FSJ in a preparatory class: Jinan helps children learn German – Stuttgart

Jinan (left) is doing his FSJ at the Wilhelmsschule in Untertürkheim. Photo: Caritas / Stuttgart


The need for international preparatory classes has again increased as a result of the Ukraine crisis. Now Caritas Volunteer Center is looking for young people to do their volunteer social years in such a class. It reports an FSJ force.

Experience the world in Stuttgart? Jinan El-Moudawar immediately took up the challenge. “I like working with children,” the 21-year-old says. Since September, Jinan has been doing his volunteer social year (FSJ) in an international preparatory class (IVK) at the Stuttgart Wilhelmsschule in Untertürkheim – not as an individual school counselor, but as an extra resource for the whole class.

She helps elementary school children between the ages of six and eleven learn German. Children from Romania, Albania, Bosnia, Syria, Afghanistan – and for a few weeks now also from Ukraine. Of course, due to the language barrier, it can also be challenging at times. But the bottom line is that building a cord works great. She found that the most important thing for the kids to remember is that you are there for them.

Suddenly there are no longer 14 but 24 children in the class

For example, having a ten-year-old who confided in her a few months ago was particularly nice. In the morning he was in IVK, in the afternoon he was going to regular class. But he does not understand anything there, he does not want to go down there. He’s scared, he confessed to her. She offered to follow him – and then he dared. It worked: “He made friends,” she says at a meeting at the Caritas Kaleidoscope Volunteer Center. The kaleidoscope coordinates the FSJ forces in the preparatory classes.

Now is the time to fill the positions for next school year. And we are still looking for young applicants. This project is “particularly important” to them, says Ursula Class, who works at Kaleidoscope and is jointly responsible for the volunteer services. The city funds ten FSJ positions spread across ten schools, which Ursula Class finds “gigantic”. The need, she admits, is obviously much higher – not least because of the children from Ukraine.

Read our plus offer: Refugees from Ukraine – 300 children waiting for a school place in Stuttgart



The number of students in Jinan’s class has also risen sharply: Suddenly, ten Ukrainian children arrived, leaving 14 but 24 girls and boys in the class. In Stuttgart, there are now 55 preparatory classes at 38 locations. Pr. On May 1, 989 students attend an IVK.

A compliment from relatives

The work as FSJ in an IVK is demanding, says Class, but you are prepared for it – and you are not alone, but support the respective teacher and the school social workers. Young people from 16 years can apply. They must be strong in personality and development and culturally open, says Christine Schulze, who is also responsible for the project. They must also have a good knowledge of German. Young people who themselves have a migration background were often interested.

Read from our offer: 300 children are waiting for a school place

Like Jinan. She was born in northern Germany – her father is from Lebanon, her mother from Tanzania. She was not able to use her knowledge of Swahili in the FSJ, but she used her other language skills: English, French and Arabic. The latter has even improved markedly. She was praised by her relatives, she says with a smile. She can now count to ten in Romanian and say “good morning” in Albanian.

Most often, however, friends and acquaintances notice something else: “I have become much more confident, more independent and also more courageous.” She is convinced that an FSJ is “perfect” for professional orientation.

More information about the voluntary services and other FSJ positions can be found here: https://www.caleidoskop-stuttgart.de/freiwilligendienste/

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