I moved to Switzerland with my family at the beginning of 2021, and now I live in a small town near Zurich, Basserdorf. I don’t need to tell you how difficult it was to move to a different country in times of COVID.
You need contacts to integrate into the community if you have a small child. And I also wanted to feel part of this small town as soon as possible, because coming from beautiful Munich, the change was hard.
After a couple of months, I went to a welcome meeting in the community center and expressed my interest in trying to integrate through volunteer work. But I wanted to do something I could bring value with. So long story short: I volunteered to revamp the website of the Internationale Plattform Basserdorf. Because before moving, I was already researching the town and thought the platform’s website could need some redesign. Maybe add some font consistency, more visuals, make info more accessible.
So at some point, I met with Jessica, a manager in the community responsible for integration and the platform. We developed ideas in the meeting, and I had a plan. The website needed faces and people. The website needed to reflect the identity of the platform.
Jessica and I gathered some pictures of events and people in the town – they didn’t need to be professional, just natural. We also gathered testimonials of volunteers, and I decluttered old texts and highlighted the information we wanted to transmit to visitors. After a couple of months, the website went live.
Through this work, I met others and developed a feeling of belonging. Mission accomplished!
But, as you know, a website is never ready. We, for instance, need to ensure the website meets accessibility standards or has an active blog. That makes me happy because I still have work to do and can keep serving the community by putting my skills into action and learning.
Small organisations are nonprofit, but it doesn’t mean they can’t be professional or deliver professional services. Many nonprofits need highly skilled professionals who are willing to volunteer. Don’t underestimate the value your professional self can bring to others.
Let’s create meaningful learning experiences for people! I love to help other learning designers to find inspiration and thrive.
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