Jürgen Peter and I have met in Berlin – Germany – when we were 15 years old. As from the beginning we had a bond of friendship. By Franckx van Tilbeurgh and Jürgen Peter Schmidt.

Contact with someone is – especially in pandemic times – very important to prevent social isolation. As I entered Berlin in the seventies of the last century I felt solitary. My first time in a country – Germany – that was not my native country. I remember that I – accompanied by my parents – had to live in Berlin to finish my education at grammar school. However I was able to speak German I felt isolated because I had no friends and didn’t know Berlin at all. Until I met Jürgen Peter.

Valuable frienship

In the beginning Jürgen Peter and I had very inspiring conversations about our interests: music and books. We considered our findings about these topics by talking and writing about it. Jürgen Peter showed me Berlin and introduced me to his friends and relatives as I introduced him to my parents. As from the day I met Jürgen Peter we started – supported by our parents and in the meantime our mutual friends – to build up a lifelong friendship. Step by step this valuable friendship came into being. Nowadays we work and even live together.

Masterclass Connecting in times of social isolation

We are very proud that the Volunteers Academy Amsterdam has programmed a Masterclass on Connecting in times of social isolation. It is an important subject to discuss about. The Master is Janhavi Dhamankar. Janhavi Dhamankar is an Odissi (Indian classical dance) performer and teacher, trained under the rigorous Guri-shish ya tradition for over 20 years. She completed her B.A. and M.A. in Philosophy from Pune University and her M.Phil from K.U. Leuven, Belgium and now lives in Vienna. Miss Renate Schepen – also a graduated philosopher – professionally will lead us through this Masterclass.

Due to the fact that we still live in the Covid-19 pandemic the Masterclass Empathy will take place in Zoom on November 3, 2020 from 10.00 hours until
12.00 hours a.m.

Franckx van Tilbeurgh
Ambassador for the Volunteersacademy Amsterdam
Jürgen Peter Schmidt
Correspondents in Gent


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