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Mein FSJ-Jahr bei JONA

Mein FSJ-Jahr bei JONA
Mein FSJ-Jahr bei JONA

My name is Patrick Zulu and I worked at Jugendkirche JONA in Frankfurt from last year September 2018 to August 2019 as a volunteer from Zambia.

As the youthchurch it organises programs for the young people of the church and school classes. There are different programs for different age groups.

Working at the youthchurch and organising programs for young people was one of my best experience in Germany because I learnt a lot of new ideas which I can also teach my fellow youths when I am back in my country Zambia.


The Schülercafé ORCA opens on monday from 10:00-17:30 and from tuesday to friday from 10:00-15:00.

I was working in the ORCA and some of my tasks was organising things: Cleaning, making sandwiches, baking and also cooking. I enjoyed doing these tasks and I learnt  how to cook German food. During lunch time, we had school pupils coming to the ORCA for lunch break and it was a good experience to interact with them when they came for their lunch break.

In the ORCA we had different projects to organise, like decorating the ORCA on Halloween and buying things like food stuffs. Every monday was pasta day, tuesdays and fridays was sandwiches day. Wednesday was a day where school pupils could wish for there meal, thursday was snack day.


Community weekend was the first program, I went with the JONA team and also the people who find time to volunteer in the programs that JONA organises. We had programs like escape room and on the first day, we eat together while playing a game. The most enjoyable moment for me was the last night when we all gathered together and started sharing stories and also playing the guitar, it was a memorable night.   


Taizé is a spiritual program, which enables the young people to connect or talk to God, when they are in need. This program started in France and many young German people go there to participate. At the youthchurch every last Sunday of the month we had taizé mass for young and elderly people and I found it more interesting and spiritual in my life.


The African-mass which, was organised by the JONA team, was also wonderful and interesting for me. It reminded me back how we celebrate mass in Zambia. It was an honor to have such a mass. Thanks a lot to the organisers and the african choir that was leading in singing.


Before Christmas we had celebrated „Adventszauber“. Advent is the season of the Catholic Church year, leading up to Christmas and including the four preceding sundays and during this period I was asked to prepare how we celebrate Christmas in my home country, what we do during Advent and some important things during Christmas period.

During my presentation I came across a lot of people who were interested in knowing, how we celebrate Christmas in Zambia and also motivated me. I learnt some new culture that I may continue practicing while am back home, like: introducing an Advent Calender, organising small presents for my family and friends and having a meal together on Christmas as a family to be united.


72 hours is the project given to the young people and asking them to complete these projects within three days. During these three days, I was working as „Stoppi“ like the time keeper and my job was to go and check out the projects young people where doing. I found these tasks very interesting, for example some people were working in a Kindergarten, Jugendhaus, home for the homeless and home for the disabled people. Just to mention a few, my experiences during these days were really beneficial, because the young people taught me how I should volunteer for my community and work together as one. I met new people who were inspiring me to do good things for the people in needy and the world at large.

I wish to organise a program like this in my country to unite the young people and make them work together. I would like to let them know the importance of doing a voluntary work in helping out the communities.


Sax and the organ was also one of the wonderful event I attended and it was one of the kind where I really enjoyed the music. It was an event in a church on a friday night of fundraising to restore the organ of the parish.


During my voluntary work in German, I stayed with a host family and they have two children. I was well welcomed and had fun staying with them. They helped me in learning the culture of German, the language and they taught me a lot of new things in life.


During my voluntary year in JONA, I had not so much challenges because everyone I was working with was very helpful in terms of work and other programs. The only challenges I had was the language barrier. I couldn´t understand the Germany language properly in the first few months.  


In my conclusion, I would like to thank everyone who stood by me and helped me in learning the culture, work and language. Working in JONA was my best experince and you guys taught me how to work together with people and on time. 

Some pictures of my memorable moments:


Patrick stellt den African Christmas an JONA's Adventszauber vor.
Patrick stellt den African Christmas an JONA's Adventszauber vor.
Patrick in Aktion mit der Popcornmaschine am Tag der offenen Tür der Carl-Schurz-Schule.
Elektro-Swing-Party "Sax and the organ" in der Kirche mit Patrick.
Feierabend-Bierchen mit Kollege Frank.
Patrick unterstützt als Maskottchen "Stoppi" die 72-Stunden Aktion.

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