Serving Stories – Serve the City International-logo

Serving Stories – Serve the City International

Government

Showing Kindness in Personal Ways... This is why the global volunteer movement of Serve the City International exists. Serving Stories shows how kindness is transforming cities around the world, one small act at a time, and brings you the inspiration to make a difference in the place where you live. Get ready to listen to stories that will give you hope, as you hear how "many people doing small things together can make a big difference."

Location:

Belgium

Description:

Showing Kindness in Personal Ways... This is why the global volunteer movement of Serve the City International exists. Serving Stories shows how kindness is transforming cities around the world, one small act at a time, and brings you the inspiration to make a difference in the place where you live. Get ready to listen to stories that will give you hope, as you hear how "many people doing small things together can make a big difference."

Language:

English


Episodes
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Love: Crossing the Line in Kosovo

5/16/2024
There's a line in every city that separates... and in Mitrovica, Kosovo, that line is a bridge. Serbs stay on one side and ethnic Albanians on the other—unless they just happen to be volunteering together with Serve the City, crossing the line with love. Volunteers at a Big Volunteer Weekend in Mitrovica tell us about what loving across the line means for them. And they also put it into action by crossing the line into the Roma community, building relationships for good with a widely marginalized people group. Love knows no boundaries!

Duration:00:36:48

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Love: Kindness Wherever You Look!

5/2/2024
A Big Volunteer Day gives the chance to spread love around a city! Every month, Serve the City Peninsula volunteers further multiple projects in a disadvantaged community in Newport News, VA, in the USA. As we accompany them on projects ranging from Bingo with the elderly, to Valentines for families facing hardship, to building a greenhouse for an urban farm, we discover how persistent love builds trust and community between people of every age, race and background.

Duration:00:36:58

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Courage: Dreaming New Dreams in the Big City

4/18/2024
The two most multicultural cities in the world are Brussels and Dubai (Belgium, UAE). People move there dreaming of opportunity... but what happens if opportunities fail to materialize, or when it is time to go back? Meet Marie and Karen, two ladies who help other women find the courage to dream new dreams in these cities... and also one more who has succeeded in making her dream come true. Marie Bennett relates how a Serve the City partnership in Brussels helps migrant women vulnerable to exploitation find courage to envision a new future in employment through volunteer experience. And Karen Ramirez Marine describes how Serve the City Emirates partners with the Sri Lankan Consulate to upskill women returning to their country after serving as guest workers in Dubai. You will be inspired by their courage... and that of the women they work with.

Duration:00:30:16

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Courage: A Fight for Haiti's Future

4/6/2024
Violence in Haiti has again become world news. And in the midst of chaos, the Serve the City Haiti team continues to serve with courage, addressing the roots of the crisis. In this Serving Stories episode, we explore how Serve the City Haiti volunteers have been trying to address the root causes of this crisis, working on the very issues that have fed the rise of gang rule. We hear about projects with enslaved and abandoned children, as well with as single mothers living in poverty. The fight for their country's future is ongoing—but their perseverance in courage is inspiring.

Duration:00:35:23

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Meet the Serving Stories Team!

3/21/2024
Bonus episode! Ever wondered about the people behind the list of names as the end of our podcast? Our Serving Stories production team introduce themselves, and discuss their own experience of serving the city, as well as their favorite episodes!

Duration:00:25:12

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Compassion: A Hundred Thousand Welcomes

3/7/2024
Cead mile failte: an Irish phrase that means "a hundred thousand welcomes." That is what Lucy Alexia Dube wants to offer new migrant parents coming to Ireland. Having been a refugee herself, she compassionately supports them in the midst of cultural transition—and sometimes prejudice—through STC Ireland's Cairdeas (Friendship) program. Come meet a lady numbered among the "Top 50 People to Watch in 2024" by the Irish Times.

Duration:00:39:54

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Compassion: Kindness to Ukraine, Continued

2/22/2024
Let's combat compassion fatigue! On the 2nd anniversary of the Ukraine war, Nikita and Artur, two refugees in Krakow, recount their stories—and how kindness became contagious for them.

Duration:00:36:49

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Compassion: Nourishing Kindness in Paris

2/9/2024
Safi Ebrahim and Peter DeWitt, of Serve the City Paris, lay out for us how compassion can change the trajectory of the life of an immigrant. And Safi should know, as he himself came to Paris as a refugee from Afghanistan! He shares his journey of finding first the means of communication, and then a door to community, as he encountered Serve the City volunteers and became one himself. Be inspired by the stories these two remarkable people helpers as they recount the changes in people's lives, nourished through kindness.

Duration:00:35:30

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Respect: In the Stockings of St. Nicholas

12/21/2023
What if giving gifts to those in need could boost self-respect instead of creating dependency? Saint Nicholas understood this when he gave money anonymously to an impoverished family to supply dowries that would allow their three daughters to marry and have a future. And Serve the City volunteers step in St. Nicholas' stockings—not just on Christmas, but throughout the year—when they recognize that people in need are also people who have something to give to the world. Maybe they just need a little help in being able to realize this potential. The two stories we bring you this Christmas week demonstrate this Saint Nicholas principle, of giving that empowers vulnerable people to give back to their community. The first is a real Christmas story, where Serve the City volunteers gave a gift TO Santa, and the second a tale of marginalized women given the opportunity to take initiative in their own impoverished community. Whether in Luxembourg or Nairobi, the path of Saint Nicholas is one we can walk all year!

