11. January 2021 – SCHOOL TALKS


Some impressions of the SCHOOL TALK in Neumarkt in der Oberpfalz, captured by our project manager Jasemin.

For my first SCHOOL TALK, I travelled across the country. The destination: the Ostendorfer High School in Neumarkt in der Oberpfalz. The plan: To watch the documentary “HÁWAR – My Journey into Genocide” with the 8th grade there. The catch: the film leaves even some adults puzzled. It shows the persecution of the Yazidis in Iraq by (and their escape from) the terrorist militia “Islamic State” in an intensely unsparing way. How should this affect the students?

On the way there, my mind was filled with question marks. How would the students react to this film?  Would we manage to make them feel self-efficacious – or would we merely shock them?

In order to avoid facing this challenge alone, I sought the help of an expert: Dr. Otto Böhm, educationalist and co-founder of the Nuremberg Human Rights Center. The impressive images from the film were followed by empathy and many questions: What responsibility do we in Germany have for the suffering that is happening in Iraq? Why are some war crimes not charged for so long? What can I do as a student against discrimination in everyday life? Dr. Otto Böhm gave the students the necessary self-confidence to get involved in their own environment: Against exclusion, for humanity.

The students of the Ostendorfer High School more than surprised us during the two teaching units: with their knowledge, interesting questions – but above all with the analytical view, they already have regarding society and politics. The young people left the classroom with a strong desire to get involved with people particularly at risk from discrimination and persecution. On-site, for example, at the Neumarkt Volunteer Agency. A day that Dr. Otto Böhm and the class teacher, Claudia Hirmer, made possible and that will remain in our memories for a long time!

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