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Blog / / Germany from the Warmth of My Home
10/03/2021
Germany from the Warmth of My Home
Katarina Hasanović Hemofarm Foundation’s Scholarship Holder 2019/2020
Germany from the Warmth of My Home
The good news is that this year I have been honoured to be a scholarship holder of Hemofarm Foundation and to gain knowledge from the people who are renowned experts in their fields through the Mentorship and Internship Programs. The bad news is that this is the same year in which Coronavirus decided to horn in and change every aspect of our lives, as well as our plans, which posed a potential threat that a part of the program for education ‘You can do it’ would be cancelled. Nevertheless, Hemofarm Foundation team remained determined not to disappoint us and organize the Internship Program in full capacity, with a small change, in spite of the new situation - we switched to the virtual world.

The first part of the program was implemented through getting acquainted with employees and their everyday activities in performing their job at Hemofarm in Serbia, and then we ‘travelled’ to another European country and continued building our knowledge and experience in a bit more western geography. Neither closed airports nor delayed flights prevented us from spending a week in a country known for famous writers and philosophers, the most prestigious cars, good football and beer, but also the headquarters of the STADA Group, with our Hemofarm as its member company. As you have probably guessed, our destination was Germany. We got a unique opportunity to talk to the representatives of the institutions, which are the bearing pillars of this country, making its foundations as an organized, well-structured and highly-functional state that has become a paradigm of the European standard.

The Director of the National Program of Konrad Adenauer Foundation Serbia and Montenegro Norbert Beckmann-Dierkes talked about political and social activism at the time of Coronavirus, as well as the strength of individuals for positive changes in the society. He took us back through the time and history of Germany. He reminded us that strong political and social activism, transparent politics and constant struggle for their country, despite a modest period of less than a century, can still lead the country from the dark shackles of war to the light of freedom, shown primarily in human rights and democracy. Considering that we all currently feel as being deprived of a part of that freedom as a result of the health crisis induced by Coronavirus, this was an unavoidable topic that we discussed with almost all the lecturers. Thus, Dr Alexander Jung, Deputy Head of Division 212 Bilateral Relations to the Countries of Central, South Eastern and Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia talked on the topic of ‘Germany in the Time of COVID-19 Pandemic – The Role of Angela Merkel’s Office during Coronavirus Crisis’ and explained what strategies and measures were undertaken in the pandemic response efforts. Responding to our question: ‘What are the advantages of Germany in overcoming this health crisis and why are there big differences between the healthcare systems in the world?’, he pointed out that, in addition to good financial support, their organization, responsible behaviour and data transparency create the feeling of security in people, rendering the trust in the government, which is of unquestionable importance for overcoming this and other crisis situations. However, there is another big difference. The government is not alone in making these decisions. I was amazed by the information shared by Lučijan Brujan, Director of the International Affairs Department of the German Academy of Sciences – Leopoldina, that German authorities consult the Academy of Sciences for finding the most constructive solutions to certain problems. It can be said that the Academy has an international set-up, as the selected scientists in the Council originate from various parts of the world, which gives them an objective perspective when giving advice, which are, by all means, based on scientific grounds, thus supporting this state in another remarkable way.

However, the fact is that no strategy, plan and advice is essentially important unless being applied in the coming years, or based on preserving our environment and health - if they are unsustainable. Andreas Wanke, Head of the Unit for Sustainability and Energy Management and International Cooperation at Freie University, pointed out the importance of sustainability of development of countries and the entire world talking on the topic of ‘Sustainable Development and Social Responsibility’. I was happy to hear how little change can do a lot for our air and environment in the long run. The key lies in educating and raising awareness of the importance and acuteness of this problem, which can we solve only if we are united. This is exactly one of the reasons why this program is listed as an elective course at Freie University.

Despite all the problems that often stumble us both in professional and private life, such as this one with the Coronavirus, we must always fight and believe that success is near, if perseverance wins. Dr Ronald Seeliger, CEO of Hemofarm AD, and Thomas Scheib, the Ambassador of Germany to Serbia, are the embodiment of perseverance and success but also adaptability, the special virtue of great importance in these new and challenging circumstances. We had a great pleasure to get acquainted not only with their steps of success, but also with the challenges interposed between those steps, without which the victory would not be complete, in a good atmosphere filled with laughter.

In the end, Director of Hemofarm Foundation, Suzana Đorđević, and Executive Director of the Serbian Philanthropy Forum Veran Matić encouraged us by unselfishly sharing their examples of persistent fighting for this country, and showed us that every effort pays off in the end, as well as that by helping others – we help ourselves.

Thus, our virtual journey, filled with unforgettable experiences and beautiful memories, came to an end and left a feeling of deep gratitude to Hemofarm Foundation. It gave me the opportunity to gain not only professional, but also life experience, which will encourage me to always strive to be the best in my job and for which I will strive to remain responsible to both myself, and the environment and society as a whole. I will cherish the knowledge gained in this program as a constant reminder that we can do a lot on our own, but together, teamed-up and united, we can do it all.
AUTHOR
Katarina Hasanović
Hemofarm Foundation’s Scholarship Holder 2019/2020