Kiebitz sees itself as a “third place”: an alternative to home and school where children and young people from different cultural backgrounds can give free rein to their creativity. In the process participants are supported by professional artists, who supervise projects and workshops. The offerings cover a wide range of activities that includes visual art, photography, literature, painting, music, dance, theatre and video and cater mainly to school classes. The centre’s artistic activities offer young German and non-German people new opportunities to communicate by means other than language (colours, physical movement, music etc.). Scope is created for mutual understanding and the forging of new friendships between the participants.
Background of the organization
The Internationales Jugend- und Kulturzentrum Kiebitz e.V. was founded in Duisburg on 1 August 1985 under the auspices of the “Forschungsgruppe Modellprojekte e. V.” and has been operating independently since April 1992. The managing director Müjgan Bayur, her deputy Dagmar Simon and administrative employee Gabriele Arnold are accountable to the Kiebitz board.
The Marxloh district in the north-western fringe of the city of Duisburg, Germany, is characterized by cultural diversity: more than 40 percent of its inhabitants have a migration background; among the young inhabitants, the figure even exceeds 70 percent. With an unemployment rate of more than 25 percent, the proportion of inactive people in the district is almost 10 percent higher than in the city as a whole. Many young people have no self-esteem. Resignation and fear of failure are prevalent, leading to difficulties both in communication and finding a direction in life. Conflict and violence are common – and are often presented by the media as negative effects of the wretched living conditions.
The participants to the programme are children and young people aged between 6 and 30 years, most of whom live in live largely the Marxloh district. For the most part, they are youth with an immigrant background, who were born and raised in Germany, and often have difficulties with their own identity and with finding acceptance in their own environment.
An evaluation of the Kiebitz workshops conducted by Prof. Barz (University of Düsseldorf) in 2014, revealed the following excellent results. The teachers experience the Kiebitz Project Weeks as an opportunity to create an alternative world for the participants as a counterpoint to everyday (school) life. This alternative world is characterised by a whole set of positive features:
– Pupils experience new ways and possibilities to learn and achieve something productive and creative. New, previously unknown topics can be explored by pupils.
– Soft skills such as patience, teamwork, consideration, concentration, determination, planned work etc. are practised.
– The class’ cohesion is strengthened by shared experiences, collaborative learning and joint production processes.
– Teachers also emphasize the fact that Kiebitz offers projects which are interesting for classes of all ages. As no extra costs are charged, children from all social classes, who otherwise would have little or no opportunity for extracurricular or cultural participation, can participate in the workshops.
Strategy for the future
In the future the successful work of the Kiebitz e.V. should be continued. Further optimisation and intensification possibilities in networking with local cultural institutions such as the municipal library, theatre, museum etc. will be extended. Due to the political situation, Kiebitz e.V. would like to focus more on political topics in the workshops.
Relationship with Horizon
Since 2011 Stichting Horizon supports the project “KiT” – Kiebitz integrative Theatre – and since 2018 the weekly Kiebitz workshops, which are held in close cooperation with all school types.