“Happiness is my motivation”

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Sabine, 23 years old, supports refugees as a volunteer. She’s a founding- member of Campus Asyl in Regensburg.

Sabine, 23 years old, supports refugees as a volunteer. She’s a founding- member of Campus Asyl in Regensburg.

Sabine, who are the founders of “Campus Asyl”?

Young people founded it, students and employees of the University of Regensburg. When the refugees came (e)n mass in September 2015, we founded Campus Asyl. Together with the technical university of applied sciences. There were real needs for Campus Asyl at that time.

To integrate them?

Indeed. The most important thing is that they get contacts to the residents of the city. This is one of the biggest aims of “Campus Asyl”.

It organizes many projects in which these contacts can be established and deepened as well.

Which projects are these?

We make music together or art, do sports, drink tea. But the most important project is to teach them German, and therefore you need a lot of volunteers.

And Campus Asyl has access to them?

Definetely we have. Moreover we also offer a so called “buddy programme” for refugees who start studying at university. But it’s not only about helping, our organisation also wants to encourage the refugees to take over responsibility and maybe even become members of Campus Asyl themselves.

And you do all your work for free?

It’s not about money. It’s about enrichment. It’s a real enrichment for us to spend time with people from all around the world. It’s a two-way street of learning and inspiring.

Is it really attractive for the students, to invest so much time and not to be paid?

In the beginning, in September 2015, we attracted many volunteers. They took action because it was a very urgent situation. Refugees suddenly flooded the accommodations and a lot of help was needed. Now, it is not that chaotic anymore and there are less refugees coming, but nevertheless there are still hundreds of volunteers.

What is your personal motivation for participating in Campus Asyl?

I participate in one of the childcare groups. My group spends one afternoon per week with the children of an accommodation in which the refugees live for their first weeks or months. The families there have no fixed accommodation yet, so the children can’t go to school. So we try to brighten up their lives in this place, since its not very child friendly. We play games with them, read books, paint or do handicrafts. It’s also nice to see how they get relaxed while doing handicrafts. I am happy if I can entertain the children a little bit and make them laugh. Well, happiness is my motivation.

Interviewed by Seriml, xx years, Zarzis (?), Tunisia

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