“Mein Bild, sein Bild, unser Bild!”

From the 15th to the 18th June, two groups from Germany and Poland came together in Leipzig for an exchange that would bring them together again after their first meeting in Poland a year ago.

The exchange took place at the Helmholtz School and was full of fun activities. The young people painted a large mural with graffiti that read “Mein Bild, dein Bild, unser Bild“ (my picture, your picture, our picture) and “united, not divided”. The mural was so beautiful that the next day we printed T-shirts with photos of the mural. During the whole encounter the youngsters could use instant print cameras, they loved it! They spent lot of time taking pictures of each other, finally on the last day they created their own personal photo album with their favoutire pictures.

Luckily several people spoke both German and Polish, so they did the work of interpreters, so the languages of the exchange were German and Polish, therefore everyone could express themselves in their mother tongue and understand everything perfectly. Of course the participants used English to communicate with each other.

Unfortunately the exchange lasted less time than expected, so the young people enjoyed every moment to the maximum and ended up really tired.

This youth exchange was possible thanks to the the financial support of the German Polish Youth Organization (Deutsch Polnischen Jugendwerks) and the Free State of Saxony from funds of the budget decided by the Saxon State Parliament.

 

International Work Annual Review 2018:

As a team of the International Work of the KINDERVEREINIGUNG Leipzig e.V. we brought together in 2018 79 young people from Leipzig, Frohburg (county of Leipzig) and Chemnitz with 179 young people from other European countries and encouraged them to participate in international youth exchanges. We want to continue doing so in 2019.

“Portugal was great. I told my mom that I want to finish High School now and after that I will be 18 and I want to do a voluntary service. Preferably there in Lisbon,” this way Maja, 15 years old, participant in the wir weit weg group at the Helmholtz High School in Leipzig summarises her impressions. Together with other students from her school, she developed a trilateral youth encounter and met Polish and Greek youths in Lisbon, Portugal.

All other 79 participants from Leipzig, Frohburg (county of Leipzig) and Chemnitz are also enthusiastic. In 2018, they took part in our two international projects not related to wir weit weg, one in cooperation with the Helmholtz Secondary School in Leipzig and five wir weit weg groups, each one with an international youth encounter.

In our partner countries -Poland, the Czech Republic, Greece, Portugal, Ireland, France and Finland, the participants met a total of 179 other young people. The topics of the eight international youth encounters were upcycling, street art, sports and dance, nutrition and a healthy lifestyle, sustainability, diversity and cultural origin. The participants took an insight into the daily lives of the other young people. Some of them even started to be interested in the international youth work in the longer term, as Merhan, 16 years old, of the Leipzig-Paunsdorf secondary school, said:

“I am so happy that I learned about wir weit weg from international youth encounters. “Upcycle your life” was a lot of fun and there were so many great people. I would like to work in the field in the future.”

 

Quality assurance and recognition

Our daily work also has an international aspect: the European volunteer Claudia from Spain has been supporting us in the office since October and she is staying here for a year. In order to maintain and constantly improve the quality of the projects, five of our team members also received further training in methods and content and made contacts during two training sessions on Malta and Belgium. We took part in numerous networking meetings of the SALTO Youth Net, in trainings of the German-Polish Youth Work, the initiative “Austausch macht Schule” and the network “Forschung und Praxis im Dialog” (FPD). We hosted the network meeting of the International Innofonds Projects of the Children and Youth Plan of the BMFSFJ as well as the peer-to-peer workshop of the FPD.

A special recognition of our work, especially the wir weit weg project, is for us the support of the Robert Bosch Stiftung, which finances a part-time position in fundraising, public relations and evaluation of the previous wir weit weg results.

Outlook 2019

These successes from 2018 are the greatest motivation for us to fill our calendar again in the coming year 2019: There will probably be four return encounters of the wir weit weg projects from 2018 (three of which have already been approved), one international youth exchange with the Helmholtz Secondary School, one international youth exchange with Serbia and Belgium, in which former “wir weit weg” participants are playing a decisive role in terms of shaping, as well as another youth exchange not related to this project. In addition, there will be a new “wir weit weg” generation at three secondary schools in Leipzig.

