2014 Council for Health and Human Service Ministries (CHHSM) UEK Forum Report
CHHSM continues to deepen our relationship with Diakonie of Rhineland-Westphalia-Lippe. After 3 representatives from Diakonie joined CHHSM for is 2013 Annual Meeting in February, Diakonie CEO Uwe Becker suggested an exchange of volunteers or staff between the US CHHSM agencies and our sister organizations in Germany.
CHHSM continues to deepen our relationship with Diakonie of Rhineland-Westphalia-Lippe. After 3 representatives from Diakonie joined CHHSM for is 2013 Annual Meeting in February, Diakonie CEO Uwe Becker suggested an exchange of volunteers or staff between the US CHHSM agencies and our sister organizations in Germany. After further discussion, CHHSM Program Associate Danielle Bartz was invited to visit Diakonie in September 2013 to hear a proposal to send 20 German young adult volunteers to work in CHHSM agencies for three months in early 2015.
The program was discussed at length with both the Diakonie staff and the CHHSM Board of Directors, who agreed to move forward in organizing the exchange. After much discussion, it has been determined that early in 2015 20 German young adults doing a year of service in Diakonie organizations will come to the USA and do similar volunteer work in CHHSM organizations. 10 young adults will work in St. Louis area ministries and 10 will work in Chicago area ministries. The details of which organizations have yet to be decided.
In preparation for this program, in late June/early July of this year, two Diakonie volunteer coordinators will be traveling to the US for a tour of the St. Louis and Chicago organizations. Danielle Bartz will serve as their guide and host. And in September of this year, Danielle will travel to Germany to meet with the youth coming to the US when they begin their service year (which will begin and end in Germany).
In addition to volunteering in CHHSM organizations, Diakonie will require the young adults to have 10 days of educational opportunities. A variety of options have been discussed including have the volunteers attend the CHHSM Annual Meeting as well as engaging in a variety of cultural opportunities in the Midwest.
A number of details have yet to be finalized, the biggest of which is locating housing for the volunteers in St. Louis and Chicago as well as finding the necessary CHHSM staff support to provide needed oversight and care. Despite the work that still needs to be completed, CHHSM and our member ministries are very excited about the on-going relationship with Diakonie RWL.