KICKFAIR’s young people dedicated to meeting and learning together in diversity

Young people involved in KICKFAIR projects are shifting focus to the concept of shared learning, as their schools and local communities welcome diverse cultures, religions, languages, and ways of life. They are carrying out active exchanges and interactions between youth from different backgrounds (including those with and without histories of escape). They want young people to thrive in diversity and actively shape their local communities.

Shared learning is especially significant in schools, where youth who were born here or have lived here for a long time are taught separately from those who have just arrived from different countries; regular classes are separate from preparatory/welcome/ transition classes.

“There are an endless number of projects for young people in preparatory classes, but no situations where they can interact with students from regular classes,” says Fanny Soppa, the school social worker for preparatory classes at Schiller and Rauchbein Schools in Schwäbisch Gmünd. Sina, who has just fled from Iraq says, “I love KICKFAIR.”
“You can have fun here and get to know lots of new people,” says Frauke from Schiller School in Schwäbisch Gmünd. She is one of several students pushing for more interaction between diverse groups, in schools and elsewhere. Older students like Ozan and Hamad support the concept. They are former KICKFAIR participants who are now youth leaders at project locations: “We want young people to get along here, and want those who are new to Schwäbisch Gmünd to be able to integrate well,” says Hamad, whose parents are originally from Lebanon. They organise regular street football meet-ups for young people at the youth mile.

As part of the theme weeks in Schwäbisch Gmünd in Ostfildern (near Stuttgart) in March, they opened up spaces for interaction at their schools and locations, along with other KICKFAIR participants and youth leaders. In preparation for the project, they discussed suitable methods for interacting. They used material and playful approaches that do not require specific language skills. For example, they used picture cards to present street football and KICKFAIR to different classes, using special icebreaker games that can be played without certain language skills. They also organised mini street football tournaments in which they supported participants in teams.

It is precisely these young people who contribute significantly to KICKFAIR’s overall impact—they are dedicated to shaping diversity in their community.

Learn more about the theme weeks on Facebook.