None of them would have thought that you would include within such a short period of time to the heroes of the global Corona-crisis: “We were prepared at home for a year on so many contingencies,” says the 21-year-old Denny’s Meléndez: “But in a pandemic, which brings our target group danger to life – because no one has thought.”

The target audience are the residents of Berlin’s two nursing homes, in which Meléndez and 17 other young people from El Salvador to complete their nursing training. In the framework of the pilot project “health workers from El Salvador,” are you come to Germany to train for three years carers. For most of them it is the first stay abroad at all.

Prior to her departure to Germany, they learned of a year-long English and took part in Workshops, in which there are cultural differences and other problems went away that you might encounter in your new life in the Stranger, “What happens if you don’t like us, if we do not accustom ourselves to the country, if we come up with the weather clear,” says Meléndez.

Already indispensable

Though the Salvadorans have started training only last December, are – right now – is essential, says Katrin Eschenweck, which accompanied the pilot project on the part of the operator Per senior. Because, although there is in any of the homes so far, a confirmed COVID-19-case (Stand: 3. April 2020), the pandemic a lot.

Because of the stringent Hygiene and safety measures, the residents may receive currently there are no visitors, explains Eschenweck: “In this point, the young apprentices are a great help – not only because of their affection they give to the residents, but also technically: for example, they help to organize Video calls for the use of residents and their family members. But otherwise your work is a huge relief.”

firstly, it is different …

After five months in Germany, the young Salvadorans have already learned a lot – not only about your profession but also about Germany: “The people here have a very fast rhythm going, and they are extremely directly” told you, shortly after their arrival in December, with some bewilderment. Now, they say, they would have understood that this is not meant to be evil: “you just have a different mentality,” says Alejandra Nayara. Meanwhile, you think it’s even good if you can communicate directly.

Nayara was looking forward to the spring, you want to watch then, finally, at your leisure of the city. By the pandemic, have changed their plans significantly. She tries not to go in their leisure time out of the house, probably more than most of the others, because constantly accompanied by the fear of the Virus and it’s in the old people’s home to pass on: “The responsibility that we now carry even greater,” she says.

All of the 15 minutes will be disinfected in a nursing home everything, doorknobs, tables, chairs. Everything. Also, the entire staff must work with masks and gloves.

The family

Even more difficult, but the new Situation is for residents who may not receive even their closest Relatives, says Nayara: “If I see in the course of the day, each of them at least once I Smile, then I go home satisfied,” she says. “This is now our most important task: to calm you.”

How hard it is without family can be, learns Nayara on his own body. Because she misses her family in El Salvador very much. With your 20 years as one of the younger ones in the group.

Increasingly, you does not Worry because she knows how it will go after the Corona-crisis economical for your family. Many people in Central America need day-to-day, because they have no savings. “Sometimes I would like to travel home to see my family,” says Nayara. “But I know I’m needed here. And I won the residents already love.”


grow This empathy is what Helmut Riethmüller estimates to the young Salvadorans in particular. The founder of the “Forum of vocational education and training” has initiated the project together with the Embassy of El Salvador in Berlin and the German Federal Agency for work to life.

Riethmüller, hopes that the project continues to grow: “The potential in Latin America is still little known. There are lots of young motivated people in the Region, bringing often a European affinity and, in any case, a lot of empathy.” The current crisis show that nurses are needed more than ever. “Without these heroes, neither a nursing home nor a hospital can work.” Pro seniors already 20 more care has asked students from El Salvador, says Katrin Eschenweck: “We will take them all with a kiss on the Hand.”

author: Carolina Chimoy

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