freiwilig activ in berlin

freiwillig activ in berlin

that’s what is written on the cute little blue pin i received on saturday. a day earlier, the mayor of berlin announced the freiwilligen pass which can be issued to every child in berlin over 12. the purpose: i don’t know. maybe soon you’ll need to be certified to volunteer in germany. (one more job created, someone has to stamp all those passes…)

the red cross site was filled with volunteers (who didn’t seem to need any pass) to help out with suchdienst, telephoning various locations to help find missing persons in berlin. we were the only ones in the wheelchair garage, cleaning, refitting and pumping, but it was fun plus a bit of hard work. although we were learning on the go, a man in a wheelchair who was there to help out with another activity allowed us to change his front wheels, setting him up with a brand new squeaky set. for someone who has never changed any kind of tire, it was an honor for me.

the red cross hilfsmittelzentrum actually rents out wheelchairs for a minimal price and allows you to check out different models and various high-tech aid mechanisms, in addition to providing training. apparently i wasn’t up-to-date on the latest technology because i was in awe at what is available. crutches that can stand alone so you don’t have to pick them up of the floor, wheelchairs that can move a sitting person into a standing position, whole kitchen counters that slide up and down at the flick of a switch. amazing.

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