1.2 Our Commitment: Learn to trust!

These questions are quite interesting and pretty related to what we have been experiencing so far as Starkmacher association. One consideration came into my mind:

We need to create spaces of experience, where people can learn to trust!

For this reason, the target group of our activities and our allegiance should not be only the young people. These latter certainly live in large transitional situations and struggle in finding their own position, their place in the society. However, equally important are the teachers in the schools, the social workers in youth and educational institutions, youth leaders and educators who often drag with a steadfast passion and against a negative opinion wave to the concerns of young people into the field.

Most of my colleagues are extremely committed and involved in activities targeting youth, and yet many of them feel overtaxed and alone. Teachers further of the transfer of knowledge are increasingly taking on educational tasks, which is no longer provided by parents or families. I was really surprised when I heard about teachers from the Berlin Rütli School (Berliner Morgenpost, 21.08.11 education crisis) who literally “gave up” because of the lack of ability to communicate in many schools. In recent years, working with teachers all around Europe, what I have been experiencing and witnessing is resignation and helplessness. It is a devastating feeling, leaving no room for improvements and no hope since these teachers are the ones our future generations will learn trust and confidence from. Therefore, it is not easy to find good and positive climates in the schools. This directly links to the violence and bullying I have witnessed in many schools. This behaviour translates into powerlessness and insecurity, and a great need for help.

Since 2003, along with friends and colleagues, we have been promoting a shared vision to tackle these challenges. Our wish was to combine our successful projects, exchanging so good practices and results, as well as difficulties and challenges in order to come up with new common effective projects. This was the inception phase of Starkmacher e.V. This latter was born in 2006 and it is currently based in Mannheim, with 5-7 permanent employees and numerous partners and volunteers from all around the world.