Hi everyone, my name is Christine Damboeck and I am an international student from the University of Passau in Germany. I am currently doing an internship at the YAKKUM Emergency Unit (YEU). My major is International cultural and business studies and focuses on Southeast Asia.

I am currently doing a student exchange with Atma Jaya University, Yogyakarta for four months. Doing internships abroad is part of my studies. I chose Indonesia because I have studied Bahasa at my university in Germany for 3 years. When I return to Germany, I will write my thesis and graduate from the university.

I like to describe my experience in Indonesia like a roller coaster because there were a lot of ups and downs in my first few months of living and studying here. In other words, there are positive and negative experiences, but the positive ones are bigger than the negative ones. I learned a lot here, for example not to let myself be stressed, to wait, to be flexible and change plans or face my fears, for example, traffic and rain in Indonesia.

Image 1: Christine in Kalibiru, Kulon Progo, Yogyakarta

I have always been interested in Asia and in recent years my dream has been to travel to Southeast Asia, especially Indonesia. I have always envisioned beautiful beaches, flavorful food, beautiful rice fields, amazing sunrises, vast volcanoes, and wild waterfalls. Then, when I was finally able to travel to Indonesia, I discovered that Indonesia is so much more and so diverse and it might take me a lifetime to explore all of them because Indonesia is so unique and diverse.

So far, I studied for one semester at the Faculty of Business and Management at Atma Jaya University in an international program and then I have been volunteering for more than a month at the Rumah Buah Hati Orphanage.

I am interested in interning at YEU because it is a non-profit organization that does important work and helps people. Furthermore, I am interested in how Indonesia responds to disasters or emergencies such as earthquakes, floods, or volcanic eruptions.

I have been involved in NGO works from 2019 to 2021 as a fundraiser for the Malteser Hilfsdienst in various cities e.g. Augsburg, Freiburg, München, Nürnberg, and Regensburg. I did door-to-door fundraising with my team consisting of 5 to 10 people. We visited people at home in the cities, suburbs, and villages. We explained to them about the social projects and services in order to convince them to donate. If they agreed then we assist them to fill out a donation form.

Image 2: Christine as a fundraiser in Malteser Hilfsdienst

The job itself was very challenging and tough because I had to deal with a lot of rejection from many different people. Therefore, I had to learn how to stay positive, optimistic, and able to deal with the weather.

I will be doing an internship at YEU for 6 weeks (February-April 2023). I hope to gain insight into how non-governmental organizations work, Indonesian work life, and how employees work together as a team. I also hope to see in practice how YEU's work makes a difference in society and the lives of others and hope that I can contribute something to YEU.