Tell us a little bit about yourself, Saif!
My name is Saif I’m from Tunisia I’m 29 years old. I have a master’s degree in Business management with major in marketing and a second master’s degree in communication.
Since 2011, I have been part of different organizations engaged in the civil society: the co-founder and the president of the Korean and Tunisian non-profit organizations, an AIESEC exchange program member and a member in Club Culturel Ali Belhouan, coach and leader in Success Bridge which is a civil society organization that was created in order to help and empower youth people in rural areas.
How did you get the idea to be volunteer at e.p.a.?
In October 2019, I was selected to participate in the Training Seminar “Power of the open circle! –Hand in Hand, networking for peace and democracy”
With e.p.a. I became more determined to use my own voice in order to help those communities to gain confidence and support them no matter how different they are, because we are all equal and we should be respected and appreciated the way we are and also to do my best in this life to be of use.
In March I had some work issues (Covid) and I was not able and ready to support it anymore and I thought maybe this is the right time to apply for a volunteering opportunity that I want it to experience since 2011, but I never get the chance neither the time to do it.
Therefore, I got the idea to contact e.p.a. office and see if there is an opportunity to be a part of the team as a volunteer for one year.
This is my short story how I have applied with e.p.a. and became then a volunteer.
Your arrival was postponed from September 2020 to March 2021, what kept you motivated?
I was very happy and excited when I was accepted by e.p.a. because deep inside I knew that this opportunity will be very beneficent at both the professional and the personal level.
In 2019, I have met great people from different walks of life, thus, meeting these people, enabled me to learn from their experience in life and to appreciate the effort they are making within their communities. I was really empowered and inspired by them.
Even though my arrival was postponed I was very patient and had faith that I will be able to come to Germany and join e.p.a. at the right time no matter what.
What was the biggest challenge after your arrival here in Hamburg?
To be honest I did not find any integration problems since day 1, I was very welcomed by e.p.a. team and it felt like home. What I can call a challenge now is the language. For this particular reason I’m taking some home courses by myself in order to speed up my learning process, thus, I would be able to communicate with local people in a good German and develop my language skills.
What are your plans for the coming months?
My plans for the coming months are:
Learn the German language
Discover Hamburg and the German culture
Work on some construction activates in our volunteer flat for a better sustainable life
Create a very cozy atmosphere in our office garden