The workcamp has been organized by SCI which means Service Civil International. It's one of the oldest volunteer and peace organizations in the world and every year, thousands of volunteers travel around the globe to support local initiatives. SCI cooperates with all kinds of social and ecological projects through workcamps but also through short- and longterm volunteer services. The people are great and the work that is done needs even more support I think. Go for more workcamps, guys and girls!
Our project partner was Mancheck. It's a gay organization with its base in Berlin-Prenzlauer Berg. They mainly do primary prevention on HIV and AIDS issues.
During the first week, we had a full course on every issue connected to sex. Vocabulary, diseases, personal points of view etc. Every workcamp participant
prepared a presentation about the HIV/AIDS situation in their respective countries which was very interesting and at the same time
quite shocking. All in all, this week was fun and very effective. During some evenings, we went out to gay places and parties to
check out the scene. One evening we went out to eat at the world kitchen. Migrants who are HIV+ cook local food here.
The second week included visiting various organizations that are somehow connected with HIV/AIDS, including Hydra, a meeting point and counseling for prostitutes, Subway, a project for male prostitutes, Fixpunkt, a health education project for drug users and Pluspunkt, counseling, help and information for people living with HIV and AIDS. Each and every organization welcomed us so warmly and gave us a lot of helpful and interesting information.
At the same time, we did actions in the evenings to distribute condoms and lubricants for example at the pope party or in the SO36.
Week three prepared us - after a little revolution - for the travelling workcamps. That meant to split the group in two parts and travel all over Germany to facilitate workshops on the HIV/AIDS topic in other workcamps at the end of week three and beginning of week four. Travelling by train was the way to go. We all love the Wochenendticket now I suppose.
After holding the workshops we all returned to Berlin to make our evaluation and to meet up again with the Human Rights Messengers.
Being in a workcamp also means to play loads of strange and fun games. I just recall that one night at the tram station where we had to wait so long and played so many crazy games that people walked away from us. Some of those games remain important throughout the entire camp. In our case, it's this animal game "it wasn't me it was the ..." So here's the entire farm: the bird, the cat, the dog, the tiger, the mermaid, the butterfly, the spider, the monkey, the horse and the dolphin. I suppose you remember who was who. For the other people having a look on this site, this is not so important.
Workcamps usually stay in basic places, in our case we were really lucky because we stayed in a kind of youth hostel which meant to have the whole house to ourselves. Being in walking distance to the Mancheck office was a big advantage, especially in a big bad city like Berlin. Nearby there was our favorite supermarket and several metro stations. I have to mention that we didn't stay the whole time in the Hosemannstr. 14, there were some squatted or "punk" houses on the agenda as well.