Insights

02/10/2021

Being there for other people unconditionally: Gabi shows how it's done.

At Johanniter, Gabi is involved in a care group for young people with disabilities and supports their parents. After her husband died, volunteering gave her new strength.

In 2011, I started a support group for young people with disabilities. I find this experience very delightful as I am surrounded by other, grateful and supportive carers. These people never fail to show how happy they are to see you and, in case of your absence for longer than usual, how they have missed you.

Of course, Corona has changed things dramatically. We used to have groups of between 10 and 20 participants, and now we can only look after individuals while wearing masks and keeping social distance. I am glad that at least we can get closer to each other but, the participants still lack everyday interactions with one another as we can no longer go on excursions, bake, or cook.

GoVolunteer (Fotocredit: Sebastian Stöhr)

„You can learn a lot from these young people, and when you recognize how cheerful, natural, and accepting they are, a lot of other things become secondary.“

Gabi

The Johanniter care group supports the parents of children with disabilities and gives them the opportunity to do something for themselves. They can take care of daily tasks, go to the authorities, or take part in different activities they otherwise would not as they would think: "The child needs my support." On the other hand, the children spend the afternoon with us while playing games, handcrafting, and having fun.

My husband died in 2010, and due to this, I fell into a hole. Then my nephew, who was a counsellor in this group, suggested joining. At first, I was afraid of contact and thought: "How am I supposed to deal with them?" because I thought, I had to be especially careful. However, soon, I realized that wasn't true at all. Logically, you can deal with the children quite naturally, and they want you to do that. You can learn a lot from these young people, and when you recognize how cheerful, natural, and accepting they are, a lot of other things become secondary.

Logo GoVolunteerLogo GoVolunteer

Where are the pictures from?

Text: The pictures of Gabi are from the series "Volunteers of Berlin - Die Hauptstadtheld:Innen", photo courtesy of GoVolunteer. For more information, please visit: www.volunteers-of-berlin.de

Johanniter-Unfall-Hilfe e.V.

Johanniter-Unfall-Hilfe e.V. is (amongst others) involved in rescue and ambulance services, disaster management, care and nursing of elderly, sick and refugees, driving services for people with limited mobility, hospice work and other charitable services.

johanniter.de