NEHEMIAH GATEWAY University
Helping and empowering people to sustainably shape and determine
their lives in dignity and independence
My name is Lukas Eisenträger, I am from Germany, 19 years old and I decided to support Nehemiah Gateway Albania for about two months as a volunteer.
I’m staying in the very nice Guest House on the N.G. Campus in Bucimas. Especially lunch time is an opportunity to get to know new people, as employees, students and volunteers meet in the canteen: one volunteer came from Northern Ireland, various professors from Germany, the U.S. and Great Britain and there are students from a variety of other countries. So, there is a lively exchange of people with different cultural backgrounds, which I find very enriching. I was given a very friendly welcome and quickly got to know people. In the first few days, I was shown around the N.G. Campus with its various work areas and had a tour of the local Amaro Tan school.
The N.G. Campus is located in Bucimas, next to the town of Pogradec. It's a 30 min walk to Pogradec and the beach is only 5 min away. It's worthwhile to borrow one of N.G.'s bikes and explore the surrounding area, for example by making a trip to neighboring Macedonia - the border is only 6 km away.
For leisure time or at the weekend, there are always interesting possibilities for activities - whether it's swimming in the lake or visiting the many small bars in Pogradec.
At the beach in Pogradec, the beach and water are cleanest and you meet many locals on the weekends. In the evening, the town is very lively and full of people. If you walk down the long street by the beach in the evening, you can see the older people sitting on the park benches, while the children and teenagers meet for a game of volleyball or football in the park. All this makes for a very nice atmosphere.
My tasks have been very diverse so far. In my first week at Nehemiah Gateway I gave table tennis training for a group of teenagers from Pogradec. I was confronted with new challenges because the conditions here were, of course, completely different from what I knew from my "trainer's experience" in Germany. The training was concluded with a tournament, which was the highlight for the young people.
Apart from that, I helped a few days in the media department of N.G. Because of my experiences in video processing, I was able to help with the editing of a smaller video project.
I also worked in the wood workshop of the Amaro Tan school for a week. Here, we make small souvenirs, which are then sold. The proceeds go directly to the school-project.
At the moment I'm working in a summer camp of the Amaro Tan school. The camp takes place for 3 weeks and is located on a meadow close by the lake. We offer a full-time program for about 40 children. The activities range from guided group activities to playful sport exercises. Besides, there is of course plenty of free time. I support the two teachers in the supervision and implementation of the sports-focussed-program.
The work with young people gives me a lot of fun and joy and was also my main motivation for the trip to Albania.
All in all, I feel very comfortable and am glad I decided to volunteer for Nehemiah Gateway.
It is an interesting experience and you get to know many friendly people. In the summer and during school holidays, however, it is much quieter on the campus. Therefore, I would advise all future volunteers, who want to support N.G. during this time, to set up a clear goal or plan for their stay beforehand with the Nehemiah staff. This way you can make the most of your time in Albania and ensure that you can use your own abilities most effectively to support N.G. If you keep those aspects in mind, you will have a very nice, exciting stay at Nehemiah Gateway Albania.
=> To become a volunteer at N.G., find further information here