Near the heart of where Germany, Poland, and the Czech Republic converge beats a small town that optimizes the charm, historical romance, and scenic beauty of life in the shallows of Eastern Europe. In the summer of 2010 an unusual project brought me to Görlitz, the easternmost town …
in Germany laying on a shared border with Poland. Görlitz was the location of my 19th international workcamp and my 15th volunteering for Service Civil International (SCI). Since the end of the first World War SCI has organized thousands of community service projects worldwide for volunteers of varying ages and nationalities. These workcamps could range from teaching English to school children, preparing food in a mission, or serving as roadies for a cultural music festival, to renovating a medieval church monastery. Kinderstadt, Görlitz 2010 was a workcamp aimed at providing summer activities for children living in and around the town while instilling in them the responsibilities that come with life as a productive, locally conscience citizen. Moreover, the project sought to strengthen social relations between children living in Görlitz and Polish children living on the other side of the border in Zgorzelec, Poland. With the help of local high school and college students and other local volunteers, myself and member of my international workcamp worked over two weeks setting up and supervising a makeshift town ran in cooperation by German and Polish children.
Görlitz – International Workcamp is the first of several upcoming series where I feature photographs of the participants who took part in these unforgettable projects. It is my goal that these images will–in my own fashion–reveal the beauty of cultural, national, and age diversity while celebrating their efforts to live together, work together, play together, and together inspire future generations to coexist in this ever changing world. A. Reid
To view color snapshots from my Görlitz 2010 workcamp click here and visit my Facebook page.