My EVS in Denmark
Hej alle sammen!
My name is Leonie, I am 18 years old and I am from Germany.
For the past 6 months, I have been volunteering at Café Paraplyen in Frederiksberg. It is one of 30 social and alcohol free cafes run by the KFUM's Sociale Arbejde here in Denmark.
The goal is to create a cozy, open and inclusive atmosphere and community for everyone who might feel lonely or excluded. So socializing with both the guests and the volunteers is naturally a big part of my daily routine.
This has also really helped me with learning Danish since I am always somehow surrounded by someone speaking Danish who I can eavesdrop on ;)
Many nationalities working together
My main tasks at the cafe are helping out in the kitchen e.g. preparing, cooking and serving food, baking, doing the dishes or helping wherever help might be needed.
Subsequently, I’ve now learned quite a lot about running a large-scale kitchen and what kind of hygiene rules there are to follow etc.
The cafe consists of 3 employees and around 70 volunteers of all ages and nationalities, although the majority are Danes.
Significance for the guests
In the beginning, I was very surprised to find out about this huge number of volunteers involved and it actually became one of my favourite parts about this place.
Every day of the week there is a different team and it is interesting to experience the different dynamics of each of these groups. You also get to know so many new people since there will always be new volunteers or students doing an internship for their studies.
However, my favourite part is to see what significance this place has for our guests. Many of the regular guests have areal social circle within the cafe and it is always great to be greeted with a broad smile or a “Hej med dig”.
I am very grateful that I can get to spend this time here in Danmark and I will definitely take a lot of experience (and a small amount of Danish) back home with me!