Social Clubs in Germany
Hello friends!! This is Natalie from Germany.
Regardless of their country of origin or culture, many people participate in voluntary work to support their various interests. In Germany, there is a special way of doing so, which is called a “social club” (or “Verein” in German).
But why do they exist and what are they for?
First of all, it is important to state that, while common in Germany, social clubs can also be found in some other countries like Belgium, France and the USA.
Usually, social clubs act on a local basis and focuses on one or several specific fields of interest, which are chosen upon its foundation. There are social clubs that mainly support their members, but many of them also share their expertise with everyone who is interested in the designated field.
The most common social clubs in Germany are those that focus on one sports or performance, but there are also many others, such as those that take care of ancient buildings, follow a hobby, like gardening or even watching anime for example, and those that support less fortunate people, and many more.
As for myself, I am a member of a social club that furthers the aim of the institute I am currently studying at (East Asia Institute of Ludwigshafen University of Business and Society). Additional to our huge annual meeting, we organize workshops for students, visit high schools to promote the institute, plan and hold fun events like pub quizzes, East Asia-related contests, and donate a certain amount of money to the organization´s Asia-focused library, and many more.
In order to obtain necessary funds, the social club is financially supported by companies and individuals. Also every member pays a fixed amount on a regular basis (usually not much, I pay 10€≓1,200yen per year). On top of that, to contribute to the social club's goal, there is also the voluntary work done by the members who most often see each other as comrades and friends.
To conclude, the activity of a social club is not the typical voluntary work aimed only to support people in a rough situation, for most often it is more about sharing certain interests, like hobbies, culture, or sports with each other and promoting those interests.
I want to thank my social club for providing pictures and information: https://foerderverein-oai.de/