Der STuhL (The Chair): young craftspeople get to work in Europe
The project aims to provide opportunities for young people, especially those from challenging backgrounds, to enable them to discover new professional and personal horizons by working together for Europe. From 2009 to 2012, aktuelles forum nrw ran an international youth education project called "Der STuhL", working with 170 young craftspersons in six European countries. Together, the young people were involved in various European cultural and social projects, including some at memorial sites for the victims of National Socialism, to help prevent prejudice and hostility towards foreigners.
As an example, one group travelled to Orfü, a village in Hungary. The tasks for the aspiring painter/decorators and carpenters: to refurbish the village, modernize a playground, and renovate an outdoor riding arena. A group from Kleve was involved in a project in Belgium and young people from "RAG Bergamen" completed a work project in Kefalovriso, Greece.
Andreas, who was involved with the renovation of the communal riding arena in Orfü as an apprentice carpenter, says: "We met a group of students from Pècs, they were camping here. We talked about our apprenticeships in Germany and they talked about themselves and university and we got together for a beer. They were great."
Jessica, who worked in the grounds of a memorial site in Kefalovriso, was bowled over by the local hospitality: "Greek people love to eat well; the food is delicious. The people are really lovely and super nice. Our host provided so much food that it would have fed 30 of us! He even baked cakes for us in the mornings!"
Güney, an apprentice painter/decorator who was involved in renovating a future international youth centre in Drazic, said: "The people were great. Some of them could speak German, otherwise it was English or talking with hands and feet - we managed really well and always got what we asked for. And we did learn a bit of Czech before we went there..."