YouthNet is an interreligious and intercultural youth network for young people of the city of Munich. The people behind the network asked youngsters to film themselves during the time of lockdown and social distancing, to show their home activities and to share their thoughts. They share the story of their organisation and their latest Covid-19-related projects.
YouthNet is an interreligious and intercultural youth network for young people of the city of Munich and has been organising project-related programs for teenagers aged 15-21 over a six-month period since spring 2017. The participants represent the cultural diversity of our city and are of Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Yezidi or other origin. They come from numerous different countries from all over the world, were born in Munich, moved to Munich or are refugees, who have fled to Munich. Each project round ends with a public exhibition about their common work.
Picture credit: YouthNet Munich
Our main focus serves the active integration, the tolerant coexistence and especially the mediation of the ability to work in a team. It is important for us to involve young people with a refugee biography into our project. All our programs are designed so that each participant has the indispensable ability to lead a project to success in heterogeneous groups. Thus, young people learn skills that are essential in a modern, tolerant and international environment.
Annually 20 new participants engage in 12 workshops in the fields of verbal and nonverbal communication, prejudices, teamwork in heterogeneous groups, they participate in sporting- and cooking events, discuss about their different identities in Germany and complete their program with the final and central art project. Every project ends wish a large public exhibition. Since 2018 YouthNet has the honour to cooperate with the Munich Museum “Pinakothek der Moderne”, one of Germany’s most important museums. Their exhibition took place in attendance of 300 guests in 2019.
Each year, up to six participants of the past project group are trained to become mentors. Various trainers teach the young people the relevant knowledge content. These young people are then actively involved in the design and management of the subsequent project round.
In December 2018, in June 2019 and in December 2019 additional workshops on anti-Semitism, Islamophobia and racism took place in which 22 participants from past project groups attended. This will be continued in fall 2020 with a workshop on civil courage.
Our new project round YouthNet 2019/20 started in October 2019 with 20 new youngsters. In March 2020 all workshops including the art project were completed. The exhibition was dated for March 29th in the museum “Pinakothek der Moderne” in Munich. 300 guests were invited. All our actual participants have produced remarkable works of art- and then the consequences of the Corona pandemic hit Germany and everything changed! Our exhibition was canceled, but it meant a lot more to us...
What do exit restrictions and social distancing mean for YouthNet? Our program lives from the direct contact of the participants. Youngsters of very different origins get to know each other.
'We create a room, in which there is no space for racism and exclusion'
They lose their mutual prejudices through eye contact, shared role plays on a stage, common games and sports, cooking and being artistically creative together. Through our programs we achieve a level of mutual understanding. We create a room, in which there is no space for racism and exclusion. The young people experience that different origins and different beliefs can be a great asset. How can they have this experience without seeing and perceiving each other? We had to redesign the program, we had to offer the youngsters new contents- contents that gave them the opportunity to be creative, to discuss and to tackle important issues together. And we also wanted to deal with the consequences of the corona pandemic for our social-, school- and professional life.
Art work created in partner work, "Schmück Deine Stadt!" Project 2019/20
Since April 2020, we have met on Zoom and offered workshops on different topics like stress, racism in times of Corona, conspiracy theories, communication and many others. We will continue like this until we will be able to meet in person again.
And we asked the youngsters to film themselves during the time of lockdown and social distancing, to show their home activities and to share their thoughts. From some posts we created a video and we want to share it with you.
This was shared by Youth Network for Munich, an interreligious and intercultural youth network for young people of the city of Munich. The organisation operates under the umbrella of the association Lichterkette e.V.
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