Wandi Zhu from China is IAPA Au Pair of the Year 2020
2020 has been a very challenging year so far for the au pair community: Usually, we would hand out the Au Pair of the Year Award during our annual event WETM-IAC in March. Also, this yeas winner was supposed to travel with us to Malta. But then came the COVID19 pandemic and we had to cancel everything. We had hoped we could do a ceremony in September, but also this wasn´t possible.
Therefore we tried to make the best of it and our Managing Director Patricia Brunner travelled to our winner Wandi (Didi) Zhu and her German host family Adam near Hamburg and handed out the award personally.
What the host family says about Wandi:
Wandi has joined her host family in Germany in September 2019 and ever since has been a great asset for the family in many aspects:
“The extra pair of hands when you come home, the happy playmate in the afternoon, the additional pair of watchful eyes during excursions, the calmness when bringing the kids to bed at night. She is the big daughter to whom we show her a piece of a world unknown and who invites us all to learn more about her homeland and its culture.
What makes us particularly happy: Didi is not an employee who works for us. She is an involved family member and a guest that gets excited about everything we do in the family.
What Wandi says about her Au Pair experience in Germany:
Before coming to Germany Wandi had taught herself enough German to pass the test that is required to join the programme. She has learned and seen so much ever since and believes in the friendship between the two countries.
“If you ask me what the craziest thing is you’ve ever done in your life, I will not hesitate to say: coming to Germany. If you ask me: what’s the happiest in your life? I will say a lot, however, coming to Germany is definitely one of them.”
Our jury, among them last year´s Au Pair of the Year Rozelle Botes, selected Wandi already in February among many entries we received from our members and their host families. All wonderful au pairs who have made a difference in their host families life and are all true ambassadors for this cultural exchange programme.
Little did we know back then that Wandi would, even more, deserve her award. She stayed in Germany even though her family at home in China was very worried and would have liked her to return to China. Mrs Adam told Patricia Brunner that without Wandi they wouldn´t have known how to make it through the tough weeks of lockdown in Germany. When both parents had to work from home, all child care facilities were closed and the children couldn´t see their friends Wandi was there with her friendly personality, creativity and everlasting patience and kept the children busy and happy.
We also congratulate our IAPA member agencies KULTURIST in Germany and Hellopair Culture Exchange Co,Ltd in China who placed Wandi Zhu. The good cooperation between partners like these two enables such positive examples of successful au pair stays.
See also who made it to the final round together with Wandi here