project ‘UMFdenken – jetzt!’
Who we are
Together we, a colorful group of volunteers, organize excursions and activities for and with young refugees living in the city and district of Osnabrück. Regularly – every two weeks – we spend a Saturday (afternoon) together and experience the most diverse things: In addition to various sports activities such as swimming, bowling, stand–up paddling or weekly bouldering, the program includes projects such as cooking and baking together, as well as cooperations with several youth centers and the Fan Project Osnabrück.
Through our activities, we want to start rethinking now: We create spaces for young people to meet and try to realize the right of every person to participation and education. We cooperate with different actors in the city and district of Osnabrück – you can find them on the page ‘Support’.
Just like our sister project ‘FreiZeit für Flüchtlingskinder’, ‘UMFdenken – jetzt!’ can only exist through the voluntary commitment and financial support in the form of donations and thus continue to contribute to the successful arrival of the young people in Osnabrück. Every Monday evening, the volunteers meet to plan upcoming projects and reflect on the past. Committed people of different ages and backgrounds contribute their experience and ideas to the project in order to make the project ‘UMFdenken – jetzt!’ socially sustainable and to create spaces for encounters between young refugees and locals. Furthermore, publicity events or cooperations are also prepared in these meetings. If you want to know what we are doing, you can find our current projects under ‘News’ on this website and also information and photos on our Facebook page.
We welcome people who would like to become part of our team. We need many helping hands, especially for the actions at the weekend. Furthermore, there is the possibility to support us in organising public relations and planning the actions.
In recent years, young people have made and continue to make their way to Germany without their parents or caregivers because things are not going well for them in their country of origin and they wish for a different life.
After arriving at the custody office in Osnabrück, the unaccompanied minor refugees (UMF) are divided into different youth facilities. The young people accommodated in these facilities need an increased level of attention, especially considering the background of their escape.
The project 'UMFdenken -jetzt!' aims to provide opportunities for participation in social life and to promote the independence of the young people. Through cooperation with local youth centers and other institutions, intercultural exchange between the young people is aimed for. In addition, we want to involve local actors and raise awareness to the needs of the refugees. In this context, visits to schools or youth centers and workshops with a heterogeneous group of participants take place time and again.
The working group ‘UMFdenken - jetzt!’ was founded in late summer 2015 as a sister project of ‘FreiZeit für Flüchtlingskinder’. Both are part of Exil e.V. and are supported as a student initiative by the AStA of the University of Osnabrück.
The reason for the foundation was the youth congress 'Zukunft selber machen' (Create the future yourself), which was organized by the Federal Ministry of Environment and Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt (German Federal Foundation for the Environment). As part of this congress, ‘FreiZeit für Flüchtlingskinder’ applied for funding to set up and establish ‘UMFdenken - jetzt!’. This initial funding was used directly, so that a few weeks later the first leisure and encounter activities could already be organized.
Building on the many years of experience of ‘FreiZeit für Flüchtlingskinder’ in the organization of leisure and encounter activities for young people, the newly created working group got started right away and networked in the city and district of Osnabrück. The large number of cooperations enables the initiative to organize a variety of activities. Shortly afterwards, the children's charity terre des hommes extended its existing support for ‘FreiZeit für Flüchtlingskinder’ to ‘UMFdenken - jetzt!’.
The ‘UMFdenken - jetzt!’-project has already received various awards for this work, such as the Allwine-Wellmann Prize (2020).