Human stories Volunteering

It’s funny how. Tell me, are you still asking questions?

The words drown in the heatwave. It’s funny how when you’re part of the system, when you work for it, you stop asking questions. Your feed: assumptions from within, instructions from above. Strange, startling, shameful, stationary. The volunteers, the ones who care about what’s happening outside of what some want…
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Psychology

Coaching and counselling: spaces to speak about the unspeakable while summer is standing outside

“There are no easy questions here”, she is right. I’m deeply in love with the fathomless connections that emerge in a first instant of collaboration between special humans. Just like between Vienna and the South, months before the first coaching session. And then I get another call. The mind fog…
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Human stories Psychology Volunteering

Into worlds beyond the capital, talks between youth at night and the signs of giving too much

We talk about social entrepreneurship in the hot morning sun at the arrival centre. Us – no more volunteers, but humans with ideas, jobs and lives. I remember that we’re empathetic, we relate, when we act from our whole being. Caring, then setting boundaries. But this day also brings me…
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Human stories Volunteering

Sun & Scouts. And no one should have to be ashamed to ask for diapers.

STORIES | “How can you live without a cat?” I laugh that I don’t know how, and promise to send photos of my cats in exchange. I etch their smiles into my memory disk, and drink the – now lukewarm – cappuccino that they brought from the kitchen despite my…
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Human stories Volunteering

They still have time. And in that space a story emerges on the train platform.

M. takes out his phone: his grandfather young, his grandfather old with M.’s mother, with a joyous smile and a funny cap, family pictures in slightly faded black and white, black hair, expressive eye(brow)s, long robes. His grandfather was 16 when he escaped home to join the “Rostov” battalion in…
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Psychology Volunteering

8 things that no one taught you about helping people with aha-moments, and without burnout

Oh the psychology! In March, after going through a deep state of shock and “adopting” a family from Kharkiv, I started volunteering to help Ukrainians seeking refuge in Austria as well as those passing through. At the main train station in Vienna, later at the registration center (Austria Center Vienna)…
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Volunteering

It’s a marathon, she says over Zoom. Into the microcosm of the arrival centre.

It’s a marathon, she says over Zoom. And we just nod, later we laugh about some things I don’t remember. The translators’ container in the arrival center has two tilted-open windows, letting in the humming, rattling buzz of the microcosm born on March 4th. Ebbs and flows, the world on…
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Communications Leadership Volunteering

Leadership feels like gardening sometimes – the leader I am and want to be

When my intolerance against #newleadership, #distributedleadership and the like grows into a big cloud, I decide to make it rain down in something useful. In an early morning in bed, before rushing to the office, I write about what really matters for leadership, beyond the stunning beaming, buzzing, blaring buzzwords….
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Human stories

Today I met B. B. is for Bálint. We’re not strangers anymore in the chilly afternoon-night.

I just want to catch a metro but instead I end up talking to and joking with the nicest human. This is a story about B., who would  deserve so much more from life. But it’s cold outside, in between wind and glass walls and evening city void. “I want…
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Art

Make us feel part of something – reflections on art

Feeling small offers us the chance to connect compassion and bravery. In December 2021, I jogged through St.Petersburg’s snows and museums. And when I thought that I’d lost myself, I became a bit more of myself. Here is the artist in me speaking, writing in front the painting by Ivan…
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Human stories

The most beautiful place on earth – conversations on the suburban bus

“No, I don’t have a ticket yet,”, no transport card, I already threw in my token (I had to ask a guard to understand that this was my ticket), no I’m not from here. Whatever “here” is, dear St.Petersburg. “I’m from Italy”, the standard answer that I don’t use anymore,…
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