A little overwhelmed and frustrated…
The very thing that I was afraid of happening is starting to happen. There is so much need, seemingly endless problems and unfortunately, not enough helping hands to provide the refugees and asylum-seekers in this city with the support and assistance that they need. With that being said, I am starting to feel really overwhelmed by all of the daily tasks that need to be done at my internship and frustrated that there aren’t enough Social Workers, volunteers, funds and time to get these tasks done.
I was (and still am!) so proud of Germany for opening their borders and taking on this huge responsibility of providing a home for practically one million individuals, but the truth is, is that there are not enough people who are willing and ready to serve this population. Even I, a temporary intern, with only the slightest grasp as to how all of this works here in Germany can feel the pressure and stress that results from this huge deficit. For example, trying to find a Farsi speaking interpreter to accompany one of the residents at one of the GRC’s (German Red Cross’) shelters to a doctor’s appointment is always such a challenge because there simply aren’t many people to do the job, the ones who are available are individuals who would like to be paid to do so, or they are volunteers who are happy and willing to help but work full-time with very limited availability.
Additionally, I have recently been asked to start preparing myself to move from an “assistant role” to a proper “Social Work” role. This is really exciting because it means that I can provide a little more relief to my fellow co-workers eventually and get the most out of this experience but this is also a bit daunting because there is still so much to learn and unfortunately, there is not much time to learn everything beforehand. Therefore, I will probably be doing lots of learning as I go within the next few weeks, as well as asking a million questions as they come up.
The one comforting thing that keeps me sane in the midst of all of this chaos and frustration is that I, and the residents in our shelters are extremely fortunate to have such hardworking, kind and dedicated Social Workers by our side. Although they are often overworked and stressed, they still do their job to the best of their ability, go above and beyond for each other, as well as for their clients, and for that I am extremely thankful.