Hi, I’m Marina, the wee german intern from Lifestart. I am studying social work in Germany and the placement is part of my studies. When I am back in Germany I have to study one more year to finish my bachelor. I still don’t know what I want to do after my graduation. But the SOOC programme made me very keen to continue working with parents and I would love to take the project to Germany. Together with the wonderful Lifestart team!

I learned a lot in the six months in the head office of Lifestart Foundation. First of all, there is always time and need for a wee cup o’tay. Lots of things that I had to learn as we weren’t prepared for L‘Derry reality in our English lessons at school. I was pretty shocked when my colleagues asked me on my first day: “What’s the Craic, Marina?” Nor was I prepared for the weather here in Northern Ireland. I had to equip myself with several layers of clothing already in summer.

Some of the work to date I have completed include taking part in two SOOC Programmes, completing SOOC adminstartive work, and assisting in completing the evaluation data of the SOOC programme. I was on two family visits with Deirdre and I shadowed Deirdre and Meri at the parenting support group for Tinylife. This is work experience I will never forget and which helped me to challenge myself and grow in a professional and personal manner.

Through the administrative work for the SOOC programme, I learned a lot about the project and luckily I had the dearest colleagues I could only ask for, if I had any questions. I was able to apply a lot of what I’ve heard at university and was incredibly proud when I was able to do my work on my own. It’s nice to see how committed everyone is at work.

My time in Ireland will be over in two weeks. Although I have to say that L’Derry remains my Irish home for me.

In summary, I can say: Even though the weather is very cold, the people are so warm-hearted! I will miss my team.

Chance made us colleagues, but the fun and laughter made us friends.

Es ist kein Abschied, es ist ein bis bald! (It’s not a goodbye, it’s a see you later!)