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Intercultural meeting of international and German volunteers in Karlsruhe

It is Wednesday morning at the Karlsruhe Education Center. At nine o’clock sharp, the nearly 180 volunteers from 25 different countries have gathered in the dining room. After two members of the Friends of Waldorf Education have welcomed the participants, the day begins with group singing. Two songs from Taize and a German song are being introduced and soon after, the group sings in canon. Subsequently, a motivated volunteer from Namibia climbs the table in front and teaches the others a song from her culture. Spontaneously two more volunteers start playing the drums and the music reverberates through the house. A refreshing start to the day!

This is just a short impression of the colorful political education seminar that took place on 9-13 April at the Karlsruhe Education Center. This event was the first time that around 90 German and 90 international volunteers came together, all of whom are currently doing a federal voluntary service through the Friends of Waldorf Education. In cooperation with the Education Centre and the German Federal Agency for Family and Civil Society a seminar concept was developed that conveyed varied and diverse political content.

For five days workshops were held that initiated discussions on topics such as globalization, fair trade, the future of work, racism or prejudice. Furthermore, field trips took place that included visits to the famous “Fächerstadt” and the Media Museum as well as a guided city tour with a critical emphasis on globalization. During these activities new friendships developed and the volunteers were given time and space to share and reflect on their activities. The evening entertainment featured folklore dancing, lectures about the threefold social order and on Easter, as well as a night café that further promoted intercultural exchange and the social gathering of volunteers. On the final evening there was even a concert by the band “Taxi Sandanski” and a DJ ensured that there was dancing going on way into the early morning hours. Finally the young people returned happy, enriched and motivated back to their daily lives as federal volunteers.