Aktion Sühnezeichen Friedensdienste has been organising international projects with trainees and dual students from various companies since 2007. The two-week encounter programmes have so far taken place in Poland, Israel, Belgium, Great Britain, the USA and the Netherlands. The participants gain special insights into the everyday work of our international partner organisations, which are primarily active in social, educational and remembrance work, during workshops, guided tours, discussion rounds and work shadowing.
As a part of the encounter programmes with ASF, the trainees and dual study students work on a wide range of projects and experience a varied and informative accompanying educational programme.
The programmes offer participants new experiences – professional, personal and intercultural. Especially if they are not working in the social sector during their training or dual studies, they can gain new experiences through international encounters and insights into social and historical-political fields of activity, which allow their social and intercultural skills to grow – individually and together as a seminar group.
Work shadowing in ASF partners
For about a week, the trainees and dual students spend time at the volunteer organisations where ASF volunteers are doing their one-year volunteer service. The trainees go through the normal working day in the various partner organisations and are closely accompanied by the ASF volunteers, who are already very familiar with the facilities.
Project examples: The Jewish Museum in London, de Regenboog Groep, a drop-in centre for drug addicts and homeless people in Amsterdam, the International Youth Meeting Centre in Oświęcim/Auschwitz, the Yad Vashem memorial in Jerusalem or the Hope Center in Tel Aviv, an institution that supports people who have escaped from forced circumstances.
Another central component is an accompanying educational programme. In the course of a two-day preparatory seminar, the trainees and dual students are prepared for the special features of the country and their activities in the partner organisations several months before the trip.
Once in the country, they are welcomed and accompanied by the country representative of Aktion Sühnezeichen Friedensdienste. As part of a comprehensive accompanying programme, the participants receive an introduction to the politics, history and society of the country (with a special focus on relations with Germany). The seminar programme includes workshops, visits to memorial sites, excursions and regular discussion and reflection sessions. Aktion Sühnezeichen Friedensdienste also maintains close contact with survivors of the Holocaust and Nazi persecution. We endeavour to facilitate encounters with the last contemporary witnesses or their descendants. The experiences are reflected upon in an evaluation meeting with the aim of anchoring the experiences and skills in a sustainable way.
Framework conditions: Duration, timing, countries
The exact duration of the programmes is agreed with the companies, but is usually around two weeks. The timing is also variable and should preferably be in the first half of the year. The number of trainees in a company can be between ten and twenty. ASF exchange programmes are currently taking place in Israel, Poland, Belgium, the UK and the Netherlands. In the past, there has also been a programme in the USA.
The following companies have so far taken part in an encounter programme with Aktion Sühnezeichen Friedensdienste with their trainees.
- Adolf Würth GmbH & Co. KG, Künzelsau
- Albrecht Bühler – Baum und Garten, Nürtingen
- BASF Coatings GmbH, Münster-Hiltrup
- Beckmann Garten und Landschaftsbau, Essen
- Bielefelder Gemeinnützige Wohnungsgesellschaft mbH, Bielefeld
- Daimler AG, Stuttgart
- Deutsche Rockwool GmbH & Co. OHG, Gladbeck
- Fachseminar für Altenpflege Stiftung Sarepta, Bielefeld
- Gautzsch Elektro GmbH & Co. KG, Münster
- GEA Westfalia Separator Group GmbH, Oelde
- Gelsenwasser AG, Gelsenkirchen
- Goldbeck GmbH, Bielefeld
- Holter Regelarmaturen GmbH & Co. KG, Münster
- Jochen Seitz Garten- und Landschaftsbau, Mannheim
- Karl Walker GmbH, Sindelfingen
- Luft und Klima Anlagenbau GmbH & Co. KG, Münster
- Messe Congesszentrum Halle Münsterland GmbH, Münster
- Meyer zu Hörste GmbH, Bad Rothenfelde
- Pohl Landschaftsbau GmbH & Co. KG, Cham
- Osnabrücker Servicebetriebe, Osnabrück
- RWE Deutschland AG, Recklinghausen
- Stockreiter GmbH & Co. KG Gartengestaltung, Mettingen
- Volksbank Mindener Land eG, Minden
- Westnetz GmbH, Recklinghausen/Arnsberg
- Wildi-Garten-und-Landschaftsbau, Villingen
We would like to thank all partner companies for their trust and for the excellent cooperation!
We were supported by the IHK Nordwestfalen, IHK Ostwestfalen zu Bielefeld and the Evangelical Church of Westphalia, which sponsored the programme for companies from North Rhine-Westphalia.
These major sponsors also supported us: Adolf Würth GmbH & Co. KG, Daimler AG and Allianz Foundation for North America. Our thanks also go to them!