Pressefotos fit nach vorn-CUP 20.08.2022 im Olympiapark Berlin

Football in the Olympic Park at Hertha BSC is really not uncommon. However, when young refugees receive career orientation and workshops on self-confidence, then that is a special happening. Having to look for a way to a foreign country at a young age presents many young people with not only emotional but also professional challenges. Leaving their homes, family and friends behind, they usually arrive in a country with a foreign language and thus completely new circumstances in which the refugees have to start over. In addition to processing the events experienced, this includes adapting to a new school or work system and finding new friends.

It is precisely at these points that the “fit forward” program of the German Children and Youth Foundation (DKJS) comes into play. The aim is to combine careers advice and orientation with sport and fun. Trust is built up through joint sporting activities in the team.

Those responsible can deal with the young people individually, get to know them better and can thus provide needs-based assistance. In this way, they make it easier for young people to get started in the new, unfamiliar environment. Interaction with peers in the same life situation should also help.

Various alliances regularly create sports activities for young people at a total of seven locations in Germany. The DKJS promotes this and also takes the initiative to help refugees

For example, last Saturday afternoon in Berlin. With a soccer and two-ball tournament as well as various workshops. More than 70 young refugee adults aged 16 to 22 came together from all over Germany. In the morning, the focus is on professional orientation and the development of new skills in the areas of language and self-confidence. There should be different

workshops help. In addition to tips and tricks for exam preparation, one of the workshops is called “Way to work”. In this, the young people seem particularly concentrated. They listen carefully to the words of the workshop leader, who is currently talking about applications and the application process.

Concentration can also be found in the “Bodywork” community, where communication situations are recreated with the help of disguises. This should help the young people to learn more self-confidence and resilience in dealing with other people. In further workshops, they learn how to set up their own network, how to create schedules and how to work in a oriented manner. One participant concludes the first item on the program: “The workshops were a lot of fun. I learned some tips and methods that I didn’t know before. It was good that there were many different topics.”

This is followed by the main event of the afternoon: the sports cup consisting of football and two-man ball. The aim of the second major item on the program, in addition to having fun, is also the exchange in a supra-regional sense. Many young people start talking about their personal situations and share their experiences with each other. In this way, new contacts are linked and one’s own network expands.

A total of eight teams from five alliances, who have traveled all the way from Bielefeld, Nuremberg, Stuttgart and Dortmund, will compete. Berlin also has its own team that wins in the end, closely followed by Nuremberg. The podium is completed by the Stuttgart selection. The highlight at the award ceremony that follows is Herthinho, the mascot of the Bundesliga soccer club Hertha BSC. He jumps around the young people, takes selfies with them and duly celebrates the winners.

Smiling faces beamed in the rather rainy Olympic Park and a successful Saturday was coming to an end. Theresa Hentschel-Bose, head of the CSR department at Hertha BSC, concludes: “We are pleased that we can support this social project. Promoting young people with a refugee background is an important issue.”