A welcome center to re-imagine the future

The young population of the commune of Thümmlitzwalde, facing bleak professional prospects in the region, without any welcome structure for their leisure time, were so far the foreordained prey for falling into evil ways: aggressive behavior, addiction, intolerance and rejection of others. A nonprofit association is trying to break this vicious circle by creating a new welcome center.

Social and Employment

Thümmlitzwalde, Germany

Mathias Much

15 000 € to the Selection Committee at 2009/06/16

Project leader

Verein für Schule und Jugend Thümmlitzwalde e.V.

"I resumed the management of the Grimma agency six months ago.It is by getting involved personally that one begins to understand the concerns of a rural commune in Saxony: high unemployment, drastically reduced leisure facilities due to the lack of financial resources, bleak prospects ... we have to mobilize now to help the youths find their potential and create a future for themselves."

Mathias Much

The commune of Thümmlitzwalde is very representative of the difficulties encountered by many local authorities of the Land of Saxony.Located in a rural area, it consists of a score of villages, grouped around 3175 inhabitants of which 269 are aged between 12 and 20.The main big employers of the region are farm cooperatives, and this is insufficient to provide them all with a future and a job.Added to the high unemployment that struck the population is a crying need of infrastructures tailored to adolescents: in 2005, the last activity and welcome center for youths had to close its doors due to an extreme right rally.Faced with these findings, the nonprofit Verein für Schule und Jugend Thümmlitzwalde was approached by the commune to provide a welcome centre for the youths, in a former supermarket.

Orienting the jobless youths toward crafts associated with sustainable development

Following a survey conducted with the generations concerned, "Komm zum", the project designed by the two partners will propose several activities: sports, group games, music, homework help, initiation and improvement in computer sciences, cooking, etc.More serious subjects will also be addressed during education workshops, such as health, drug dependence, training against aggression, professional orientation, inter-cultural tolerance and equality between men and women.

All those who so far had no alternative but to wander through the streets will be able to come here and share the activities of their choice.In addition, the association will also try to orient those asking questions about their professional future towards crafts connected with sustainable development: familiarization with activities related to water, public transport, energy, the quality of life and eco-construction will be set up.The first exercise: the former supermarket will be refurbished to environment-friendly standards and the youths who wish to can pitch in personally in the work.The Veolia Foundation will help this future welcome centre to open its doors as soon as possible, by taking charge of the cost of thermal insulation of the premises.