„The community was very pleasant and we had a lot of fun together.“  / December 2023

Until October I had very limited friend group. I tried getting engaged with the local LGBTQUIA+ organisation called IHS which stands for Initiativgruppe Homosexualität. I joined the Gendernauts – a group for transgender people I was introduced to in March last year. I went there a few times but found it hard to make connections with people and felt out of place. I always struggled with this, mostly due to my autism and ADHD, but I didn’t consider how much harder it will be when the language barrier is added. I felt frustrated and stuck.

Everything changed on Juleica. It was a Youth Leadership training focused on making young people who are already engaged in projects, qualified leaders. It took place on the weekends from the end of the October to the beginning of December 2023.  

The topics we discussed included:

  1. Skilful Youth Leadership: Role and function of youth leadership, leadership competences, leading a group, group dynamics and group phases.
  2. Basics of the development stages for children and adolescents
  3. Conflict management
  4. First Aid Training
  5. Child Protection Act
  6. Gender Sensitive Youth Work
  7. Democracy and digital competences – “Strengthen Your Voice”.
  8. Youth Participation: why is it important? What forms can it take?
  9. International Youth Exchange – “A win for the local Youthwork”

The main goal of the training was to increase personal, social, and professional skills. Many people from IHS took part in it. We had a lot of workshops together when we got to know each other. Together we cooperated, problem solved and share our ideas and feelings. Workshops were mostly in German which despite being overwhelming at first, really helped me take the first steps to overcome my fear of speaking German in front of … you guessed it, Germans.

The atmosphere was good, and everyone felt at home. We especially enjoyed lunch breaks during. We had a lot of fun going to buy food and chilling in the kitchen. So much so, that people from IHS, often stayed here after the training, helping us carry the tables back the meeting room and tidying up. Once they even stayed for three hours discussing the organisational stuff for their youth club. I was already sleeping peacefully at home when they left.

I ended the training with a new friend group and a certificate which allows me to apply for the Juleica card – nationwide ID card for volunteers in youth work. It serves as legitimation and proof of qualifications. I also join a different group within IHS I haven’t considered before. Additionally, since I got in closer contact with people, I was added to various groups on WhatsApp, thanks to which, I know more about the projects that are happening, so I can participate more actively in the life of the community.

Overall, I would rate Juleica as a good experience.

If you want to check out more, you can do it here:

Initiatvgruppe Homosexualität (IHS) – website in English https://ihs-ev.de/en/die-ihs-english/ or https://ihs-ev.de/ in German

Juleica – website in German https://www.juleica.de/