Kiezentdecker - Welcome to Steglitz-Zehlendorf




The project

Welcome to Steglitz-Zehlendorf – Your area with respect

The project „Welcome to Steglitz-Zehlendorf – Your area with respect“ was carried out from the15th July 2012 to the 15th September 2013, within the context of the Berlin South West Red Cross’ Work for Children and Teenagers, Consultation and Education Ltd. The project could be realised thanks to the support of the Deutsche Fernsehlotterie (Foundation for German Aid Organisation), to whom we are really grateful. Almost all activities took place in the area of Berlin Steglitz-Zehlendorf, in the Red Cross’ „House of the Family“. 120 female and male teenagers divided into seven groups participated, and the guide was set up according the their wishes and interests.

Brief description of the project

Mainly, „Welcome to Steglitz-Zehlendorf“ was about inclusion and support for participation of teenagers, from the Peer Education base: Children and teenagers produce for other children and teenagers a guide of the area Steglitz-Zehlendorf. Inside of the connectional frame, they were free and could choose all the places for the guide, according to what they found important.
In order to develop the guide, they discovered the area during workshops, and chose places, which they would like to show to other teenagers. They occupied themselves with a theme the chose, and did research about it in the area. They collected then background information about the places and their specific interests, had interviews with collaborators working on the project, took photos and wrote places descriptions aimed at young people.
For each place, an evaluation was made, giving information about how much the participants liked the place, if there is something to learn there, if you can have a sporty activity there and if you can meet nice people. In each workshop, an itinerary through the area was developed. As result of all the workshops, the guide was created, in a paper version as well as online.

The participants

120 teenagers from Steglitz-Zehlendorf participated in the guide project and developed it. They all took part in thematical workshops, in groups from 9 to 30 people. They all lived or went to school in Steglitz-Zehlendorf at this point.

Most of the participants were between 12 and 18. Sometimes, a few children aged between 8 and 12 also took part in the project.

To recruit teenagers for our workshops, we informed them at school or in institutions for teenagers.Some of them learned about the project through flyers or Internet, and signed up for one of the workshops.

The project was aimed at young people with or without migration background, as well as young refugees from the area. About 50% of the participants had at least one parent who had emigrated or fled to Germany. The continents and countries of origin of the teenagers or their parents were very varied: they were from Greece, Poland, Russia, Turkey, Afghanistan, Jamaica, Ukraine, Bosnia, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, China, Korea, USA, Africa or Asia.

In order to reach young refugees, we worked among other things with the school Johann-Thienemann, which teach special classes. The young refugees learn the language and get support to acclimatize to Germany. In Berlin, a lot of the newcomers often have no social contacts and little financial means. Because of that, they first live socially isolated from the local population. Causes are among other things the language barrier, mutual fear of contact as well as experiences of exclusion and discrimination. For children and teenagers, this situation is very heavy. Experts emphasize that especially for young people, the social integration, educational and leisure opportunities are very important to get used to a new environment, and to stabilize themselves psychologically after the experience of the escape. The more education opportunities the children and teenagers get, the bigger are the chances of a successful integration.

Our objectives

- Inclusion of migrants in Steglitz-Zehlendorf
- Clarification of the causes of escape and situations of refugees
- Consolidation of participation opportunities
- Clarification of the causes of prejudices and strategiesagainst discrimination
- Intensification of the dialogues about migration and inclusion in Steglitz-Zehlendorf

The guide aimed at young people

The guide is under the motto „Welcome to Steglitz-Zehlendorf – Your area with respect“ and and was developped by seven different groups of teenagers in seven workshops. It is especially aimed at young newcomers, E.g. young refugees, migrants, newcomers from others neighbourhood in Berlin, other cities or the surrounding area. It shows the readers possibilities of participation in the area and of antidiscrimination, but contains mainly daily life’s tips and interesting leisure possibilities. The motto „Your area with respect“ is the main theme of the whole project and its goal is the presentation of places, initiatives and projects, to support the democratic engagement of young people and to share an overview of the diversity in the area.

During the preparation with the teenagers, we thought about how the places would be presented and portrayed in the guide. There were several ideas : representing Steglitz-Zehlendorf through the four points of the compass, so the places could be gathered together according to North, South, East and West. Or the possibility to develop walking tours in Steglitz-Zehlendorf, each of which would lasts a few hours. Finally, we decided to make a thematical classification. We offered thematical workshops for every route, and we worked then together with the teenagers. During the workshops, we first worked on the base knowledge about the theme, and then on the investigation of concrete places in Steglitz-Zehlendorf related to the theme. In order to do so, we included our network of collaborator in social work. Finally, the places have been put together as routes, which are described in the guide. Each route contains 5-8 places, which have been chosen, visited and evalutated by the teenagers according to criteras relevant for young people.

Because of the way of proceeding „Teenagers present the guide to other teenagers“, the guide does not represent a complete range of all places, like you could find for example in other city or tourist guides. This was made on purpose, because we wanted to enable the teenagers to have their own free vision about their environment. They had themselves the possibility to chose which places should be visited and described. We predicated that there are places important for young people, which are not for adults.

At first, Steglitz-Zehlendorf might look not so attractive to young people, like E.g. the touristy neighbourhoods Kreuzberg or Friedrichshain. In comparison with the other parts of the city, there are also fewer famous buildings or memorials like Branderburger Gate, the Memorial Church, etc.
But this is the point : discovering nice places where something can be experienced or learned. Make people aware of how green the area is, how many parks there are, which interesting sport offers there are. Through this subjective look of the area, everything stays open. There is no plan to make a second version, which would be a complete list of all places.

Pedagogical and methodical base

Basically, the project was about diversity, inclusion and participation of young people, on the Peer-Education base. The young participants chose the themes themselves (inside of themes), and the places, which they wanted to discover in their area and to show to other teenagers.

The pedagogical context of museums and memorials and the concept of changing the leadership was successful for our project of discovering the city. We used this concept to visit our own part of the city, as the children and teenagers chose the places they wanted to show to other teenagers independantly.

The concept of changing of leadership motivated the participants to choose according to the content and to communicate with the others, sharing information with the other participants about their personal approach of the place. The work about the content motivated other teenagers to take more engagement in the theme. Thanks to debates about the places, the participants developped a consciousness of the theme and became able to share their skills.

We would like to share our project as gain for the community, for the society and individuals. Not only minorities are in the focus, but also every member of the society, with all differences and similarities.

In the frame of the project, we used proven methods and developed them. They included subjective drawings oft city maps, the use of coaches for the excursions planned for the groups, the orientation with a real city map, a rally, the collection and categorization of liked and unappreciated places, the evaluation of places according to evaluating schemas, photos, redaction of texts, work with pictures, quizzes, puzzles, interviews with different people and organisation of the conclusion.

Institutional conditions

The responsible body is the Berlin South West German Red Cross for social work, consultation and education ltd. It is responsible for social institutions, projects and services, the main emphasis in Berlin. The partner for the assistance for disability isthe DRK Kreisverband Berlin-Zehlendore.V. It is a recognised responsible body for teenager assistance and is member of the LIGA oft he welfare association.

The Berlin South West German Red Cross for social work, consultation and education ltd carries out a lot of diverse offers for children, teenagers, adults and elderly, in the frame of its social work aimed at the community. For every offer, we put a lot of importance into the interculture.

The project „Welcome in Steglitz – Your area with respect“ was realised by the work department for children and teenagers of the SABB gGmbH. In the frame of this field, programs for violence prevention, participation, inclusion and family are organised.