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"NaturFreunde Deutschlands" Verband für Umweltschutz, sanfter Tourismus, Sport und Kultur, Landesverband Thüringen e.V.

(Naturfreunde Thüringen)

description of organisation

Young Naturfriends Thuringia is the independent Children and Youthorganisation of „NaturFreunde Deutschlands“, Verband für Umweltschutz, sanften Tourismus, Sport und Kultur, Landesverband Thüringen e.V. and is working in the field of Youthwork since 1990.
The Focus of the organizations works lies in out-of-school education, participation and sociopolitical education, youth work, voluntary dedication for society and environment (voluntary services) and international exchange.
To empower children and youngster to take part in society, to shape their own livelihood and environment is the main concern of the work of the organization. Children and youngsters are being motivated and qualified to step up for their own interests and to shape their environment, to take part in politics and society, in small as well as in the big context, local and international.
For more than 15 years now the organization hosts bilateral and international youth exchanges, as well as holiday activities, during which the participants are strengthened and actively involved in shaping the program, articulation their interests and implementing these. Voluntary leaders, all trained youth leaders, organize the program and work with the method of peer education.
With the help of regular Seminar weekends and out-of-school project days about different topics, the organization promotes target audience specific education. Topics can be for example democracy and participation, sustainability and nature, intercultural learning or conflict management and team training.
Participation in the youth work is elementary for every action and is lived in boards as well as in open and creative forms. An example would be the annual “Zukunftswerkstatt” as a planning meeting, during which the members and volunteers of the organization can decide about program and also financial priorities for the coming year.
Since 2007 the organization hosts the Thuringian Children Summit every two years. The Children Summit is an official part of the Thuringian “Landesjugendförderplan” (plan of every youthwork action in all of the federal state of Thuringia) and as a major event important for all of Thuringia, during which about 100 young people of the age of 10 to 15 come together. They discuss their ideas about a better Thuringia with politicians and officials. The slogan of it is “Kinder reden – Erwachsene hören zu” (Children talk – Adults listen). The idea of the Children Summit bases on the foundation of the UN-Convention on the Rights of a Child, which strengthens the participation of Children and youngsters in their living environment.
In 2013 the organization recieved the German local sustainability prize „Zeitzeichen N“ in the youth category for the project Children Summit. The Thuringian Ministry for social matters, family and health furthermore names the Children summit under their “best practice” examples for children and youth participation.
Since 2012 the organization furthermore conducts a Concept for out-of-school education “Mitmischen leicht gemacht! Demokratiebildung für Kinder und Jugendliche” (Getting in to the act easily! Democray education for children and young adults) successfully in Thuringia.
Participation, democracy and sustainability belong together in the self-concept of the organization. A conscious use and contact with the environment and its resources is a cross section topic in all activities. The Topic of sustainability is mediated in a way that focuses on the way of life of the participant. This also shows in the implementation of exchanges and holiday camps in which topics like sustainable energy and livelihood, healthy diet, sustainable economy and mobility are part of the yearly foci.
Since 2006 the Young Naturefriends Thuringia are a host in the “Thüringen Jahr” (voluntary ecological service) and right now as well in the ecological “Bundesfreiwilligendiesnt” (National voluntary service). In this project the pedagogical consultant and volunteer youth leaders work together with up to 40 young people. The Educational seminars include different topics like for example “green jobs”, ecological policy or participation and conflict management.

inclusion topics

This organisation is willing to involve volunteers who face situations which make their participation in activities more difficult, from the following categories for different types of project:

Inclusion categoryReceiving projectsSending projectsCoordinating projects
Social obstacles
Economic obstacles