My name is Judith and I am doing 2 months voluntary service at the community home of the Ruach Foundation in Juigalpa. I am from Germany, 23 years old, and I have just finished studying social work. For me it is the first time to visit a country in Central America. I came here to combine some practical experience for my future job with taking some time off after my studies.
I heard about the Ruach Foundation because I planned my voluntary service with a German organization called “Proyecto Mosaico”, which supports the contact between volunteers and projects and organizations in Central America. As I already had experience in working with people with disabilities from my part-time job during my years of study, and therefore know that I like this kind of work, I decided to come to Juigalpa.
The German organization I worked for serves on the one hand people of all ages with all kinds of disabilities, who can be there to spend a weekend or their holidays and spend a good time with friends, have fun and trip and on the other hand it serves their families, enabling them to take some time to relax and recover from their daily routine. This kind of work was a lot of fun, but as the people there just stay for short periods, you as a caregiver are not working with them towards development.
This is, why I am looking forward to the experiences I will have here, because the people are permanently living here, which makes a big difference to the method of working with them. Because at university in Germany I studied Spanish for only two semesters, I don’t speak it very well. But because the people with disabilities who are living here mostly do not express themselves verbally, communication is not a big problem so far.
What especially caught my interest was that the community home follows the guidelines of “The Ark”. It is great to witness the starting period of a project like this. So far I can say I really like the kind, family atmosphere here in the house and I am looking forward to the coming weeks in Nicaragua and to learning more about its people and its culture.