Thursday, 3 December, marks the UN International Day of Persons with Disabilities. In Munich, InterNations Volunteer Group Consul Temenuga Bakalska organizes regular activities for people with disabilities, together with our partner organization, the Münchner Förderzentrum.
What does the International Day of Persons with Disabilities mean to you in relation to your role as Group Consul?
This is a new project for me, and it is very important to me that we try to help and bring some happiness into the daily lives of people with cerebral palsy. I feel responsible for the activities and for ensuring that we provide them with nothing but love and care. I am proud that the organization decided to trust us and has started working with us.
What is the non-profit organization that you are supporting, and what do they do to help people with disabilities?
The Münchner Förderzentrum (MFZ) takes care of and supports people with disabilities who live there.
The MFZ is just one part of the ICP Munich Foundation, which provides facilities for children, adolescents, and adults with cerebral palsy (ICP, formerly known as “spasticity”). They aim to enable the people entrusted to their care to participate in society to the greatest possible extent. The ICP Munich Foundation focuses on both professional and social integration by providing special needs education, study groups, and vocational training, as well as speech therapy, physical therapy, psychological and medical care.
Which activity has been the highlight of your work with the MFZ so far?
All activities we have had, for example our movie night, games and coffee, a spa day and a photo shooting, were great fun. They brought everyone a lot of smiles and happiness and gave true meaning to the time we’ve spent on them. I think the best part is that we have gained the NPO’s trust and are invited back for more and more activities there.
What was the impact of this activity on both the people from the MFZ and the InterNations volunteers?
The people at the MFZ are very welcoming towards us every time, and more and more have started joining our events. The InterNations volunteers feel that they can really make a difference when they see the excitement and the friendly welcome from everyone when we are there.
Sabine Rolser, a curative education nurse from the organization, despite her challenging role, finds her work rewarding and varied.
Working as a curative education nurse means supporting people in all aspects of their daily lives. What is particularly exciting is that every day is different; my day-to-day life and work are never the same since I accompany the people in my care through ups and downs.
The MFZ team are extremely appreciative of the efforts and enthusiasm shown by InterNations volunteers. Sabine would like to add how much she appreciates their hard work.
Cooperating with InterNations allows our residents to break out of their daily routine and to experience more variety in their lives. I also like that we have developed a core group of InterNations members who come to the MFZ to support us on a regular basis.
I can honestly say that it is a great enrichment for our residents, and they are always very happy when a new activity takes place.
If you’d like to get involved in another city, please check if there is a Volunteer Group in your InterNations Community. Every InterNations member can join the group and take part in the activities!
(Image credit: Temenuga Bakalska/InterNations)