My internship will be with the Deutsches Rotes Kreuz-Düsseldorf (German Red Cross-Duesseldorf). Duesseldorf is the capital city of the state, North Rhine-Westphalia which is about 1 hour and 15 minutes from both, the borders of the Netherlands and Belgium. Just like the American Red Cross, the German Red Cross provides emergency response services but in Germany, they function more as a comprehensive human services agency in that they provide elderly care services, social and health services, educational opportunities, as well as child, youth and family services. I will be working in the Migration and Integration department. As of now, some of my activities will include:
- Gaining insight on and assisting with refugee counseling and refugee community housing services
- Participating in the support and facilitation of refugee integration
- Learning about, assisting with and providing crisis interventions related to the social problems that refugees and immigrants often face in Germany
I will not be speaking English while at my internship, but thankfully, I have a good grasp on the German language! I am of course nervous about the language barriers between me and my co-workers, as well as me and the clients but thankfully I have English and enthusiasm to help me out! Everyone who has heard my concerns has been extremely encouraging and reassuring about this so I am not as scared about looking and sounding silly anymore. Wish me luck!