The long running relationship with Cardiff’s sister city Stuttgart has been a productive one with more than 30 years of youth exchange programmes. In the last couple of years Cardiff have hosted a number of groups that have included a school group who travelled to Cardiff from Stammheim and Stuttgart Youth Council in turn CYC have been hosted on a number of occasions.
During these visit CYC became increasingly interested in German culture and the way they approached education and youth work. CYC received an invite from Micha Klamm of the Stuttgart Youth Service stating they would be welcome to come anytime.
With this offer in mind CYC then highlighted some funds, sort authorisation from youth service management, choose representatives and organised the study visit.
Micha Klamm, put together a programme which showed the visiting group a wide range of projects and a chance to meet with young people and workers to share their experiences.
Here is our story .
On a very brisk morning in Cardiff city centre we met at the steps of the National Museum for Wales’s, ready to embark on our journey. After loading the minibus and making sure everyone had their passports (David) and euros we set off in the DofE minibus to Gatwick Airport.
After check in and swiftly moving through security we were in the departure lounge and eager to go on our big orange and white bird (EasyJet Flight) to Stuttgart
After a very short 1 hour 20 min the plane descended, after a flight through the sunset, we hopped on the minibus and took a short journey (on the wrong side of the road!) to the international Youth Hostel.
From the top of the hostel, looking out onto the city was magical, the city lights lit up the wonders of Stuttgart in an orange glow. Upon leaving the glass elevator, which took us down to the hostel, we were fed and had time to explore the hostel and our rooms. at this point all most of us wanted to do was to sleep after a long day.
After a quick meeting to discuss the weeks program and getting to finally meet our host Mr Klamm properly it was time for bed
The next morning we headed off to the Rathaus for a tour and to meet Roland the lead worker for the Stuttgart Youth Council. Roland took us on a tour of the Rathaus and to various projects around the city that SYC had been involved in was very interesting, informative, and it taught us all about how their youth council works, its influence over decisions made throughout the city and their relation with the city mayor.
Later that day, we got to visit the famous Stammheim Jugendhaus were we got to meet Chris, Daniel & Yannis. After meeting the staff we got to go climbing at Climbmax Climbing World, a well-regarded climbing centre which has held many competitions.
We also got to go back and visit Stammheim Jugendhaus where we interacted with local young people and engaged in several games such as; table-football, Ping-Pong and ‘Just Dance’ as well as have our evening meal.
After a long day it was finally back to the Youth Hostel for a good nights sleep.
Following a good nights rest,we where up nice and early on the Wednesday so that we could have a tour of and have a dialogue session with students at Grundschule Stammheim arranged by the school worker Fitch. It was great getting to meet with the children and for them the be able to practice their English speaking skills. They had so many questions for us, all about our country and our lives there. We taught them about our city and also taught them some Welsh.Many of us gained pen-pals during our visit to the school as many of them were enthusiastic to stay in touch.
After visiting the school it was off to Jugendhaus Mitte for lunch, we had authentic traditional German foods which consisted of a buttery potato salad and Maultaschen. After lunch, we played a city game called ‘TipsnTrips’. This took around 2 hours and had us searching all around the city (a very unusual, fun and interactive way of sightseeing) for landmarks and their origins.
In the evening we attended a reception at the Rathaus, at which we were honorable guests, and engaged in conversation with many of their young youth councils. Some of us exchanged details in order to stay in touch for when they visit us in July/August. We then played a few rounds of bowling which became very competitive very quickly and was very enjoyable.
Thursday, we visited the Wilhelma Zoo and
Botanical Gardens where we saw many animals there and took a ludicrous amount of photos, also spending time in the gift shop buying souvenirs for ourselves and loved ones.
After many hours of ogling at the animals, it was off to be hosted by Das CANN Jugendhaus who prepared us a lovely curry, which was just what we needed after being out in the cold all morning. After lunch we popped in to the Skatehalle Stuttgart next door and a skateboarding lesson. Several of us struggled to pick up the confidence and skills needed to make the most of the skateboarding but a couple of us were very natural with balance and attempting tricks on the boards. Though it was difficult, it was very fun to try something new.
