"Foreign but friend or integration and together." this was the theme of the interactive theater play organized by the youth social work teachers at the georg gopfert middle school as a project to prevent violence and xenophobia. The theater pedagogue dirk bayer took up the problems of asylum seekers and refugees, actively involved the schools, and together they looked for ways of dealing with each other in a tolerant manner.
The project followed the "week of tolerance" in the middle school at which a bare little tree had been placed in the center of the auditorium. This is nothing special at this time of year, but in keeping with the theme, it should symbolically produce leaves or fruit in the coming weeks. With its many branches, it allows many ways to be or to become tolerant. And so the "tree of tolerance" shall little by little green leaves are preserved.
Graduate pedagogue margarete schindhelm from the youth social work led to the theater piece "stranger but friend" uber, which took off from the harbor or airfield with engine alarms indicating the arrival of refugees. A rap about refugees who had only been here for three weeks with "hand in hand, no matter who and where they come from" also fitted in with this. In the confusion of languages, no one knew their way around and understood nothing until the german "guten morgen" penetration.
With this, theatrical pedagogue dirk bayer also brought up the schoolchildren, who gave their definition of "asylum and refugees" they are people from another country", "asylum means that they are allowed to stay with us", "they come because of war and attacks" and "it has much with fear and distress" to do.
When dirk bayer explained that only 1.1 percent of them actually received immediate recognition as refugees, people were amazed. "What about the other?", was the question here. Of course, there was another status: 13% were granted refugee protection, but the rest of 86% might receive a toleration or a temporary suspension of deportation.
This already brought us to the BAMF, the federal office for migration and refugees, which decides on the recognition of asylum seekers. Some of the decisions made there caused astonishment and head-shaking, but this was immediately put right by article 14 of the universal declaration of human rights (right to asylum): "everyone has the right to seek and enjoy asylum from persecution in other countries"." but: "this right cannot be claimed in case of persecution for a non-political crime or for acts contrary to the purposes and principles of the united nations"." only people who are politically persecuted and can therefore seek asylum and a safe place of refuge have a right to this.
With concrete cases then the schools themselves were asked to make a decision. For example, the case of a woman A who cannot afford a life-saving, expensive drug in her home country. 54 schoolchildren thought she would be recognized as an asylum seeker, and only three thought there was no reason for asylum. The few were indeed right. Of course, the woman might be helped here first, but this could not be seen as a reason for asylum.
The asylum seeker B distributed leaflets against the government in his home country and was sentenced and tortured for it. After two years he escaped and landed in germany after a long flight. Here, the opinion of the schoolchildren was almost the other way around, but this asylum seeker is considered to be politically persecuted and can therefore count on recognition.
Then came the next scene change, when a refugee girl comes to school for the first time and the teacher is the only one to bury her. "How did you approach such a schoolgirl??", theater teacher dirk bayer threw the question into the room and thus animated a scene play. An "pawel" alias dirk bayer, the schoolchildren could then test how suitable their ideas were for everyday use, even more so if the asylum seeker was a bit grumpy and naturally didn’t understand a word.
What seems to be simple, often failed because of the language, which was then replaced by pantomime. The idea that music, sports and games might be the easiest way to get in touch with each other or to think about what else connects them came through here. The soccer game or the table football could possibly be good alternatives here.
The joint theater piece clearly showed the students that it is not easy and that everyone has to make an effort. This is also necessary because the georg gopfert middle school in eltmann currently has three unaccompanied young refugee children without families and 15 refugee children who live privately with their parents and siblings. Due to the close proximity of the children’s home of the kinder- und jugendhilfe st. Josef also keeps bringing new asylum seekers to the school.
Theater padagoge dirk bayer knew how to underlay the difficult topic with humor and actively involve the young people in the problem-solving process.
Graduate pedagogue schindhelm expressed special thanks to the habfurt rotary club and the prevention office of the youth welfare office in habfurt, which had supported the project financially. It had not failed to have an effect, especially since it had made the students very thoughtful in numerous situations.