For her mission "Missing", Julia Leischik (39) travels all over the world and searches for desperate people for those who have sometimes lost sight of her for decades. THE NEW BLADE met the likeable Cologne woman for an interview. The new page: How to imagine your work?
Julia Leischik: The research is very time-consuming. We also can not turn everything in one piece, wait for a visa or go from village to village and door-to-door to search for a missing person.
How many people are looking for support?
Julia Leischik: We now have over 15, 000 applications. For all these people we - the entire team of "Missing" - are the last glimmer of hope.
How do you cope with all the stories?
Julia Leischik: From the first letter or call I'm there. Sometimes I hear incredible fates that touch a lot. I get involved with the people and their stories. And discuss everything with my local colleagues. That helps a lot.
What was your most poignant experience?
Julia Leischik: When a man suffering from cancer in Düsseldorf saw his daughter again after more than 50 years and was able to die in peace shortly thereafter.
Does the fear sometimes go along?
Julia Leischik: Yes. I am not an adventure type. And I've been in a very difficult situation twice already. On the one hand in Peru, when we went too fast into a mountain village at almost 5000 meters. Since I got the altitude sickness. I had a severe shortness of breath and had to go to the hospital. If the air stays away, you get really scared.
And the second time?
Julia Leischik: That was in Samoa. There was a tsunami warning due to the earthquake in Chile. We had to get to the highest point of a mountain. Although I knew that nothing could happen theoretically at this point. But even then, I was afraid of the force of nature. Just like flying. I have to overcome that too.
How do you deal with fears?
Julia Leischik: I try not to step in. I always calm down myself. It works out somehow. I also realize that something can happen faster in traffic than on a journey. Or the danger is at least as high. I'm not a daredevil. Although I put myself in a dangerous situation over twenty years ago.
In what way?
Julia Leischik: As a high school graduate, I visited a Republican Party party and allowed myself to ask a critical question. With the result that a 50-year-old man blew me away with a single blow. The bad part was that no one helped me his party colleagues. On the contrary, they stood by and clapped applause. That was very shameful.
What if something happens?
Julia Leischik: Since the birth of my daughter, for over five years - I have an organ donor card in my purse. In addition, I have written down what should happen when I die. However, I do not yet have a living will.
Do you believe in destiny?
Julia Leischik: I do not want to believe that everything is predetermined, then I feel powerless. I think everyone is also responsible for his actions.
Have you ever wanted someone?
Julia Leischik: No. I grew up well protected in the Bavarian Forest. Shortly after my birth in Cologne we moved. Meanwhile, my sister and her children, my parents and I live with my husband and our five-year-old daughter back in Cologne. I am an absolute family man and very happy when I can be close with everyone.
You have traveled the world. Ever thought about emigrating?
Julia Leischik: Not at all. I'm happy where my family and friends are and I do not want anyone to move away. The weekends in my parents' garden are the best thing for me. I'm very down to earth and a bit boring. But I find strength in firm, close and lasting relationships.
Do you have a life motto?
Julia Leischik: Not really. But I love to write off spells. Very important ones come in a frame. They reinforce me in a certain situation and sometimes I can find comfort in them.
Are you superstitious?
Julia Leischik: Not in the classical sense. But I have a ring engraved with the words trust and love. On certain days, I deliberately put on the ring and turn up the word, which is especially important to me.
What role does God play?
Julia Leischik: There is certainly a higher power. But I still quarrel with myself. I envy people who are deeply religious. For me, I have not clarified this topic yet. I'm still looking...
You are celebrating your 40th birthday this year. Is that a problem for you?
Julia Leischik: No. I am happy when I can celebrate. Although I have to admit that I do not like to discover more wrinkles here and there. But I have no choice but to accept that. I am not so vain and I do not want to be confused by any ideal of beauty.