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News and views from the German-language region of Europe

November 16, 2010

Youth work works

Filed under UCG-Germany

Having been involved to one degree or another in church youth work for over 35 years now, Youth camp 1974 sometimes you look back on the efforts made to reach young people and wonder whether they have had any lasting effect. For example, take this summer camp photo from 1974 in Germany. Today we would call the camp a "pre-teen" camp since most of the young people in attendance at this 1974 activity were not yet teenagers, like the three girls in the photo. This camp was one of the first organized in Germany for our young people, and it in retrospect it was probably a bit strict. The first item on the daily agenda – before breakfast! – was a vigorous round of calisthenics. However, the children did not seem to mind and they had a lot of fun. In later years the camps became more sophisticated with various activities. By the way, you might be wondering who the girl highlighted in the red box is. She is proof that youth work does work!

It is none other than UCG-Germany employee Jesmina Allaoua, Youth work works who works in our editorial team and is also currently responsible for all our mail processing. Jesmina is from Elmshorn in norther Germany (not far from Hamburg) and did an apprenticeship as a seamstress after completing her "Abitur" here in Germany. Later she was able to attend Ambassador College, graduating in 1994. When she returned to Germany in the summer of 1994, she got a job near Bonn in her field of experience. In the late 1990s she began to translate for our editorial needs on a volunteer basis and then was hired part-time by UCG-Germany in 1999. Later her hours were expanded and she now works full-time for us. Her fluency in English – helped by her spending four years in the United States – has proven to be a big asset in her work. It has been quite a few years since she was sent out to gather some sticks for a campfire at the 1974 youth camp, and her experiences in life show that youth work works!

Paul Kieffer's blog with personal insights and news from the German-language region in Europe.


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