Voluntary service in Germany: internship at Werkstatt Wolfsgrube

Due to the Corona pandemic, our volunteers had to be patient for a while. The volunteer service already started in Germany. Joshua did an internship in the workshop Wolfsgrube in Dreißigacker. After waiting for the departure, it finally starts!

Life support and cooperation

The Wolfsgrube workshop is part of Lebenshilfe Südthüringen, which offers countless services for the elderly, sick and disabled. These include shared apartments, driving services, a support area for the severely disabled and the workshop. The workshop mainly offers simple assembly work as well as cleaning services and landscape maintenance. Most of the handicapped people have to pass through the educational area after they come to the workshop from school, for example. Here, the abilities and problems of the handicapped are first recorded and an attempt is made to find a suitable job for them by means of practical training. The overriding goal is to find employment on the primary labor market, but this is unattainable for most of them. For this reason, most of them try their hand in the various areas of the workshop and then, after just under two years, return to the workshop as a normal employee. Back to my first day of work: When I arrived in the education area, I was first warmly welcomed by the two supervisors present.

In the following days, my everyday work as an intern consisted of organizing the employees’ free time, for example by playing darts with them, supporting the supervisors, giving small talks to the employees, and also providing them with work materials. The longer I was in the group, the better I was able to talk to the disabled people, since I now had a rough picture of everyone and thus also a rough idea of their illness and everyday life.

The anticipation is great

I have noticed again and again how much one should actually value one’s own life, since one is often not even aware of certain abilities. I take a lot of things for granted, which can also present challenges for other people. In addition, I noticed that some of these people, despite severe limitations, poorly paid and very simple work, lower life expectancies and little prospect of a change in these circumstances, lead happy and fulfilling lives. This impressed me very much, as I would have estimated it quite differently from my own perspective – especially knowing how much I can achieve in life as a “normal” person. It showed me that it doesn’t actually take much to be happy and that, despite everything, you should never lose hope.

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