Orientation in an unfamiliar public space and learning about offers and integration-promoting opportunities demand a great deal of time and effort from individuals. During such a time of uncertainty, young people with refugee experience may be more receptive to approaches by people who put their own interests above those of others – especially young people seeking connection and belonging – and try to influence them in their own sense. In order to be able to offer support to young people with refugee experience, the team of “connect” works with this target group in the field of youth work.
The team members are active in Bremen East, Central West and South. The work of “connect” aims, in addition to contact and relationship work at the (public) meeting places, also at longer-term support and counselling of the young people. This is partly done in cooperation with other facilities as well as with mobile counsellors and advisors from refugee aid or youth and social work institutions, in order to be able to quickly and effectively initiate supportive and needs-based services.
The youth work offers young people with refugee experience a reliable contact persons during their orientation phase in a new social environment. Getting to know existing offers of youth work and youth welfare, encounters with other peers and their peers, the integration in sport and leisure educational activities as well as the referral to specific institutions in a supportive network form the structure of the offer of “connect”.
The team’s goal is to promote social integration, among other things by
- reducing prejudices and fear of contact in the context of shared positive experiences
- providing experiences of participation, belonging and self-efficacy in a difficult phase of change
- strengthening the acceptance of a diverse, transcultural identity and society
The team sees itself as a complementary service with the aim of supporting other institutions in the field and closing gaps in the provision of recreational education and networking. “connect” is run by the Association for the Promotion of Accepting Youth Work (VAJA).