Senada Joldic steht vor einem Hauseingang. Im Hintergrund ist eine Treppe und an der Wand hängt ein Fahrrad.

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Every change has made her stronger

For Senada Joldic, "home" is not just Berlin, but also Bosnia, where she was born and grew up. When the war broke out there, she fled the Balkans and found shelter in Berlin through her husband's aunt. "I always thought the war wouldn't last that long and I'd be back in three months. And now I've been here for 30 years."

A long period of time in which Senada Joldic has experienced many upheavals: "My employer's name has changed, but I've always stayed the same," says the nurse with a smile, summarising her 30-year career. Since starting out as a nurse in 1993, the Berliner has experienced several professional moves within the capital. In 2017, she made her last move for the time being to the "Warschauer Höfe inklusiv" residential facility in the hip Friedrichshain district. Senada Joldic has been looking after people with intellectual disabilities and mental illness in the former factory building for seven years now: "It was always like a new start, but every change has made me stronger."

Senada Joldic sits at the table and smiles.
"The development and the residents' goals have kept me here."
Senada Joldic

The Charlottenburg resident by choice has to commute an hour across the capital to her office in East Berlin. But she doesn't mind, because she feels at home in Friedrichshain - also because the residents in the colourful neighbourhood are very well received. In general, their concerns are the 62-year-old's main motivation for coming to work with a smile every day. The nurse has worked three shifts for 18 years. For the past three years, Senada Joldic has only worked the early shift: waking up, making breakfast, preparing for work, attending doctors' appointments: "The residents' development and goals have kept me here. I haven't forgotten what I experienced with them." When dealing with her group, which consists of six clients, respect and acceptance are very important to her: "If I don't like the team, I can change. The residents can't do that. That's why it's so important that they feel comfortable," she says.

Senada Joldic checks medication
Senada Joldic prepares the medication for the clients in her residential group with great concentration.

Senada Joldic is characterised by her ambition and drive: "I'm a workhorse. When I'm there, I give it 100 per cent." This is particularly appreciated by her colleagues and residents, who perceive her as a very solution-orientated person. She also enjoys working with the younger generation. "Their development is so rapid. I learn something new every day." When Senada Joldic leaves Warschauer Höfe after work, she can also switch off quickly - preferably with fitness and yoga: "I like doing sport and I'm a total family person at home."

Looking back, the cheerful woman can't help but smile about her start in Germany. Her biggest obstacle at first was the difficult language: "I could do everything technically, but I couldn't communicate." However, Senada Joldic quickly felt at home in colourful, multicultural Berlin. She particularly appreciates the democracy and diversity here, as well as the status and rights of women. "This country has given me a lot, and I would like to repay that."

Text: Simon Steinberg | Photos: Matthias Cremer

This story simply told

Senada Joldic fled the war in Bosnia over 30 years ago. Today, she works at the "Warschauer Höfe inklusiv" centre in Berlin. People with mental disabilities and mental illnesses live there. The 62-year-old feels very much at home in Berlin. What Senada Joldic particularly likes about her work is the interaction with the residents.

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Hoffnungstaler Foundation Lobetal

Warschauer Höfe inclusive
Grünberger Straße 23
10243 Berlin


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Offers & services

The Warschauer Höfe inclusive residential centre, which is run by the Hoffnungstaler Foundation Lobetal, offers care for 25 people in a communal form of living in the Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg district of Berlin. An interdisciplinary team supports people with mental, physical and/or multiple impairments in realising their wishes and ideas regarding their lifestyle.

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