"It was a life-changing and enriching experience where I learnt about different working methods."

Oloshuku Mbukure Lerug, short Ole Lerug, is a physiotherapist from Usa River in Tanzania. He talks about his experiences as a Team works! participant in Germany. Reflecting about what he shared and learnt at the neurological specialized hospital and rehabilitation centre of the Hegau Jugendwerk, he also describes which aspects surprised him during his stay.

Oloshuku Mbukure Lerug

Oloshuku Lerug was born and raised in the Maasai community in the Tanzanian Ngorongoro region. Besides his profession, being a physiotherapist, he is passionate about empowering his community by providing education to help improve their standard of living. He co-founded and is secretarying the Non-Government Organization “Enduata Community Initiative Organization” (ECIO) in Usa River, Tanzania, which mainly focuses on community empowerment, education and supporting children with disability.

Das Interview

What company was your assignment in? What were your main activities?

I did my assignment at the neurological specialized hospital and rehabilitation centre of the Hegau Jugendwerk in Gailingen am Hochrhein. As a physiotherapist, I spent my time learning from my colleagues, who form a big multidisciplinary team. I also shared my expertise in providing comprehensive rehabilitation after a neurological illness, an accident or an early childhood brain injury – from early rehabilitation to reintegration into school and the workplace.

In one room, three people are standing around a height-adjustable treatment table. Standing next to Ole are Stefan Daub, head of the physiotherapy department (centre) and Dr Willy Zink, SES expert (right). They are all wearing a face mask.
Ole stands next to Stefan Daub, head of the physiotherapy department (centre) and Dr Willy Zink, SES expert (right) in a treatment room around a table.

What did you learn during your assignment, whether from your colleagues, supervisors or independently? And which of your skills were you able to pass on?

I learnt about teamwork and punctuality, which my colleagues follow to achieve their goals. It was a life-changing and enriching experience where I learnt about different working methods with modern therapeutic devices that challenge, equip and reward me with new skills to bring back home.

In our community, children with disabilities cannot afford the costs of medical and rehabilitation services as well as of quality education. I coordinate financial support for treatment and help finding sponsors for girls’ education through a small NGO we initiated to empower the communities.

To ECIO

Overall, I learnt many valuable things in Germany that will bring about significant change in my life and help me achieve my goals and vision.

Why did you choose Team works! and the AGYO?

I learnt about Team works! from my tandem partner Dr. Willy Zink from the Senior Experten Service (SES). I got interested because I liked the idea behind it: two sides share knowledge and experience based on equal partnership with a long lasting-impact. African young professionals get a chance to go on an assignment to Germany and vice versa, which will positively impact the professional development and, also, promote international development.

The photo shows Ole on the left half of the picture. He is wearing a blue winter jacket and is standing on a viewpoint. The right half of the picture shows an autumnal landscape and the Rhine.
Ole on a viewpoint overlooking the Rhine on an autumn day.

What surprised you the most during your assignment in Germany?

During my time in Germany, I met with internship students from different parts of Europe. We spent time together, had lunch and went to our hospital placements together. It was something I wasn’t prepared for before.

Out of the clinical area, I was surprised by how the train system works – it was my first and a better experience in a train than I expected – as well as by the TK elevator test tower in Rottweil.

You will be building the foundations of a global network whose expertise and advice might well help shape your career in the future.

What are the advantages of being in a tandem team with a SES expert?

Being abroad for the first time is so impressive, especially when you meet with someone who is aware of the culture and the environment experienced in the field. In general, the tandem with a SES senior expert helped me to have a vision to help myself as well as the community that I serve.  

The photo shows Ole and his tandem partner, SES expert Dr. Willy Zink. They take a selfie together in front of the Rhine and smile at the camera.
Ole with his tandem partner, SES expert Dr. Willy Zink.

What advice would you give to other young people who are interested in doing an assignment in Germany?

Doing an assignment in Germany opens doors to multiple opportunities. You will meet people from different backgrounds and from different parts of the world that you will interact forming international contacts that can be a perfect tool and widen your scope to opportunities that may not have been accessible to you beforehand. You will be building the foundations of a global network whose expertise and advice might well help shape your career in the future.

Please name three things or experiences that you’re taking away from your assignment

  1. New skills, practical competence and experience.
  2. Memories and stories to share.
  3. A lot of gifts from friends.
The photo shows a group of people sitting around a table. Some of them are smiling at the camera, others are eating. One of them is Ole Lerug.
Breaks are also important - Ole with a number of colleagues at lunch together.

What will you never forget?

The big transformation that I experienced, the connection to the people and friends, the relationship to the culture, and the lasting impact have made me realize what I am capable of and which direction I want to take in life.

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