Duration:00:28:52

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Respect: No Longer Frozen in Shame

12/7/2023
In Krakow, Poland, as in many other big cities around the world, respectable people pretend the homeless person they pass on the street is invisible. There are, the respectable feel, so many reasons not to respect the man sleeping on the bench: alcoholism, lack of a job, grubbiness, asking for handouts. And if he doesn't seem to respect himself, why should they? So they pretend blindness... until it turns out that the man on the bench has frozen to death in the winter cold. In this episode (originally recorded in December 2020), we listen to a Christmas story from Krakow in which volunteers relate their experiences of deliberately seeing those who are usually invisible, and of how offering respect to those trapped in shame can change their lives. Many people living on the street exist cut off from their families, ashamed of what they have done or who they have become. As Brené Brown says, "Shame corrodes the very part of us that believes we are capable of change.” But in these stories, plus another short anecdote from STC Brussels, we learn that shame can be abolished and relationships restored as people are given respect instead of judgment.

Duration:00:31:36

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Humility: Mopping Mayors and Stumbling Stones

11/16/2023
It’s pretty easy to volunteer when you feel like the task you are doing is big and important. But when the job seems mundane and messy—maybe even smelly—some volunteers might hesitate. In Serve the City, however, volunteering with humility means we are not too proud to do the little things, and to clean up things that are are dirty. And this includes not just dirty streets, but dirty bits of history that pollute our cities. This episode contains three stories from three continents in which people doing small, humble things together are making a big difference. Our first story, from Lusaka, Zambia, features a massive crowd—including some people who might be considered too important for such tasks—who work together to clean their streets. In Berlin, Germany, the site of our second story, volunteers go down on their knees to clean, not just the streets, but a city's memories of persecution. And in Hampton, Virginia, in the USA, volunteers put their backs into paying respect to some long-dead residents who were not respected in their lifetimes.

Duration:00:28:05

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Humility: Short People Got Good Reason to Serve

11/2/2023
Turns out: Randy Newman had it wrong. Short people have lots of good reasons to live! In this episode, focused on volunteering with Humility, we ask: Do you have to be big to do great things? We met with the shortest members of the Short family (the kids) to find out, and to ask them about their experiences and insights from serving. And along the way, we also meet their parents and other families from the core team of Serve the City South Jersey in the USA and find out what they think. Turns out, there's a lot of reasons to want those short people round here! These interviews, made in 2020, are from our archives and unpublished. But even though the Short kids are taller now, we think their insights at the time have something to teach some of us tall people about serving with humility.

Duration:00:31:39

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Humility: Small People doing Small Things

10/30/2023
"Small people doing small things together can make a big difference." Meet Lucy, the 11 year old daughter of the Serve the City Baltimore director, Erin. Lucy has been volunteering for half her life in a variety of projects—including some on the mean streets of the inner city. She and her mom share with us how the humility of a kid serving others can make a big difference. This unpublished interview, recorded in 2021, was too good not to share with you.

Duration:00:25:35

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Serving Stories – Ep.2.2 – Humility, Part 2: South Jersey & Detroit

4/27/2021
When we encountered the Short kids in southern New Jersey (USA) last year, they showed us that Short people have lots of reasons to live… and lots of ways to give! In this episode, we discover how a few families coming together to serve their cities—with lots of kids of all ages—is motivating other families […]

Duration:00:53:27

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Serving Stories – E2.2 – Humility – Part 1: Baltimore

3/17/2021
"Small people doing small things together can make a big difference." Meet Lucy, the 11 year old daughter of the Serve the City Baltimore director, Erin. Lucy has been volunteering for half her life in a variety of projects—including some on the mean streets of the inner city. She and her mom share with us how the humility of a kid serving others can make a big difference, now and in the years to come.

Duration:00:24:38

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Serving Stories – E2.1 – Respect is given, not earned

12/21/2020
“Respect is given, not earned.” In this episode of Serving Stories, we travel to Krakow, Poland to see how volunteers are showing respect to the homeless this Christmas season. We also voyage to Brussels, Belgium and Nairobi, Kenya to explore how service is giving self-respect to people in need. Welcome to our second season in which we will be exploring the six values of Serve the City-humility, compassion, respect, courage, love, and hope- as they play out in Serving Stories around the...

Duration:00:52:44

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Serving Stories – Episode 6 – Kindness Starts With Me

6/17/2020
For the year 2020, Serve the City chose as their theme, "Kindness Starts with Me." Little did they know how the events of this year would draw on the creativity of volunteers in showing kindness! In this episode, we hear stories from around the world (Geneva, Newport News, Nairobi, Accra, Paris, Luxembourg and South Jersey) about how they have seen a viral spread of kindness as a pandemic was being contained.

Duration:00:44:31

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COVID Kindness – 03 – Compassion, Courage and Coronavirus

5/26/2020
It's been a more than a good idea to stay inside during the COVID outbreak in Brussels— it's the law. But some residents have found that there are some important humanitarian reasons to venture out in the streets, motivated by compassion that fuels their courage.

Duration:00:34:15

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COVID Kindness – 02 – Do What You Do Best

4/27/2020
As we revisit the first four cities in Season 1 — Lisbon, Chesapeake, Berlin and Tallinn — we find out that agility is everything. In each city, we discover how the expertise, partnerships, and concerns developed in everyday volunteering are being adapted to show kindness in this crisis—and the touching stories that result.

Duration:00:30:11

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COVID Kindness – 01 – When Irish Eyes Are Smiling

4/18/2020
Serving Stories is a podcast from Serve the City. We travel around the world to gather stories of volunteers doing small things together that make a big difference. Each month, we feature people who cross lines of poverty, privilege and prejudice to raise the kindness quotient in their cities. In the first season we focus on six different cities—Lisbon, Chesapeake, Berlin, Tallinn, Brussels and Pristina—serving stories of transformation, both big and small.

Duration:00:31:04