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Social work

From someone who set out to learn "social work".

Max is 27 years old and has already done a lot in his life. He is trained in marketing communications, has worked in advertising for a while. But also as a parcel deliverer or bartender - as a backpacker in South America he stood behind the counter and most recently he set up the bar for Timo Hildebrandt's restaurant "Vhy". But somehow that wasn't enough for him, he wanted to do something useful, something meaningful, so he started studying to become a social worker as a dual student. The course with an international practical part is made possible and financed by the foundation “Promoting Children – Future donate" in cooperation with the DHBW, the Baden-Württemberg Cooperative State University in Stuttgart.


Max starts his studies with a big challenge. He will begin his first three-month practical phase in Namibia. Mind you, we are in times of a corona pandemic, but that is not an obstacle for Max. As part of the "Aussenkehr Project" he first ends up in a clinic where he meets sick, sometimes traumatized girls and women. In the clinic, Max should improve his knowledge as a future social worker extend. So Max rolls up his sleeves, calls his professor at the DHBW in Stuttgart and within a very short time is given the right specialist knowledge to be able to tackle the problem with commitment. As Max himself says: "There was no chance for fear of contact" and so he quickly developed into a full-blooded social worker. And that very intuitively.

 

His social work in Namibia is divided up so that he works three days at the clinic and two days at school. At the elementary school on the Außenkehr farm, he gets involved in the afternoons with the children reading and writing, but also sports with netball. He would like to rebuild the fallow school garden with the children. A cooperation with the local wine plantation is planned, the most important and largest employer in this area. The Grape Company is to support the school garden with workshops so that pumpkins and melons, but also grapes, can soon thrive. A compost heap has already been created with the children, so the students not only get to know agriculture, but also sustainable permaculture at the same time.

 

Max wants to give the students who have the least chance of going to secondary school the opportunity to at least get a job in the vineyards. He is in contact with the foundation “Promote children – create a future” about what can be done to counteract the constant hunger of the students. The cornmeal pap given out at school every morning is often the children's only meal. They call him "Shirumbu - the white guy".

 

Every weekend at 5:00 p.m. the soccer training session of the “Seven Stars” team takes place on the main square of the settlement. It is a big event every time there is training and many come to watch. Max kicks along and quickly becomes part of the team. They call him "Shirumbu" which means white guy and everyone cheers and greets him on the street. This quickly brings him a high level of awareness within the community. This makes it easier for him to get in touch with the families in the townships.

 

It is important for Max to find out in which families the students grow up. He would like to take care of the most underprivileged among them in order to help in the long term. What helps is that he will be coming back to Namibia on and off over a three year period as part of his studies. This gives him a leap of faith from the families and the chance to do even more together with the foundation in Außenkehr.


And what does Max have planned for his next practical semester in May 2022? He is still looking for a sponsor for the football team "Seven Stars". Max would love to return to Namibia with football boots for the boys...

As of January 2022

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