Young, refreshingly unconventional and always right where the action is

Mann beim Graffiti sprayenRefugees welcome!Stephan Raithel/youngcaritas

The project was carried out within the scope of the event "we.confer - bar camp for an open society”. With regulars in the pub on the corner, with Lebanese youth on the street, with the man from Syria who has been living in Germany for 20 years and helps refugees from his homeland get settled, with the dark skinned man in the flat of an old building who turns out to be a career politician - bar camp participants talked with all of these people. And it was fascinating. It broadened perspectives.

For instance, it now became understandable why neighbours were annoyed about the litter in the park. youngcaritas stands behind the motto "Actions have impact”. Consequently, some of the participants set forth a second time and with no further ado cleaned up the litter. The astonishment of the man from the conversation that morning showed: he felt he’d been taken seriously with his grievance.

Clever commitment for solidarity in society

youngcaritas stands for clever commitment. A catchy title, an appealing design - and all of a sudden the arts and crafts afternoon turns into an upcycling workshop. And the handcrafted wreath is renamed "Aunt Inge knits”. There are always serious issues such as justice, poverty and solidarity in society behind the label. Because these are the issues young people are concerned about.

Based in more than 70 sites country-wide

Following four successful project years, youngcaritas Deutschland has been permanently entrenched in the German Caritas Association since January 2017. Full-time contact partners offer young people an opportunity to engage in 16 Diocesan Caritas Associations and some 60 Local Caritas Associations. Schools are an important place of action. So far youngcaritas has created three action notebooks with educational materials, which have been ordered and/or downloaded ten thousandfold.

Collecting donations and European networking

Fleeing and migration are the most important links. Under the name "TimeTogether”, events were held for seniors, children and refugees in June 2016. With projects such as "Coffee to help” and "Goats for Ethiopia” dedicated young people raised money for Caritas international projects. On the European level, youngcaritas is also networked with youngcaritas in Austria, Switzerland, France, South Tyrol and Luxembourg and is funded by an Erasmus+ project.  

Young and up to mid-thirties

When the nationwide meeting of youngcaritas members begins again with so-called "room sociometrics” and the colleagues line up according to age, the line usually starts with 18-year-olds and falls off drastically after those in their mid-thirties. Participants in their mid to late twenties are the most crowded in the line.

Experimental lab under real conditions

youngcaritas meets twice a year to exchange and brainstorm ideas. It’s important to always observe what worked and what didn’t. youngcaritas is a kind of large-scale laboratory under real conditions. Projects and initiatives come into being with local youth and young adults. If things go well, the idea and materials are also passed on to colleagues.

Unconventional, colourful and diversified - youngcaritas personifies the next generation

These young people are rather the exotic ones in their Caritas Associations. The models that the Caritas Associations have thought up for their youngcaritas are as colourful as Caritas itself. They can be categorised somewhere between fundraising, promoting commitment, youth and migration. youngcaritas comes in where the action is: event days in a home for the elderly, country-wide generation games and join-in activities. Visible action is important to them.

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