“A small consolation”

The youth center in hochstadt is currently closed, as are so many social meeting places. But that does not mean that the youth workers are not available for their boys and girls. On wednesday evening, the young people of hochstadt were able to meet with youth worker stephan baierl and mona reinhard and talk about how they are doing at the moment. Online natural. For two hours, people talked and laughed via microphone and camera or danced to their favorite song.

Still laughing together

"This is a test balloon for now", explained baierl, while he took photos for the instagram channel and once again referred to the event. At the inauguration ceremony of the "online pub he had also got himself a (non-alcoholic) beer. The goal was not to talk about corona. Nevertheless, people exchanged views on how their own lives are going during this exceptional situation. How it works in homeschooling also interested the two youth workers.

Bernd riehlein, head of the fortuna kulturfabrik, also wanted to form his own opinion and logged on on wednesday, at 19.30 a.M., join in the discussion on the internet platform jitsi. So far there is no date for the next time.

In an interview with the FT, baierl reports on what he and his colleague mona reinhard are able to do despite closed doors and what is now different in youth work.

What do you miss most in your work as a youth worker??

Stephan baierl: personal contact in all cases. Now I'm no longer standing behind or in front of the counter and can chat with the youngsters in a relaxed way. The communication now is also quite different. Either we have to ask for help or the young people will come to us. On the spot it is quite different when you see each other for real.

What were your thoughts when the youth center had to close and what are you doing now??

So in the very beginning, when the school closed, we didn't know if we would be affected. Until it was really clear, we continued to make our offers, but not so much advertising for it. We will not be bored in any case. Mona and I are only since half a year in the office. So we have a lot of organizational work to do, clearing out barriers and sorting out materials… And of course we are trying to adapt our services to the situation and look at other formats such as the online pub or the "juz-news", a news format for our young people to consider.

Do you still have contact with your boys and girls??

Yes, we still do, but now via social media such as instagram, where we also post the "juz-news" items. So far, however, relatively few have turned to us and said: "I can't cope at the moment. I have a problem and my parents are on my nerves." mona had two speeches now, but otherwise most of them probably just try to cope somehow or are also so busy with homeschooling.

How did you come up with the idea for these online formats and why do you do it??

The "juz-news there was before, but now it's a mixture of news, tips and tricks, and also always the question: "how are you?? What moves you?" we wanted to show in any case that we are still here. And we wanted to sensitize the young people for staying at home and inform them about current developments. The online pub was now a test and i think it succeeded. If and how far it will continue to exist is still open, but I think so. This is no substitute for a face-to-face meeting, but it may be a small consolation. Because I believe that young people are also very much affected by "social distancing" concerned are. The problems are certainly still the same as before: subjects that you are good at or not, playground fights. Whereby I am interested in the latter, for example, how this is going at the moment. (laughs)

What are you looking forward to most when the situation has calmed down and the youth center opens again??

I am looking forward to all the actions, workshops or band evenings. Joint contact is not impossible at the moment, but it is different. I think it's exciting to be able to reach young people through other channels that we wouldn't have been able to reach otherwise.