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.
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