“Connecting Youth. Sharing Experiences” – and meeting digitally

The Stiftung Schüler Helfen Leben (SHL) Youth Exchange Program, funded by the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs, connects schools and young people from Germany and Bosnia-Herzegovina (BiH). The project takes a trilateral approach with each partnership, consisting of one German school and two Bosnian schools. 25 years after signing the Treaty of Dayton, the segregation on ethnic level is reflected on several levels of the Bosnian educational system until today. By including two schools that teach different ethnic curricula or so-called “two schools under one roof” within each trilateral partnership, we aim to offer spaces for interethnic collaboration for Bosnian students from all ethnic groups.

Initially, the exchange project consisted of two short-term youth encounters for each trilateral school partnership – one hosted in Germany, one in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Throughout both encounters, young people participate in workshops and implement projects focused on the overall motto of “common vision(s) for the future”. The first phase of the project – seven encounters of German-Bosnian youth groups in Germany – took place in 2019. Because of the COVID-19-outbreak, we had to postpone the second phase of the project (encounters in BiH) to 2021 and are now including digital mid-term encounters. The goals of those digital encounters are to offer a space for seeing each other again, for creating a group atmosphere online, for intercultural learning and for jointly planning activities and topics of the next physical encounter.

We plan to implement online encounters for seven German-Bosnian youth groups. Each encounter will consist of three video group sessions, taking place over the span of one or two weeks during October and November 2020. Each exchange group consists of approx. 36 participants, aged 14-18, accompanied by their teachers. The common language is English. The online encounters will consist of a mix of video group calls as well as asynchronous tasks between those group sessions.

How can you as a trainer be involved?

While the general structure and aims of the digital encounters are already defined, the concrete design of methods and tasks will be up to the trainers for each encounter. If needed, we will provide a digital platform where the encounters take place via video calls.

After developing the program for the encounter, your tasks will be to facilitate three group sessions (ca. 90 min each) per encounter, in a team of at least two digital youth trainers. Depending on the timeline of encounters and your availability in October/November 2020, you might develop and implement either one or several encounters.

So, who are we looking for?

We are looking for individuals or teams of digital youth trainers to plan and implement our digital encounters. Focusing on digital forms of intercultural learning and interethnic collaboration, it would be great if you bring experience in those fields as well as in the digital facilitation of youth groups. We are looking for enthusiastic digital facilitators who enjoy working both independently and within a team of teachers and project coordinators. You should be confident to host group discussions in English, while being sensitive to a target group of young people who are not native speakers. Some knowledge of and/or an interest in both Bosnian and German societies/culture/history would be a strong asset. If you speak some German and/or Bosnian – even better!

Sounds interesting to you? APPLY NOW!

We invite you to apply either as an individual or as a team of trainers.

To apply, please send a short application to nora.pohl@shl.info and jelena@shl.ba until 20th September 2020. In your application, please answer the following questions:

  • What is your motivation for facilitating digital youth encounters? What is your experience in the field?
  • How would you implement a video group session? (please focus on one of the following three topics and briefly sketch your ideas: “seeing each other again”, “intercultural learning/exchange experience online” or “planning our next physical youth encounter”)
  • Please also indicate your availability in October/November: Would you be able to implement just one or several encounters?

Please indicate your rates per encounter, including preparation and closing (preparation and facilitation of 3 video group sessions á 90 min, developing of asynchronous tasks for between these three sessions, feedback call with our project coordinator after the encounter).

For any questions, feel free to contact the project coordinators in Berlin (Nora Pohl, nora.pohl@shl.info) or Sarajevo (Jelena Brkić, jelena@shl.ba).