By Yeremia Dika Mahendra from Indonesia
With this blog, I will tell you stories about my workplace during this voluntary service in Germany. Im working at OGS (Offene Ganzetagsschule) – Kreuz Grund Schule, Dortmund. OGS is an after school program, children from primary schools will come to the OGS building after school hours (usually at 12:30). In Indonesia I have never heard of about school system like OGS, because after finishing school the children usually go straight to their respective homes, like my past experiences. In terms of the education system between in Germany and in Indonesia for primary schools there are differences at the existing grade level. In Indonesia, elementary school starts from grade 1 to grade 6 (final grade), whereas in Germany it only until grade 4 for the final grade. In OGS my routine activity almost every day are; lunch with children, then do homework and after that we play outside or play inside the building, if the weather is good, we play outside more often.
I am very happy to be able to work there, 9 months ago, I remember when I first started working there, I was quite curious what kind of elementary school was in Germany, what kind of children there were, would they accept me or not? Maybe because of my skin color are diffrent, or the way I talk. Honestly I was very surprised, when I began to interact with them, even though I could not speak German, they still accepted me and excitedly invited me to play. Then some kids also often taught me German words almost everydays.
In this school, I also found things that were beyond my expectations. I never imagined that I would meet a child from Sri Lanka, India, Africa, Indonesia, China, Turkey, Pakistan at this school. But apparently I was able to meet them all at the Kreuz Grund schule. It was truly amazing to see these children in a school together with other children from Germany. The children there study and play together, regardless of the color of their friend’s skin or where he comes from, they continue to share happiness with one another. If they fight sometimes, even then only temporarily, only briefly then they will play together again. Its like they see things clearly, as they are, very innocent.
The innocence that is sometimes no longer owned by us adults, when out there are still many issues about racism and sometimes cause conflict to violence. Maybe we should feel ashamed of these children, if we still behave racist. Do not let us adults, influence these innocent little children to have racist mindsets. Let the children grow with many color around them, so that they know how colorful the world is.
At our school there is an inscription on a canvas that reads „Wir sind eine bunte schule“ or we are a colorful school in English. A simple word, which in my opinion is very powerful. The word that confirms that we are beautiful in each of our colors and this school is special because we are colorful.