A Volunteer from Austria told about the work at the project “Jewish kindergarten in Samara Makkabi Lauder”

My EVS project

I work at the Jewish kindergarten Makkabi Lauder. My project started in September and ends in February. That means that I work one half of a year as a volunteer. Already nearly 3 months have gone by and I am very glad that I decided to go to Russia.

I have many tasks to fulfill, but meanly I help the staff. For example I help the children to put on their clothes, I prepare the breakfast and the lunch for them and I wash the dishes. Of course these tasks are very easy tasks, but I am sure that my work counts, for example at lunch time. I also play with the children, read fairytales, sing songs or go with them outside.

 Mainly I like that this project gives me the possibility to get to know more about my host country. Before my flight to Russia for example I didn’t know many Russian songs or cartoons, but now I know many. It seems to me that because of these cartoons and poetries I don’t know only more about the Russian culture, but it helps me also to advance my Russian language skills. At my Russian studies in Austria I learned much, but now in Samara I get to know these grammatical and lexical facet’s of the language.

I help in the group of the 2 to 3 year old children and I saw already how one boy began to speak. This was an interesting moment for me. Although I help in this project only 6 months I saw that that the children developed very fast.

There were regularly cultural events in the kindergarten, for example a theater for children or an event about the traditions of the Jewish holidays. Although the Hebrew language is very difficult to learn I already know some words, but the learning of this language for me is not so important, mainly I am interested in the culture. I also already had the possibility to get to know some holidays of the Jewish culture: the Jewish New Year, Sukkoth etc. The children also have regularly activities in the grand room, for example music or physical education.

The children in the Jewish kindergarten eat 5 times a day: breakfast, second breakfast, lunch, afternoon snack, and dinner and all this meals are prepared kosher. We have plates for meat and other plates for all meals with milk. It is not allowed to mix up milk products with meat products in the Jewish culture. At the beginning this was a little bit strange to me. I was always afraid that I mix up the dishes.

All together I liked my work at the kindergarten Makkabi Lauder and I am glad about my decision to go to Samara. From the work in the kindergarten I learned to be responsible and patient. Here I also had the possibility to talk in the Russian language and to advance my Russian skills. This experience is very enduring for me.

Andrea Koolen

Volunteer from Austria