The Local Context - Response
Background of the BeLeM project
The zsb, where BeLeM is located as a part of its activities, is a co-operation
project between the educational and the social field, located directly
inside the school building. Through offering school related assistance
(e.g. help for homework) and social assistance (e.g. social work with
the families) at the same time and place we get in touch also with the
private situation of our clients who are disadvantaged young people without
vocational qualification. So we noticed the special form of dropping out
of teenage mothers. In our system there is not foreseen any concrete support
neither for the girls nor for their children. The educational systems
offers the girls to leave the school also in case they are still under
compulsory school attendance. Neither the school system nor the social
system will take care to their special needs, or have a look for the reasons
the girls brought to their decision to get the child. The biography of
this girls and often also the children) normally leads directly to a career
as dependent on welfare money.
Influence of the project to our organisation
The preventive approach of our project offers the girls psycho-social
help, child care and the opportunity for a qualified leaving certificate
as start for a vocational career. To combine different actors of the educational
and social system (who have big problems in co-operating in Germany) is
our daily work. The BeLeM project for us demonstrated very clearly the
importance of this kind of working. The young mothers are very aware of
being treated as a whole person and not only being separated into different
problems with respective organisations looking only for a part of her.
Local government influence
Bremen is in the federal system of Germany a federal state of its own.
Doe to the fact that in Germany education policy is made not on a national
level but on the level of the respective federal state the project gets
a higher importance for the policy.
Inside the educational systems it is a very important progress to combine
classes with social assistance and also to open lessons for a learner
group with a wide range of age and pre-qualification. To handle this situation
the teacher has to have high competencies in teaching methods, in separating
and bringing together the learners, in taking into consideration the individual
pre-conditions of the learners. We hope to keep this flexibility inside
the Ministry for further development.
As far as we know BeLeM is the first employment project in which there
are integrated the Ministry for Education, Social Affairs and Employment.
This helps to create an awareness for complicated life situations which
couldn't be solved by an approach on the principle of division of labour.
We hope that as a consequence of BeLeM for future projects it will me
easier to sensitise the Ministries for competencies cross-over needs.
National level influence
Even if we don't know a national education policy in Germany BeLeM has
a national influence: We've got requests from all over Germany to send
information, to present the project or to give any other comments. The
German Red Cross (supporter of the co-operation where BeLeM is situated)
presents this project as a model for prevention of drop out and integration
on a national level. BeLeM will be described in the national print publication
of the EU- programme Employment (release 07/2000). All this reflects both
the need of the project as well as the lack of alternatives in Germany.
After the very beginning of the project we don't have problems with the
motivation of the girls. They attend because they want to attend. They
have made the experience that they can't concentrate on the baby alone.
They want to get a chance to come into the labour market. This is a very
pragmatic motivation, but it carries on for the whole project. The problem
for the girls starts after finishing the BeLeM project: When they highly
motivated want to get a vocational training or a job they are confronted
with the situation that there is a big lack of suitable places for them
where they can combine motherhood and profession. To offer solutions or
at least improvement of the situation will be the focus of the next project.
- The Local Context - Response
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