Today is a good day for Wael. Two and a half years ago, Wael escaped the brutal civil war in his county and made his way to Germany. Since then, he has lived in a refugee shelter in Berlin with his family.
However, things have taken a positive turn for Wael recently. Today, he sits in the office of Türöffner e.V., a job network for the newcomers. Next to him sits Aima, a GoVolunteer Partner Manager, and Ramy, a Volunteer Coach for Active Newcomers. In a chair across from Wael sits Ms. Grit Driwer, the Branch Manager of Türöffner e.V.
Together they discuss the prospects for Wael at Türöffner, where he is determined to serve for the next three months. Wael is eager to get involved in social projects and is looking forward to working with people who are natives of Germany or have lived here for a long time.
We asked Wael three questions to understand what joining Türöffner meant for him:
GoVolunteer: Wael, congratulations on being matched with Türöffner e.V. What do you hope to gain from your commitment here?
Wael: I believe that my social commitment at Türöffner will ease my transition into a professional career in Germany. Through my engagement, I hope to get to know as many people as I could, while growing personally.
GoVolunteer: How do you imagine your future in Germany? Or, what will your life look like in five years?
Wael: In five years, I hope to have completed my dual Bachelor’s degree and start with a Master’s degree in Applied Computer Science. Additionally, I see myself working for a big company in the future.
GoVolunteer: At the moment, In Germany, there are a lot of discussions about integration. There are different opinions as to what that actually means. What does the word “integration” mean to you?
Wael: In my view, first and foremost, integration is grasping the language of the host country. Of course, work, social commitments and knowledge of the variety of cultures and customs of this foreign society are equally important. But to me, it is also essential to hold on to my roots and my identity.