Prejudice and judgment are wrong

Judgment instead of prejudice

Heilbronn - It is estimated that around 100 young people will leave secondary school without a qualification in Heilbronn alone this summer. Sabine Barth-Ried and Isuf Fetahaj know what that means: A large number of them have no chances on the regular job market, and some of them will get to know them in the coming years during a qualification measure in the youth workshops of the Diakonische Jugendhilfe.

It has long been the case that the majority of the participants with a migration background are among them: at least 80 percent of the young men and women who take part in a youth workshop project have non-German parents or were themselves born outside Germany. Many of them have the worst possible starting conditions: The educationally distant home is often the bigger problem in a club with insufficient language skills and a lack of self-esteem.

Positive life planning

“Society doesn't want us,” is the feedback that the supervisors receive. One of the greatest challenges for Isuf Fetahaj: conveying positive life planning. The fact that he often succeeds is also due to his own origins: Fetahaj came to Germany almost 20 years ago as a refugee from Kosovo, the story of his life makes him credible. His advice is valued, "but not from above, that is counterproductive".

The 51-year-old only occasionally experiences that his counterpart exploits his migrant status: "I am then expected to be loyal." Nor does he accept that origin must be used as an excuse for all failure.

Finding an apprenticeship position wearing a headscarf is difficult for girls. Sabine Barth-Ried wants to understand origin as a resource that uses bilingualism. “Get a good degree, maintain your mother tongue,” is her advice to young migrants.

Extremes are rare

Everyday problems are manifold, the youth workshop employees rarely experience extremes: Muslim girls who are no longer allowed to come to work because their parents forbid it. Forced marriage is also an issue, the conflict between independent goals in life and clinging to family ties. "There are cases where we could not maintain contact," regrets Barth-Ried. But especially the young male migrants, often of Turkish origin, cause Isuf Fetahaj grief. “Many behave as machos who do not want to be told by a woman as a superior.” They lack role models. The team around division manager Peter Ande is happy about many small successes. For example, that some German young people have succeeded in breaking down prejudices and strengthening their intercultural competence: migrants are not the ones who are taking away their jobs.