For further quality assurance and networking, we are organising an evaluation workshop for our wir weit weg project on 28 June 2019 in Leipzig (save the date!), to which we are inviting representatives sciencists, specialist public and interested institutions of child and youth welfare and international youth work to join us in looking back on five years of wir weit weg. We want to present the scientific evaluation of the project by the Chair of Media Competence and Acquisition Research at the University of Leipzig and analyse the highs and lows of the project.

The evaluation workshop will provide institutions and organisations that can imagine bringing wir weit weg into their institutions with suggestions and contacts, and we are striving for a first version of our training manual, which should enable the transfer of wir weit weg into other contexts and on which we are currently already working. Evaluation of the previous wir weit weg results financed.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

So it only remains for us to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. We would like to thank our partner organisations, coaches, team members, sponsors (Amt für Jugend, Familie und Bildung der Stadt Leipzig, Innovationsfonds des Kinder- und Jugendplans des BMFSFJ, Erasmus+ JUGEND IN AKTION, Robert Bosch Stiftung, Deutsch-Polnisches Jugendwerk, Deutsch-Französisches Jugendwerk, Landesdirektion Sachsen) and supporters for their cooperation and look forward to future cooperation. May your coming year be as diverse and rich in (international) exchange as it promises to be ours.

Cordially, the team international work of the KINDERVEREINIGUNG Leipzig e.V.

Christian Schmidt-Rost, Alexandra Zagler, Fina Wiese, Sarah Christl, Babette Pohle, Claudia Jamie

Training course ,”Game Zone – Developing an inclusive society through games”

How do you become a game developer? Three young people from Leipzig were able to find answers to this question during an international professional exchange in Malta. From 27 September to 4 October they took part in the project “Game Zone: Developing an inclusive society through games”.  The encounter of professionals was organised by the Malta UNESCO Youth Association.

Participants from eight different countries were invited. Besides Germany and Malta, they came from Kosovo, Slovenia, Poland, Ukraine, Lithuania and Estonia. The aim of the project was to develop games which can be used in the field of non-formal education and which deal with social problems such as freedom of speech, discrimination, environmental protection, a healthy lifestyle and inclusion. The target group of the resulting games are young people in Europe. In addition to a short role play and the necessary theoretical input on the general game design, they worked in small groups. After just two days, six ingenious games were presented and tested. Until November, these games will be compiled in a collection handbook and made available to dedicated volunteers and youth workers. In addition, one of the participants will also present the games to our teammates. This professional seminar was supported by the European Commission within the framework of the ERASMUS+ programme.

ERASMUS+ European Union funding programme

Upcycle your life 2.0 in Leipzig – 5 countries 1 “Junk Orchestra” concert

In the second round of the international youth meeting under the motto “Upcycle Your Life 2.0” five participants from Estonia, Poland, Italy, Bulgaria and Germany met again to make exciting musical instruments out of recycled materials in the Leipzig Makerspace Restlos in Mütterzentrum e.V. The youth encounter ended with a spectacular musical performance by the newly formed “Junk Orchestra” during the LoopArt Festival in the Kulturwerkstatt KAOS. Also during the encounter, numerous workshops on upcycling and music took place in the workshops of the KAOS Kulturwerkstatt.

The project was possible thanks to the support from the ERASMUS+ programme of the European Commission and the organisation and implementation by the voluntary commitment of Jessica Reinsch.

ERASMUS+ European Union funding programme

Wir weit weg is supported by Robert Bosch Foundation

We are very pleased that the Robert Bosch Foundation is supporting the project financially from the beginning of September until the end of 2019, thus enabling us to evaluate the successful conditions for the project wir weit weg in cooperation with the University of Leipzig. In addition, the support will enable us to professionalise our fundraising and hopefully lay the foundations for sustainable development and continuity of the project.