“Living Diversity in Youth Exchange” – Testing of Methods in Mainz Enriches Educators

The diversity in German-Israeli youth exchange is steadily increasing: Young people from Germany and Israel are increasingly bringing together a variety of personal stories, different cultural identities and national affiliations. An open and reflected approach of this diversity should be consciously included also in the educational work of German-Israeli youth encounters.

As part of the ongoing project “Living Diversity in Germany and Israel – Challenges and Perspectives for Education and Youth Exchange” ConAct offered a bilateral training program in Mainz from November 13 to 17, 2017.

© All images by ConAct

The seminar was based on older and new methods, which are already applied in the German-Israeli youth exchange and in the international youth work. These were gathered throughout the course of the project and alternative variants were developed for each method. The aim was to overcome their standardization and to adapt them to the needs of the respective youth groups. The methods are furthermore aiming to make the existing diversity visible in youth exchange and to strengthen a diversity-conscious and discriminatory-critical approach in educational work.

The project team together with the participants from Germany and Israel tested and reflected on methods related to topics of identity(-ies) and affiliation as well as discrimination and structures of inequality in diverse societies. The participants also dealt with the issue of empowerment, which has a high significance in youth work. It became particularly clear how strong the interest and the need of applicable methods are in this field. The educators appreciated especially the opportunity to get to know the methods from the position of the participants and to reflect critically from this perspective.

Next year, the practical experiences from this seminar will be incorporated into the further development of the training program and will be included in a set of educational material for the German-Israeli youth exchange. The publication will be directed at group leaders and teamers providing them tools to address and deal with diversity in the German-Israeli educational and encounter projects.

The seminar was a cooperation between ConAct – Coordination Center for German-Israeli Youth Exchange and the Israel Youth Exchange Authority. It was part of the project “Living Diversity in Germany and Israel”, which is funded by the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth through the German federal program “Live Democracy!” as well as through support from the Israeli Youth Exchange Authority.

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