Towards a better „Together“

Press Article by Udine Freyberg / February 14, 2017 Youth exchange Integration Gudrun Woitke
No word of her is said just easily. „Every time I am thinking I do too less“, she says silently and with a shy smile. Sometimes Gudrun Woitke is looking very thoughtful, a moment later her eyes are full of passion and she is telling about things which touched her heart a lot.

Actually it´s her who reaches out with her work to the hearts of the others and who is connecting people with different nationalities and origin. As a board member of the non-profit organization „Neue Wege – Miteinander “in Löpitz she launched already the most different projects. And sometimes she herself was overrun a bit.

„Once we had been on a private trip to Israel with the church community, and we were absolutely captured by the country and the people there. I said to myself „More people have to experience that, especially young people“, the woman from Schkopau is telling. The Holocaust issue is much too important not to look there. Still being in vacation, she connects with the Israeli educational society „Dialog „and asks if a Youth exchange would be feasible. The answer was YES, it is. First, she thought there would be much time to prepare everything but then things developed very dynamically and became so fast. „We got an “emergency” call from Berlin – twelve young people should travel from there to Israel, but eleven were missing. Finally we succeeded in getting more young people from our region interested. This was the beginning in 2008“.

This project is so important to her because she realized in Israel how meaningful it is to talk to eye witnesses in order not to forget anything. The objective of her association: especially those young people who cannot afford such a trip should be enabled to realize it. In the past this was possible with funding from the association itself, by support of the Saalekreis region and donations nearly every year. ”However, our resources are limited“. The group was a mixed one – special school students, secondary school pupils and young people from the gymnasium. Everyone was delighted by the country and their experiences. The two- to three-hour visit in the Holocaust Memorial Yad Vashem was much too short. . „Once we had a young man in our group who formerly belonged to right extremism. Later, after the trip to Israel, he said he wish that all right people could see that”.

The encounters with the Israelis were incredibly warm – many were grateful that we came to their country – and when the Israelis came over to Germany to visit us the joy was so big to meet again with friends. When the time was to say good-bye many had tears in their eyes. „It is just different to come back from Israel“. During our last visit in Israel we had the chance to visit the Arab gymnasium in Akko. „As a gift we had chocolate in our luggage - Halloren-Kugeln. The Arab young people posted pictures with that on Facebook and our people in Germany were so enthusiastic“. In the meantime it is the wish of the gymnasium to work closer with the association from Löpitz.

Gudrun Woitke is very active in the region with her association. Six years ago she implemented an intercultural dance project which is happening again in the intercultural week in the region. Since 1999 there were many Irish Feasts in Löpitz. In the past year the association opened the „Frida“– a place to meet and even to stay overnight. „There shall be a place to be in keeping, were you can get inspiration and where to reflect about yourself and your values“, the Löpitz woman says with a smile.

In the moment she is busy to launch the „Youth Forum Saalekreis “together with other members of the „Network Migration and Integration in the Saalekreis region“. The focus is to unify 16 to 18 years old young people who are aspiring to develop ideas and events with emphasis on integration. This should be the mouthpiece of the young people and shall encourage more than just tolerance – at the end there shall be real mutual recognition. Woitke: „I know I cannot tear all the walls, but making the world a bit better – I trust I can do that“.

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Contact

Neue Wege – Miteinander e.V.
Sixtistraße 16a, D-06217 Merseburg


Phone 0049 3461 2892507
Mobile 0049 151 70500500
info@neuewegemiteinander.de

Board of Association

Gudrun Woitke
Chairwoman
Robby Woitke
Deputy
Reinhilde Wrobel
Deputy

Donations

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