Sihem Schamsedin is one of the first “care guides” in Offenbach


Her vocation is to help: Sihem Schamsedin does volunteer work.

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When it comes to helping others, Sihem Shamsedin is always at the forefront. So this time too – albeit by chance. Because when the integration worker was called to a Syrian refugee couple, today’s care guides didn’t even exist. In fact, she was already doing their job back then: “The man was suffering from cancer. He lived with his wife in a refugee camp, they didn’t speak German and didn’t know who to turn to. ”Schamsedin took care of an expert and all the paperwork – unlike usual, it was mainly about the health care of the man. To do this, she first had to train herself. And so I found out about the new “Care-Guides” project, which is precisely related to this topic: a course in which intercultural care guides are trained.

Offenbach – “I knew straight away: I want to do that,” says the 46-year-old who lives in Hammersbach in the Main-Kinzig district. So she became part of the seven-person Offenbach group that was accompanied by the “beramí” association and, as an Arabic-speaking care guide, will be there wherever she is needed.

The aim of the project is to train native speaker guides who can advise older people with a migration background and their relatives. It’s about getting to know and being able to take advantage of the various advisory and support services as well as care services.

“The feeling of helping is just great,” says Schamsedin, explaining her volunteer work. She has been working as a pastor and hospice attendant for several years and is a member of the palliative care team “merciful accompaniment”. “Actually, it is enough to have your ears and heart with you, you don’t need much more,” she says. For them, pastoral care is simply an expression of humanity – regardless of belief.

She therefore not only accompanies Muslims in her work, but mostly because of her language skills. “In Algeria, where I come from, Arabic is spoken. It’s a different dialect than in Syria, for example, but I am now fluent in that, ”she says with a smile. Oral and written translations are also part of her job.

Of course, the corona crisis also affects your work. The personal contacts have fallen sharply. “That is very much lacking, because people, especially in difficult situations, need closeness,” she emphasizes. But her phone is ringing all the more now. “People are taking the phone offer up well and are incredibly grateful for it.”

As a care guide, she is allowed to provide help to people, but not to look after them herself. She wants to change that in the future and start training as a nurse for the elderly as soon as possible. “I also applied in Offenbach and I really hope it will work.”

From Veronika Schade

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