“Charity weekend”

100 American students volunteer

At the central refugee clothing donation center, they helped with taking in and sorting clothing donations. 

At the central refugee clothing donation center, they helped with taking in and sorting clothing donations. 

Bonn. American University students volunteer their weekend to help in numerous projects around Bonn. It’s their way of showing thanks to the city and its people for hosting them.

Around 100 American University students took part in refugee volunteer work and various other projects around Bonn for their “Charity weekend.” They are currently studying in Bonn with the Academy for International Education (AIB). 21-year-old Makda has been closely following the refugee situation in Europe. Her father lived in Bonn in the 1970’s as a refugee from Eritrea. She has been in Bonn since January, coming from Los Angeles where she studies health science.

“Charity weekend” is the student’s way of thanking Bonn and the families who have taken them in for the duration of the study program. Over the weekend, they cleaned up the riverbank along the Rhine in Beuel, they helped with improvements at the Godesberger Senior Center at Redoute park, as well as a high school courtyard, and numerous garden projects. At the central refugee clothing donation center, they helped with taking in and sorting clothing donations. 

AIB students come from all over the world to acquire academic skills and international competency and experience.  One of the cooperating partners of AIB is Texas A & M University, whose students carry out the “Charity weekend” every year. “We have taken over this project for Bonn,” says Mauriz Schuck who works with students at the AIB center. 

Gunnar is a student of biomedical studies at the University in Texas and said he has come here to widen his perspective.  “In the USA, we are so much just looking at ourselves,” says the 20-year-old. He also found the central location of Germany very enticing, “You only have to drive three hours to hear a different language being spoken.” For him as a Texas A & M student, it was clear he would take part in the volunteer projects and he enjoyed his work at the clothing donation center. Refugee donation center coordinator Jan Erik Meyer said he was happy for the help from the students. He added that at the moment they are taking in more donations than are being demanded, and anyone interested in helping at the center should please feel free to contact him: ehrenamt@sachspenden-bonn.de

(Orig. text: Stefan Knopp)