Study visit to Berlin delivers fresh impetus for youth work in Bern

Youth workers from the association for open youth work of the city of Bern (toj) visited colleagues in Berlin as part of a study visit in autumn 2017. The project shows how longstanding international cooperation can be effective and deliver concrete results.

Youth work in Bern’s district IV faces various spatial challenges. A working group set up to identify solutions came up with the idea of a new youth club jointly run by various actors. A team of five youth workers from the toj Bern travelled to Berlin to be inspired by similar projects in the German capital. The study visit was possible thanks to the cooperation cultivated by the toj Bern with the partner organisation Outreach mobile youth work in Berlin. The project partners had already organised a number of youth exchanges in the past, so it was an obvious step to use the good contacts for this project.

During the five-day study visit, youth workers from Bern visited several youth cultural centres and other institutions in Berlin, and took part in discussions with the Outreach team. The youth workers from Bern were particularly inspired by the project partner‘s socio-spatial approach (involvement of all actors in a social area in the work). They returned to Switzerland with renewed enthusiasm for their project and plenty of inspiration for the work. The new insights were incorporated in two toj outline papers and contributed to further progress in the realisation of the youth club.