food at thank-you party
first of all, we hope you are safe and healthy! In these challenging times, we all struggle in different ways and have to get used to our new everyday life. People are concerned about their health or their future or about relatives and friends. PaSch has nevertheless continued working but of course adopted to our new situation. We want to share the newest information about PaSch with you.
Like mentioned in our last report we started 2020 with some changes. In February, our coordinator left town and therefore the project PaSch. So the previous coordinator started working again in March. We also have a new colleague since January, who is mainly responsible to support our mentee’s families.
Our colleagues organized that one of the new mentors met her new mentee and family in February and throughout their three get-togethers at PaSch they decided to start as a tandem and had a really good connection from the start.
In the beginning of March our annual thank-you-party took place and we also invited our mentors. With a nice dinner, a little concert of a brass band, other activities and a nice get-together in our cosy café, our community centre wanted to invite all the volunteers involved in all our projects and people who offer little projects (like a repair café or a neighbourly choir) to show our gratitude, stay in touch and share nice moments. Like always, it was a really nice atmosphere, our volunteers got to know each other and learned about our wide range of voluntary work and could enjoy an evening just for them with good food and entertainment.
In April, our goal was to continue with the matching but then Corona reached Berlin, lockdown came and everything changed… We had to start with home-office in March and one of our colleagues was on a sick leave. So with less women power we started to reach every family and mentor of the project to ask them how they are and keep in touch with all our tandems. And after over a year away from the project, our coordinator was welcomed back and there was a lot to talk about in such difficult times. The families and kids as well as the mentors had to adopt to this new situation as well. We figured out ways they can stay in touch without seeing each other via skype, WhatsApp, video calls or other providers. Some families struggle a lot with the school requirements and how to support their kids in home-schooling and also some mentors are in fear of losing their job… But the supportive spirit is still alive and one elderly mentor told us that her mentee offered to do the groceries for her or support her in others ways if needed. The mentor, belonging to the high risk group, was overwhelmed and so happy about this offer and said she will never forget this. When we talked to the family, they told us they would be more than happy to have the opportunity to help their mentor out in these times, because they are so grateful for all she has done for them over the last almost 10 years! This was amazing for us to hear and we were really touched by this story.
We also wanted to offer our tandems a way of staying in contact other than trough internet and phone. So we bought plain and stamped postcards and send them, with a little personal note for everyone, to our mentors and mentees. Each of them got 3 postcards to send one every week. They could create every postcard individually. We received some photos and could see some creative, lovely painted pictures, poems, Easter bunnies and greetings. We also want to share some postcards with you.
For now, we are still figuring out how we can support the families to deal with the difficult and ongoing home-schooling situation and connect them with homework tutors online and offer them to print documents if needed (some families don’t have a printer nor computer and have to use and share just one mobile phone).
Due to this current situation, we could not continue the matching so far but we hope to do so soon. So this is one of our goals, depending on the possibilities we have during this pandemic. When it will be possible again, we also want to get to know new mentors and families. Another plan is to organize a get-together with our tandems to see each other in real life again and share some thoughts about the current situation and then just have fun and celebrate the new freedom we hopefully experience soon again. We will be happy to share these moments with you hopefully in our next report and are more than grateful, that your donation enables us to organize activities for our tandems!
PaSch is very are grateful for your support, especially in these times! Thank you! Stay safe and healthy!
all volunteers sitting together in our cafe
brass band performing a little concert
poem on postcard
postcard of mentee