Intern Luise – active and full of life

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Intern Luise at steps for children

I'm Luise Schrei and I did a three-month internship at steps for children. I passed my Abitur in the summer and then spent several months traveling with a tent and backpack – mainly hitchhiking. I was able to explore the southern and eastern parts of Europe in particular. On my way I encountered a lot of poverty and I saw first-hand, but above all I learned that there are warm-hearted, helpful and cheerful people everywhere, especially in very poor areas. I was particularly impressed by the encounter with two street children who were standing on a narrow concrete strip in the middle of a four-lane street in front of a traffic light and begging for food and money from the passing cars. The girl and boy were about 6 years old and their clothes, faces and hair were gray from the dust of the road. When I walked past them, they stopped what they were doing and just looked at me in amazement. I stopped, waved at them, rummaged in my backpack for my provisions and the girl came running across the street to me. When I gave her a handful of candy and two apples, she beamed and immediately put a lollipop in her mouth. The girl followed us a little longer, then ran back to the narrow concrete island and she and the boy watched us for a long time.

That's how I came to steps

I came back with these touching experiences in my heart and the knowledge that there are places where poverty is even greater. So I was looking for a way to give children in similar circumstances a chance and do more to help in the long term. That's how I came to steps for children, who have set themselves exactly that goal. The people who support steps work every hour to give another child a chance.

At steps I learned how much work and dedication it takes to raise donations and also to keep donors. But I also learned how much a donation can achieve, because the commitment of the local people, the Namibian project managers, teachers, educational specialists or cooks, to the children in their care is enormous, even though they often have very little compared to ourselves. 

I was in the steps office in Hamburg-Barmbek 3 days a week and got an all-round insight into the foundation work at team meetings, many detailed explanations and my own tasks. I've helped with a variety of activities, like writing impact reports or an application, but I've also seen how much is behind a newsletter and social media design.

I have also gained experience in the field of international cooperation, for example by creating project management tools for Namibian employees. The many connections became clear to me step by step, for which the many, patient background explanations for my respective tasks were great. 

What I particularly liked is that thanks to the small team and the regular team meetings, I was able to participate in every area or see the respective area and also bring in my own ideas and implement them after consultation. I was warmly welcomed into the small team right from the start and learned a lot about my area and life.

Dear Luise, thank you very much for your cooperation. You not only supported us, but also fundamentally shaped some areas - with your inspiration, with your lively, active nature and your openness to topics related to steps! We wish you a great time with new goals and challenges and hope to see you again soon in our volunteer team.


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The steps song was created with many steps children in Gobabis with the singer Eva Keretic!

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