Nothing but crisis(es)?
Symposium on youth work in times of diverse social challenges in November 2022
Financial crisis, pandemic, climate and environmental crisis, wars, flight and displacement - the list of successive and juxtaposed crises of recent years is long and does not seem to be getting any shorter in the foreseeable future. Rather, it seems as if the crisis has established itself as a permanent state of affairs in society as a whole. Young people are not immune to this situation. They are in the middle of it, involved and affected. Extreme right-wing and anti-democratic movements are using the crisis-ridden situation for their own ends, targeting young people and trying to normalize anti-human and anti-democratic attitudes.
The effects of the multiple crises are being felt in the field of social work too. This was also discussed at the conference "Nothing but crisis(es)? Youth work in times of diverse societal challenged" of the Fachstelle Rechtsextremismusprävention (fa:rp) in November 2022. The conference therefore focused on children and young people as the primary victims of the various crises. However, since global and societal developments also have an impact on the work of pedagogical staff, the working conditions of pedagogues were included in the reflection. In order to activate forces of resistance against hostility to humanity and democracy among young people, it is also necessary to reflect on one's own handling of crises.
Strengthening social and democratic competencies among young people
On November 10 and 11, 2022, the Fachstelle Rechtsextremismusprävention (fa:rp) discussed this together with about 60 professionals, multipliers of youth work, political education and prevention of right-wing extremism as well as students of social work. Workshops and exchange formats opened up perspectives for youth and education work in the context of right-wing extremism that promote critical and independent thinking among young people and strengthen social and democratic competencies. An important part of the event was also the exchange and networking among the participants. Particular attention was paid to reports on experiences from pedagogical practice.
Fishbowl discussion on youth work in times of diverse social challenges on November 10, 2022. Photo: Wolfgang Borrs