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Voluntary service extends awareness

Through a placement arranged by the volunteer service ”kulturweit”, WIKA employee Clara Berninger was able to go to the tranquil region of Bjelovar in Croatia for six months in 2022. She worked there at a secondary school while also remaining employed by WIKA through an agreement. A type of further development that WIKA is pleased to support. This is what she had to say about her voluntary service:
Following the application process and an exciting preparatory seminar which covered topics such as cultural differences and ways of dealing with stress and challenges, I finally set off. My lodging was a one-room apartment in the town centre, close to the school. During Spank get-to-know-you days in Zagreb, I established contact with other volunteers from Croatia.
Debating competition and leave of absence cover
The school in Bjelovar that teaches German as a foreign language and that also offers a ”Germany plus” programme, opened the doors for me to a great field of work because I was able to accompany pupils aged between 15 and 19, helping these boys and girls to apply for a study trip to Germany. I also mentored them through a debating competition attended by young people from right across Croatia. In addition, I also provided support and leave of absence cover in other fields of tuition and even helped to run a dance class with its own choreography.
I was in close and instructive dialogue with teaching staff and young people at the school. During the intermediate seminar after two months, I also learned a great deal about the history and special situation of the Balkan states. After that, I was able to view things in much better context. In my spare time, I experienced a wonderful town festival and discovered Croatia with its incomparable coastline as well as its hinterland. I was particularly delighted by the characteristic coffee culture that brings people there together and that they enjoy celebrating and savouring.
Back into the normal working day after the voluntary service
I never lost sight of my employer WIKA during all of this because the flexible agreement and dialogue with colleagues enabled me to continue working. I also found this very helpful in finding my way back into my normal working day after this period of voluntary service.
Ultimately, I benefited greatly in personal terms from this placement and I now feel better prepared for my career path, not just in relation to international exchanges. I would therefore like to extend my grateful thanks to WIKA for supporting and assisting with this time abroad.
Note
What makes WIKA special as an employer can be found on the WIKA website.
Also read our post
Award: WIKA strengthens the common good in many ways

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