• Duration: 12 month
  • Field: Youth welfare
  • Gender: Only female volunteers
  • Location: Cologne
  • Languages: German & English
  • Accommodation: Residential home with other volunteers including shared kitchen, living rooms and bathrooms

The IN VIA Teresa-von-Avila Haus is a temporary girl's home for young women in the age of 15 to 27 years, some are unaccompanied minor refugees. Social workers help them to overcome personal and family related problems to be able to live an independent life.

IN VIA Köln is a local organization for social work. We support young people in finding their way after school and improving their personal and occupational chances. The aim of the Teresa-von -Avila Haus is that the girls increase their opportunities and become independent active members of our society. About 2/3 of the residents come from other countries around the world. A lot of the girls have social problems and possible behavioral disorders. The members of staff are qualified social workers who work in shifts, even overnight.

The “Café International” is the social meeting point in the house for the girls. Here they can use the internet, communicate and meet for free time activities or just a little conversation.

Tasks of the volunteers:

  • Joining and offering different free time activities of the girls such as cinema visits, fitness and sport activities, creative activities, baking, cooking, international evenings, concert visits and much more.
  • Some of the girls have psychological or social problems, so one of the biggest task is to motivate them for the organized activities.
  • During the opening hoursof the "Café International": offering drinks and snacks to the girls and helping them using the computers or Internet.
  • Taking part in the meetings of the social workers.
  • Building bridges between the girls and the social workers due to the volunteer's age and International background.
  • Joining trips and organizing projects or activities for the residents.
  • Giving lessons in how to use the computers to a small group of girls. For activities the cafe offers four PCs with Internet access, scanner, digital camera, kitchen, material for arts and crafts.
  • If possible, cooking together with the girls (sometimes with support from the staff).
  • Editing and distributing the monthly café program.
  • Collecting information about Youth services in the community e.g. training courses, advice centres, information about social services, job offers.
  • Asisting the housekeeping staff in washing clothes, prepare meels, clean rooms etc.