Hello! My name is Tania, and I am an international volunteer at arco e.V., located in Wiesbaden. In this blog, I would like to share the experience that I’m going through during my stay in Germany. 

When introducing myself, it’s important to mention that I am a big fan of my dearest Motherland, Ukraine, which has been brutally invaded this February. Truth to be told, it was one of the most complex decisions I’ve ever made to leave my family during these challenging times and dive into a whole new world – the world of international volunteering and German culture. 

However, my eagerness for personal growth and professional development led me to arco e.V. – an extraordinarily independent and formative organization that works with people of all ages by creating a unique space for creative learning. 

Met with a peaceful sky, stunning landscapes, and friendly people, I am incredibly grateful to the city of Wiesbaden and the European Solidarity Corps for the opportunity to experience this journey. I also can’t thank enough people from arco, who helped me adapt during the first days and firmly replied to all thousand of my questions (I had a lot of them, believe me!). The best way ever to feel useful for me was the project Theatropolis for Ukrainian children, which started right away when I arrived. 

Kids who were forced to leave their homes joined a project aimed to introduce the world of theater, educational games, and art. Theatropolis took place from April 11 to April 14 at arco e.V. and united kids from all over Ukraine in one place to create art, explore a new culture, and even develop circus skills!

Members of arco e.V. were happy to witness the progress of the kids’ artistic skills. Robin, the arco representative, explained why the organization decided to take up this project: “We already worked with refugees in 2015. Our organization knows how important it is for children that might have had traumatizing experiences to feel safe and welcomed after they were forced to leave everything they knew. We wanted them to feel that people care. These children came through a lot, and here, we could help them regain a sense of normalcy for at least a couple of hours and learn, play, and make friends in a new city.”

Arco e.V. is grateful for the support of the Bund Kultureller Jugendbildung, which made this project possible. 

For me, this project felt like home. Talking in my native language, I had a feeling someone brought Ukraine to Wiesbaden. Also, I feel tremendous gratitude for the city administration that warmly welcomed Ukrainians, and is dedicated to doing their job perfectly so that every Ukrainian finds peace here and tries to feel at home.