Working with the hand mixer is easy for the two young Ukrainian cooks. The assumption is actually reasonable that the girls in the kitchen of the adult education center want to impress ecotrophologist Christina Heinze-Neumann with the Ukrainian national dish borscht. But puff cake. The mixture of eggs and flour and the smell of the oven do not go with the Ukrainian vegetable soup made from beets, white cabbage, potatoes and tomatoes. “They prepare here what all children love: pizza, pudding, cottage cheese with herbs and cake.”
The culmination will be the “common banquet”, reports the course director. “The kids are already looking forward to it. In the next room, a larger group of about 20 children are turning reusable glasses into lanterns. “They are pasted with paper and wool and painted with paint,” explains Sara Schwarz, who discovered the project through the work of young Protestants and who is now helping. Those who have already finished make bracelets from the remaining material. Last week, we had already tinkered together.
German courses for parents
The adult education center in Weiden-Neustadt is organizing a colorful Easter holiday program until Friday for Ukrainian children and young people who have found admission in the Max-Reger-Stadt and the district. Parents, mostly mothers of 7 to 15 year olds, are also involved. For them, however, a German course is provided diagonally across the street. The campaign is financed by federal funds from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research and the program “Culture makes strong”, underlines the educational director Tanja Fichtner.
“We had a lot of ideas and that was a good thing because now we have a network of partners,” reports Fichtner. “As an adult education center, we have the opportunity through the German Adult Education Association to organize a talent campus for children in difficult social circumstances.” Due to the influx of refugees from Ukraine, it was agreed that Ukrainian children should be included in the program. “Of course, we are aware that as an adult education center we are not number 1 when it comes to skills for youth work. That is why we are three partners.”
“We knew that the evangelical youth of the dean’s office in Weiden and the association Neue Zeiten were thinking in the same direction.” That’s why they got together in just ten days and came up with the program. “We wanted to give children and young people a daily structure. Children just need other children.” The intention was that boys and girls could meet over the Easter holidays and friendships would develop as a result. “They should think differently, as far as that’s possible at the moment.”
Of course, as an adult education centre, you also have a very clear educational mandate to fulfill. “The Talentcampus offers both cultural education and language training.” From an art workshop to dance lessons, theater, a city rally with photo ops and a visit to the regional library. “Of course, we also teach German in a fun way. The children have already learned a lot of German.” There are currently five groups of children and two groups of parents. The Neue Zeiten association takes care of a group of adults.