteer with a disability?
I am not really sure that you could really say that our school has any sort of real advantage for dealing with people with disabilities, we are unfortunately not a barrier-free school, therefore we cannot offer access for people who have physical disabilities, but what we do have is a team of experienced and knowledgeable teachers who are open-minded and are willing to learn from all possible resources. We believe that it is vitally important for our children to gain as many life experiences as possible, this for us includes getting to know and accepting different people from different cultures and with different abilities, as well as learning how to respectfully communicate and interact with them.