Ninna’s volunteering in Strasbourg

Ninna from Sweden shares about her voluntary work and days in Strasbourg…

On my first day upon arrival I was asked if I knew how to make a blog. “No”, I said, “but I can try”. I let that be the guiding star of my volunteering, which proved to be a good strategy.

I have a bachelor in social anthropology from Stockholm University. Coming from a very theoretical field, this volunteering was a great way to gain more practical experience when about to enter the labor market. I also got to practice and develop my French, since that was the general language being spoken at the office.

As for my administrative tasks I prepared blogs and PowerPoints for AMSED’s new network site, prepared and carried out a webinar and created (and handed out) flyers. This might sound like simple assignments but with no former experience, and no in-depth knowledge in French, I learnt a lot and certainly developed my digital skills.

Once a week I taught English to disadvantaged young people and students. This was in collaboration with the NGO Maison des potes and I was fully responsible for planning and executing my workshops. Through this task I developed skills in structuring my own work and leading a group of people. This way I also got to meet some of the young people of Strasbourg, one of AMSED’s target groups. I also met several other people connected to the association while assisting a training course and a network meeting. These occasions were great opportunities to meet other people in the same field, enhance my social and language skills, and begin to create my own network for possible future work.

My biggest task was a project that I myself proposed: DIGITAL BATTLE. As the founder of the Swedish organization Dancers without Borders, I was already involved in a project in a suburb outside Stockholm, Sweden, and in collaboration with AMSED I could carry it through during my volunteering. The idea for DIGITAL BATTLE was to arrange an online street dance battle between Swedish and French young dancers, where the communication was carried out with Google+, webcams and projectors. By leading this I indeed developed my project management skills since I had to find dancers and a location, work out the digital technique, handle the marketing and contact with Sweden and make sure that everyone was involved and informed all the way through. It turned out to be quite a lot of work but we pulled it through and I was happy with the result.

Strasbourg is a beautiful, welcoming and cultural city and I very much enjoyed my time here. My colleagues at AMSED are very nice (and hardworking!) and my volunteering proved to be a fun and developing experience in many ways. I want to thank everyone for making my stay possible and for blessing me with so many good memories.

Ninna Oom