We aim to engage our audiences beyond reading the book, whether that is through individual events, short projects or on a regular basis. VOICE Connect within its outreach program aims at connecting our audiences with our writers who dedicate their lives to working or volunteering in their home country or region. This can take place in multiple ways, for example through a regular exchange of like-minded groups or by organising projects with schools or charity groups. If you would like to get involved with your group or individually, either in a regular programme or in a one-off event, please get in touch via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or through our contact form.
Normally, Connect aims at connecting our Western audiences with our writers and other individuals working or volunteering in the same fields. This time, however, we have turned this upside down. In cooperation with the Bavarian Red Cross Ingolstadt, we gave international students the opportunity to learn about (volunteer) work of the German Red Cross in Ingolstadt.
Through the Connect Upside Down Project in cooperation with the Bavarian Red Cross Ingolstadt, we have been giving three groups of international refugee students insights into the work of local staff and volunteers of the German Red Cross, while also teaching them some of the lifesaving skills and water safety rules. At the end of all three first aid courses, all students gained their first aid certificates, necessary for instance to obtain a driving licence in Germany.
As part of this collaboration, VOICE and the Bavarian Red Cross also visited two “refugee welcome” classes of the local vocational school. The students, who are young unaccompanied refugees, had the opportunity to have a look around a fully equipped emergency ambulance, learn about volunteer and full-time work for the German Red Cross, and ask about the experiences of the two Emergency Medical Technicians present.
Following the success of our Connect Upside Down Programme connecting local refugee students with the Red Cross, we repeated this with the Technical Assistance Service THW in Ingolstadt. In a session at the local THW Headquarters, the local THW volunteers explained their work and showed the refugee students their vehicles and technical equipment.
In March 2021, the first VOICE Online Panel was to take place in cooperation with the Macromedia University of Applied Sciences in Berlin. The plan was for two VOICE authors to participate: Maisam, a political and women's rights activist from Palestine, and Sheila, a child and student rights advocate from Kenya. The guest speakers wanted to share their personal experiences, their insights on current challenges in education and women's rights. Both authors shared their stories in the book A Definition of Snow. Unfortunately, we had to cancel the March event on short notice. However, VOICE continues to be in contact with Macromedia officials. We are currently planning another event at the university. As soon as there is news, we will publish it here.
Within the Red Cross Connect initiative, we linked the Red Cross in Ingolstadt with the local Red Cross section of one of our writers, Barbara, in Orizaba, Mexico. Through VOICE Connect, the Red Cross volunteers and staff in Orizaba and Ingolstadt exchanged letters, pictures, video messages and discussed similarities and differences between the Red Cross in Mexico and in Germany, including the respective health care systems.
Since 2019, we have been cooperating with SASA Foundation in Tanzania. SASA focuses on achieving women´s empowerement, child protection and development and social transformation. When VOICE member Jonas joined SASA Foundation to help build a primary school in a community near Arusha, Annina and Jonas got to meet and engage with the founder of Sasa, Jovita. Since then, Jovita has become a VOICE writer for our "Shifting Lines" Project and our contact for project work in Tanzania. Currently, we support a vocational training programme for women with sewing machines and teacher fees, a children´s right education programme and a lunch programme. For us, this is an essential way of helping individuals find and build their voice and make an impact on their local community. In the VOICE spirit, it is important to us not to impose this from the outside, but to support local initiatives like SASA in their programmes. Sadly, due to Corona we had to cancel our last two trips to Tanzania to work with SASA on the ground on the abovementioned projects and engage in writing workshop with local community members. We hope to be able to travel to Arusha again soon. Find out more about SASA Foundation here: https://www.sasaf.org/. Find out more about Jovita in our writer's section.
After the release of VOICE’s first book , “A definition of Snow” in 2019, there was an outpouring of support towards the cause that VOICE represents. As a result of the support VOICE received donations from individuals. This enabled us at VOICE to support education projects in Kenya to help young minds find their voice and have an impact, in line with our charter goals. In Kenya, VOICE is currently supporting four children, three girls and one boy, with their schooling. Through this outreach activity, VOICE sponsors their tuition fees, school supplies, lunch and transportation. For VOICE, access to education is one of the values that we believe in and are very committed to, resources permitting. Sheila, VOICE’s regional coordinator for Africa, supports in identifying the children and is in charge of logistical support for this outreach activity. This way, we can ensure maximum transparency and efficiency in our Kenya outreach.
VOICE, Voices Of Individuals Conveying Experiences, is a project aiming at telling the stories of individuals dedicating their time to working or volunteering in social, humanitarian, and development fields in their native country or region. For more information, get in touch via the contact form or email us at email@example.com. To keep up to date with VOICE, sign up to our newsletter.