As the year is coming to a close, we’d like to take this opportunity to reflect on some of the amazing activities organized by InterNations members for a good cause.
24,000 members are part of our 32 Volunteer Groups in New York, Dubai, Zurich, Vienna, Bangkok and Munich, amongst others. Due to the Group Consuls’ and volunteers’ hard work, we have seen over 550 activities helping less fortunate people in communities all over the world through hands-on support and donations.
The Difference We Made in 2015
Bringing a Smile to Children’s Faces
We have seen some wonderful partnerships between our Volunteer Groups and non-profit organizations develop this year. Bangkok volunteers have brought happiness to many children from the Duang Prateep Foundation by planning a series of great fun activities, including a sports day, a trip to the water park, and a day out at the zoo. In Kuala Lumpur, InterNations volunteers have been equally enthusiastic and committed, partnering with the Pandawas Academy, a school providing quality education to refugee children. Not only have volunteers supported the school by donating food and repairing their buildings, they have also planned an exciting nature walk and a trip to Jungle Land.
These long-term relationships between the Volunteer Groups and the non-profit organizations offer a really amazing opportunity to connect with the people that you are helping: it is rewarding to see the results of your efforts develop.
Rollout of the Social Impact Night
The Social Impact Night launched this year in Munich and has since been rolled out to five more cities, with December events held in Singapore, Vienna, Madrid, Barcelona, and Munich. The night brings together like-minded expats, providing a chance to listen to a stimulating speech, get to know other volunteers, and do something for a good cause by donating funds or goods to a non-profit organization. In Munich, 1,250 goods have been collected for refugees in the city. We are delighted that the concept has spread and look forward to bringing this successful initiative to more communities in 2016.
Making Refugees Feel at Home
With the refugee crisis prominent in many people’s minds, we are pleased to say that InterNations members have been doing their bit to help. Volunteers in Frankfurt constructed a summer house for refugee children without parents, whilst in Dubai volunteers gathered for a presentation on Syrian refugee children and made generous donations to the cause. Visits to the refugee camp in Munich have become a weekly feature and their hard work sorting donations is hugely appreciated.
Over in Dallas, the Group Consuls have been working hard to support refugees, collecting clothing, running an employment workshop and reading with refugee children. Both Vienna and Brussels have had similar initiatives, preparing food and collecting clothes for refugees in need.
Giving Some Happiness to the Homeless
Members all over the world have been offering a helping hand to homeless people. Brussels, Rome, Washington, and Vienna have all prepared and distributed food to people on the streets. Volunteers in Vienna have led the way, organizing a weekly trip to the local soup kitchen — over the last year they have given many people a full tummy for the night.
In Barcelona, the Volunteer Group ran a “Nobody Sleeping on the Street” campaign, raising awareness of the homeless people in the city by marching with eye-catching heart-shaped signs on Valentine’s Day.
Building Friendships with People with Disabilities
Washington volunteers have had great fun exercising and building friendships with young people with disabilities. Playing sports, getting active, and sharing their achievements helped the kids to really feel happy, and the volunteers had a great sense of achievement as well.
Volunteers in Munich have enjoyed some special days at a local center for adults with cerebral palsy. They treated the residents to a photo shoot, enjoyed watching a movie together, and indulged in a spa day. A great relationship has been built with the center, and they always look forward to InterNations coming to visit.
There have been more great activities than we can mention here. These couldn’t have happened without our incredibly committed Consuls and volunteers. The Volunteer Program Team would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you for your hard work! We look forward to continuing this success into 2016.
If you’d like to get involved in another city, please check if there is a Volunteer Group in your community. Every InterNations member can join the group and take part in the activities!