Social and youth work in Germany. Day 5.

Четвертий день – швидкий та інформативний день знайомства з різними організаціями
8 June 2017
П’ятий день подорожі….. чудовий день!!!
9 June 2017
Every day leaves me wondering how different the social protection is in Ukraine and Germany. And this day was not an exception. This morning brought us to the family center Nordhausen (JugendSozialWerk).
It is located in a beautiful old building, that was renovated just recently and the atmosphere there is very home style and friendly. We had a nice talk and discussion, and the head of the house told us that their work focuses on four topics: pregnancy and abortions, protection of children, divorces, and violence in the families. Four social workers are dealing with protection of kids, and the situation in Germany is quite the opposite to Ukrainian one. For example, if a teacher or social worker has even a slight suspicion that a child is abused in the family, he or she are taken right away. No one is waiting for the decision of the court when a child life can be in danger. And there are always places for such kiddos in other establishments of JugendSozialWerk, so they can be safe and sound.
Another aspect of their work is helping out gifted kids, who might feel that they are not fitting in the society or simply have no interest in studying. For this purposes, the organization has a pedagogy worker who is working out these problems in a playful and natural way.
Moreover, family center Nordhausen is helping out young women and girls when they are pregnant, have problems with family or are thinking about getting an abortion. This topic influenced a significant discussion among us today, and what is downright shocking for me is that parents have no influence over the decisions of even very young girls. They get an approval either from a doctor or a social worker, but still, they have full control over their bodies. However, the German government is trying to prevent this, since a life of the baby is measured above everything and supporting the women in every way if they decide to have the kids.

The last topic was focused on refugees and their adaptation. And this paragraph will be very short. I will just quote the head of the family center, who said: “There is no difference for us between refugees, migrants or German citizens. They are all people and require the same good approach”. So, they are helping everyone regardless of their background or income, and that is something to be proud of.

Before lunch, we got an excellent opportunity to become the part of an important meeting with a politician from the “Die Linke” Kersten Steinke and together with the Head of International Relations Office of JugendSozialWerk supported the idea of financing international projects for youth.

The second part of the day included delicious lunch at café “Weltladen” and cozy meeting with NGO “Schrankenlos” that are working with refugees and migrants around the area. Like everyone, whom I have met during this trip – these people love what they do and are helping the people around them. They have a fair trade shop, where they sell things from all over the world, supporting the producers. To tell you the truth, I couldn’t avoid the seduction and bought few things for myself as well….. 🙂 However, a significant aspect of their work is focused on helping the refugees, and this topic for me is also of great importance. “Schrankenlos” explained to us that right now the social adaptation of refugees in the society must be one of the main things to talk about, though not a lot of people understand and accept this.

At last, our amazing host Katrin brought us to Nordhausen University of Applied Sciences, where we enjoyed the tour around the campus and were amazed at opportunities and facilities that students have there.

This day was again long, but so much fun and leaves me with thoughts and ideas on how to use it in my home country or how at least to tell the people about this, so they would feel the difference and think how they are living…
One more day of a project awaits for us tomorrow 🙂
Best wishes,
Mariia.
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