The Migrationsrat e.V. is our partner for the field of action "Migration and Participation". Over the course of the year, the people involved there have compiled a dossier on various topics. Koray Yılmaz-Günay, co-managing director of the Migration Council Berlin, wrote about the commitment in the field of action:
"Committed migrants and their organizations are often the appendages of civil society. They are supposed to support other organizations, projects, and often also the administration in fulfilling their tasks by providing volunteer advice, promoting offers, or just "quite classically" getting involved in accompaniment, language mediation, or group offers. Berlin as the European Volunteering Capital 2021 has given us the opportunity to look at the last 30 years from a different perspective - to honor the achievements of the many hundreds of thousands of migrants in Berlin, to retrace stories, to evaluate experiences and to learn for a more inclusive future in the exchange of different generations. In addition to professionalizing their own work, the events were primarily about clarifying positions, for which there is hardly any time or space in everyday life. This exchange alone was worth being active in the field of action. In addition to questions about different migration histories - and thus also "volunteer traditions" that people bring with them - gender-specific characteristics were discussed. Not everything that is done unpaid is "voluntary". At the same time, however, there are also intrinsic, inner motivations for meaningful social engagement, regardless of whether it is paid. These drives, the conditions, limits and successes of "our" commitment have become clear to us this year in a way and to an extent that virtually calls for continuation, far beyond the Year of the Volunteering Capital!"
- An article by Tanja Gangarova -
I have been working in the context of health promotion and health care for many years and deal with volunteering on two levels. On the one hand, at the level of the so-called "target groups" - mostly structurally disadvantaged and/or racialised communities that German non-governmental (NGOs) and governmental organisations (GOs) involve in their work on a voluntary basis. On the other hand, at the level of parallel structures of medical care - such as MediNetze - where voluntary services are provided by doctors. The MediNetze were created to provide medical care for people whose right to health is denied in Germany. They provide medical help anonymously and free of charge for migrants without regular residence status.
I could never really get used to these forms of volunteering - even though I think the work that these people do voluntarily in their free time, on weekends or holidays or every day in addition to their regular paid work is great. Why?
- An article by Peter Goldbach -
Initially an initiative, Hockey is Diversity was founded by Dr Martin Hyun and myself in 2010. As a former ice hockey player with South Korean roots, a sport not associated with Asian-read people, Martin Hyun has endured racism at all levels. I too have a hockey past and have experienced discrimination and bullying on various teams. The experience we had in our sport brought us together. We wanted to draw attention to the issue of racism and discrimination in ice hockey and take active action against it. Again and again there are racist and discriminatory incidents in ice hockey - whether on the ice or in the stands. It is a fact that racist incidents occur everywhere where players of colour play. Our goal is to contribute to an inclusive culture in ice hockey with our projects, regardless of origin, gender, religion or impairment. Ice hockey is not immune to racism and discrimination. Ice hockey is considered a white sport.
- An article by Larissa Neu -
Thoughts are free, as we all know, and so are the thoughts and memories that have accompanied my volunteer work for 22 years. Good and bad.
What is called voluntary work in Germany is simply "helpfulness" in many countries, a matter of course. You help where you can, when you are needed. One does not expect gratitude or recognition. You are needed - and then you go. I grew up in a country like that and learned and appreciated helping people. Then in Berlin I learned that voluntary work can also have other qualities. That it doesn't have to be taken for granted. That it needs publicity, that prizes are awarded for it...
- An article by Melike Yıldız -
I have been volunteering in various civil society organisations (NGOs) and governmental projects and organisations (GOs) for over 17 years. I have had very different experiences, but also very mixed feelings.
- An article by Natalia Amina Loinaz -
Berlin is Volunteer Capital 2021, my city where I have lived and been involved since 1990 -always different and on different levels. This year, 2021, I received the Berlin Volunteer Passport honour, following my 15 years of involvement in my Muslim community. I have given some thought to the reasons for my commitment and activism and have come up with a few theses as to why I and many others get involved.
This small insight into my personal motivation for my commitment and activism should enable conclusions to be drawn about generally applicable motivations. However, the motivations of committed people are of course very individual and complex.