In the few weeks before the start of the project, the trainees from Sindelfingen planned their tasks at the Käthe-Kollwitz school down to the smallest detail in order to make sure that the five activity days would run as smoothly as possible. Finally, the time had come: The air was filled with excitement. Will everything go as planned? Will the material be enough? How will the group work go? These are the questions that concerned the trainees shortly before the start. Nina Swoboda and her trainee friends have been in close contact with the school kids for some time now, who have special education needs due to delayed development or cognitive limitation.
The project partners of the school also visited the trainee workshop at Daimler back in the spring in order to get to know everything first-hand. The goal now was to build the herb spiral with an insect hotel in the middle of the recreational area. The school kitchen will thus always have fresh herbs from the school's own garden for the dishes.
Trainee Florian Haag told us about his impression of the place: "When we first saw the huge heap of stones on the lawn, the chins of some of the trainees dropped. And the big question was how to put these rocks together in the short time available." But the trainee group around Florian did not let itself be intimidated. One half of the group cut, sawed, drilled and hammered on the insect hotel and some bird feed houses, while the other half worked on the herb spiral. The time flew by very quickly -- at the end of the day, they had gotten more done than they thought. The herb spiral was already finished on the second day. "A raised bed would also be great, for sure", pitched in the teacher, Sebastian Stotz, who supervised the project. No problem! The Sindelfingen trainees immediately threw themselves into the planning and realization of the new task. Ulrike Graze, Center Manager of Assembly for the S-Class at the Mercedes-Benz Sindelfingen Plant also provided active support. The trainee group in voice-over: "She has done a great job for us and has worked right along. It's easy to see that she is also having fun."
The school garden began to take shape. "It's almost like a miracle how nice it has become", said the school principal Heinz Mast. "For our school kids, it was certainly something special to be able to work together with the trainees. It's great that we could combine the social aspect with environmental protection in the project. The result is really great."
The week was strenuous for the Sindelfingen trainees, who did not always immediately know how to act with or respond to the school kids in unusual situations. The group of trainees came to learn a few things through the social project. For example, that it is very important to be considerate, understanding and respectful to the school kids. It was a good and valuable experience. The school kids from the Böblingen Käthe-Kollwitz school welcomed the trainees warmly and openly and made them feel at home.
I held many hands that wanted to go with me through the school yard, got many hugs and heard words like: I like you, you are my friend. One student even gave me a letter with her address, phone number and date of birth. You can only smile!