For us, projecting voices does not simply end with publishing our writers stories. We aim to engage our (potential) audiences beyond reading the book, whether that is through individual events, short projects or on a regular basis. VOICE Connect aims at connecting our audiences with our writers and similar individuals dedicating 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.
Such interaction allows a much deeper engagement with and reflection on the issues discussed by our authors, or brought up by other individuals with experience in social, humanitarian, peace-related or development fields. Hopefully, it will trigger a further challenging of one's own and others´ perceptions. This contact can take many different forms, depending on the individuals or groups involved, the setting, distance, and the time frame. Examples here range from talks to video conferences to direct meetings to the possibility to-in selected cases- join some of our writers and other individuals as a volunteer in their projects for some time.
If you are interested in becoming part of the VOICE Connect programme or would like to find out more, just get in touch with us at email@example.com, via the contact form or through our social media channels like Instagram or Facebook.
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.
Following the huge success of our initial first aid course for international refugee students, VOICE and the Bavarian Red Cross (BRK) Ingolstadt decided to continue their cooperation. Through the Connect Upside Down Project, 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 these Red Cross staff and volunteers use on a daily basis. The students were also able to ask questions to and exchange with the Red Cross members present and explore an emergency ambulance. Due to the many drowning cases among young refugees, water safety rules, explained by the Red Cross Water Rescue Service, were an additional part of the courses. 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. Thank you to the Red Cross First Aid Trainers, Volunteers and Staff who participated in the programme.
As part of this collaboration, VOICE and the Bavarian Red Cross also visited two “refugee welcome” classes of the local vocational school. The students of the class are young unaccompanied refugees from different countries. For three hours, they 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. The students also had a chance to discover some of the routine measures performed by volunteers and staff in a short practical introduction into basic life support. The many questions asked and the huge interest of the class showed the curiosity of the international students about the work done by the Red Cross and other ambulance services and first aid societies in Germany, especially in comparison to their own countries. Thank you to André Schiersch for teaching the first aid courses, to Melanie Krestl for leading the water safety session, to André and Max König for engaging in our introduction exchanges and ambulance showcases, and to Bernhard Grimmer for the material support!
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. During the session, all students engaged very proactively, asking questions and trying out equipment under supervision and with guidance from the THW volunteers. Thank you to Bernhard Fabritius from the THW Ingolstadt for organising this interesting day with us!
Of course, the volunteers of our local partner, the Red Cross Ingolstadt, also showed interest in our work. So we linked them up 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 and even video messages. Aside from giving their partners insights into their work and training, they also decided to discuss similarities and differences between the Red Cross in Mexico and in Germany, including the respective health care systems. We look forward to how this connection will develop!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. To keep up to date with VOICE, sign up to our newsletter.