Youth exchange and cultural encounters are about fostering visions for the future. But how to plan a successful workshop? Dor Posner and Judith Blum gave a six step instruction.
Below the high ceilings of the Bonhoeffer house, sitting in front of large windows, 10 young participants had enough space to let their minds wander freely to think of own projects. They all once participated in successful and probably well organised workshops – which brought them finally back to the German-Israeli congress. The stage was set for them to become active themselves.
Don’t underestimate the power of free-time
“First of all you need to be clear, if the topic is relevant for both sides, the German and the Israeli“, Judith Blum, from Europeans for peace explained. The next steps then involve to be clear about the aim, the motivation and the means to reach that aim. “Simple but really important: Free-time!,” Dor Posner, leader at the Israeli scouts, stressed: “You should never forget to plan it in. It helps to strengthen the ties in the multi-langualthe group.”
In groups spontaneously formed at place, the young congress participants started to develop their own workshops. The issue: Anti-discrimination. “We want to tackle the clichées mixed couples, or children with parents from different backgrounds are facing”, Ziv Chen said. Her group decided to address this problem, by offering workshops to young kids in school. “They are still in the progress of forming a conscious and you can hence reach them very well.“
“From my experience, I know how bad some children feel, if they are the offspring of a mixed- couple. So I think this is a great idea,” another participant commented.
60 minutes – three planned workshops
All in all, only within 60 minutes, each group came up with some concrete plans. Besides the workshop to lobby for more acceptance for mixed couples, a group thought of raising awareness for transsexual persons by initiating a poster campaign and another of overcoming gender stereotypes by a play in which young people would play the opposite sex. “It is so simple to create an own concept, I never thought it would be that easy!” Lisa Friedrich said enthusiastic afterwards.
A last tip for a successful German-Israeli workshop: “Plan it together form the beginning on”, Dor laughed.