In the afternoon, we visit the city state parliament and met Brigitte Losch, a Member of their Green Party who took us on a tour of the building, answered questions we had and fed us some pretzels and juice. That evening we were hosted by Jugendhaus Sillenbuch and their recently elected members of Stuttgart Youth Council. SYC members prepared us piazzas and we then spend the evening hanging out and find out about what it is like being a young person in our different cities and what were the proprieties in each other cities.
On our last full day in Stuttgart we had some free time to explore the city centre and to buy souvenirs and also visit the main library, which was such extraordinary building which looks very bare upon first glance, but once you reach the top floor, it can be seen that within the blank white walls there are rows upon shelves upon columns of books spanning across several floors of the building.
In the afternoon we once again met up with Chris at his centre Jugendtreff Sieben Morgen, which bizarrely is next to the famous Stammheim prison. Chris introduced us to OpenMike, a graffiti artist who gave us a lesson on how to draw in a graffiti style and worked along side us in developing and designing a large scale graffiti mural about our time in the lovely city across outside the youth centre. once the project was finished it looked pretty amazing. Openmike then gave us a demonstration of his other talent Rapping by spitting some lyrics – which sounded even more impressive in German.
After saying our farewells to Chris and Openmike it was onto one more youth centre. This time Kirsten and her SYC members hosted us in Jugendhaus Nord, preparing a lovely meal and again getting time to have dialogue sessions with the recently appointed SYC member’s about some of the issues young people face in Stuttgart and what the priorities of the city were.
Diolch – Danke – Thank you
Cardiff Youth Council would like to thank all the young people, staff and centers that made the exchange possible with special thanks to our wonderful friend Mr Michael Klamm from Stammheim Jugendhaus, who without this exchange would have not been possible.
It was really inspiring to see how Stuttgart has invested in services for young people across the city, from the incredible centres that are used for a variety of activities within each community, to how the Youth Council is funded and supported.
It was amazing to spend time with youth centre members and Stuttgart Youth Council reps to talk about the issues that we are facing in our day to day lives and some of the
It was also incredible to be given the chance to explore this wonderful city and meet with
some key decision makers along the way.
We are now be considering how we can return the fabulous hospitality that we received and host a group from Stuttgart in July and august 2018 in Cardiff. Building on the long
friendships and twinning arrangements between North Ely Youth Center and Stammheim Jugendhaus. We look forward to seeing some of the wonderful people we have met in a few months’ time.
AND THE VOTES ARE IN…..
CYC have been busy electing 4 members to significant posts in the organisation. Firstly we thanked the 4 CYC members who were stepping down. CYC had a great year and a lot of this was down to the leadership and commitment from those folks who were successful in last years election.
Our new Chair is Stephanie Ezeadum (17), she was MYP last year and is studying for her A levels at Cathedral School.
C Y C ELECTIONS
Our new Vice Chair is Ed Jones (16) a student at Cardiff High and a member of CYC for 2 years. Ed said ‘I am passionate about young people having their voice
heard and look forward to representing the views of young people over the next year!’ Our 2 new elected Members of Youth Parliament for Cardiff are David Abadir (17) and Tabitha Balogun (17). David told CYC members ‘Thank you for voting for me and I will ensure I will work hard to represent Cardiff not only in the House of Commons but throughout the year here in the constituency’
These are the dates and venues for this coming year’s CYC meetings, all welcome:
26th April 2017 (City Hall)
May 2017—No meeting (Exams)
21st June 2017 (Roots)
12th July 2017 (Roots)
20th September 2017 (City Hall)
25th October 2017 (City Hall)
15th November 2017 (City Hall)
13th December 2017 (City Hall)
17th January 2018 (City Hall)
7th February 2018 (City Hall)
14th March 2017 (City Hall)
Arrival at 4.30pm refreshments and public transport tickets reimbursement
Meetings start by 5pm.
CYC members have been concerned about the number of people sleeping on the streets in Cardiff this winter and as a result they developed social action called Coats to Go in the city centre.
The idea is simple take one coat rail and donated coats from the Education Department and leave it where people are able to access it on a daily basis. Anyone in need of a free winter coat can take one and if you would like to donate a coat leave one on the rail.
