Rotarians Integrate Immigrants & Train Youth in German Democracy
The Rotary Club of Bornheim became a RAGFP Peacebuilder Club in September 2018. This Peacebuilder Club is involved in many peacebuilding projects and initiatives that involve outreach and training in Germany and around the world. Two of their upcoming peace projects reflect the need of Rotarians to fill important gaps and build bridges of hope for masses of immigrants and disenfranchised youth caused by a modern refugee crisis that rocked Europe. While many Western nations suffered a near-existential political crisis due to an epic influx of refugees, these Rotarian peacebuilders went right to work developing peace initiatives to help solve a few of the most pressing issues within their democracy.
Consider the challenges:
– Roughly 1 in 8 people living in Germany is a refugee or foreign national
– More than 1.6 million people seeking asylum have entered Germany since 2014
– There are now 10.6 million immigrants assimilating into German society
RC Bornheim is now engaging peacebuilding projects that directly confront the political and societal challenges in Germany.
A Rotary District 1810 Grant project On the trial of Democracy in Europe will work “against intolerance, racism, and political disenchantment among young people from educationally disadvantaged families and young people with migration backgrounds.” These Rotarians recognized a lack of interest among young people in political participation. In fact, many of the young people who will benefit from this peace initiative have never lived in a thriving democracy. This project will offer education and promote participation both in society and politics, across political or sectarian lines. It helps to offer a bridge from isolation to inclusion and fills an educational gap for young people who might otherwise remain disengaged from society and participation in German democracy.
The RC Bornheim Peacebuilder Club is also using a Rotary Global Grant to support Experiential High Ropes Park Youth Academy or Jugendakademie Walberberg. This important peace project seeks to integrate refugees, especially children who sometimes arrive in Germany unaccompanied by family members, into communities and the greater society. Lack of family support, cramped living situations among strangers of different faiths or values, and boredom can lead to violent confrontations. This Rotary Global Grant peace project offers reconciliation, education in empathy, and hope.
This project will assist and educate at-risk youth in conflict and life negotiation. The RC Bornheim Peacebuilder Club is promoting peaceful political dialogue between strangers, neighbors, and immigrants at their most basic human levels. They offer inspiration to all Rotarians and Peacebuilder Clubs who seek concrete examples of how to recognize a community-wide need for peace, address the core issues involved in these local or national conflicts, and design peace projects that help solve the most salient issues involved in building peace.