Project lead and CYC Chairperson Xinyu Ye (17) said ‘Social media played an important part in sharing this project with over 6,000 people on Twitter and our Facebook reach was over 60,000! This has meant that in the projects first two week 28 coats are now in the hands of people that need them. Thanks everyone’
The coat rail in situated in Barrack Lane, just behind Grassroots CF10 2GG, 10.00am – 4.00pm.
The CYC First Aid Training for All working group have been hard at work over the three months developing a plan on how to address the challenge of getting first aid in the curriculum and every school to have a defibrillator.
The first action for CYC members was to hold meetings with first aid providers in the city, so meetings with British Red Cross and St John Ambulance took place in January. The meetings were very positive and they both agreed to help support the campaign starting with the offer of free first aid workshops to a range of local six forms groups.
CYC members felt that they should put their money where their mouth was and get trained! British Red Cross delivered an evening of training where young people learnt valuable skills such as CPR, recovery position, scolds and bleeding.
Working group member April Spiteri (15) said ‘Our campaign continues as we have written a letter to Assembly Member Suzy Davies to support her call to have a debate in the Assembly about including first aid in the National Curriculum’
CYC Members will now meet Assembly Members on the 29th of March at the Senendd to share their campaign. Keep a look out at our twitter account for updates and photos from the day!
Seven CYC members went to meeting Sophie Howe, Further Generations Commissioner in January. The meeting enabled young people to find out more about the role of the Future Generations Commissioner as well as raise concerns and share key issues raised by young people.
CYC Member James Martin (16) said ‘It was great to meet Sophie, she was friendly and explained her role which covers a lot of things’
Issues discussed included Brexit, the M4 relief road and the future career pathways for young people.
Seven CYC members represented the youth council at the Young Wales Conference at the Future Inn Hotel in Cardiff Bay in February.
The day was hosted by two young people from the Young Wales Project Board who did a really professional job.
The conference was spilt into different sections including workshops developed by the project board and co delivered alongside professionals.
The interactive workshops covered a range of areas including mental health and well-being, bullying, climate change and school curriculum.
During lunch there was an opportunity for young people to visit stands in the market place as well as have a say on the development of the proposed National Youth Assembly for Wales.
Participants also had the chance to use the photo booth which was very popular indeed!
During the afternoon session there was a video message from Carl Sargeant AM & Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Children and a presentation by Professor Sally Holland, Children’s Commissioner for Wales on her work over the past year.
David Abadir (16), CYC Vice Chair said ‘Not only was the conference good fun, it gave young people from across the country the chance to meet up and discuss the work that they were doing and share ideas’
To finish off the conference there was a question & answer session were young people were able to put questions to a panel, which including the Children’s Commissioner and Assembly Members.
As some of you will know, as part of its plan to engage more with young people and CYC, Cardiff Council are working with us to produce three Grand Council events at the City Hall this year; the first of which that was held in December, on the theme of “What Matters to Future Generations” was a great success.
We’re really looking forward to meeting young people from schools colleges and youth organisations all over Cardiff this March for our second installment, in order to discuss how Cardiff can achieve UNICEF “Child Friendly City” status. This status would recognise Cardiff as a city committed to fulfilling children’s rights.
You can find out more about this initiative here.
We’ll be looking at the criteria needed to meet this, and will have the opportunity to offer solutions from the perspective of young people to the challenges Cardiff faces in becoming “Child Friendly”.
Here are the basic points that have to be met:
- know and understand their rights know about the services available and how to access them
- have a say in the design, delivery and evaluation of services
- experience connected, tailored and responsive services, even if their needs are complex
- feel safe, nurtured, prioritised and are treated with dignity.
For those of you who have received confirmation of their place at the event, I’ll look forward to seeing you there! Remember that the event is being held at Cardiff City Hall, Cathays Park, 9:30-2:00, and light refreshments and a packed lunch will be provided.
And for those of you who are not attending the event- is there anything you’d like to comment on with regards to Cardiff becoming a “Child-Friendly City?” If you have any remarks, questions, comments, concerns, or suggestions regarding any of the above points, or anything else, don’t hesitate to get in touch!
You can comment on this post, tweet us @cardiffyc, get in touch via our Facebook page, or send an email to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks for reading guys, and remember to like and share!
Mae and CYC 🙂