Tag Archives: Germany

Overture Network – Spring Meeting 2016


The Overture Network encourages Guide and Scout associations in the Europe to open up the associations for young people originating from ethnic and other minority groups. The participation of children and youths with different backgrounds is based on the principle that Guiding and Scouting are open to all people.

The next meeting is scheduled to take place at Burg Rieneck in Germany.

More information about the event will be available on the Overture Network’s website in due course!

Refugees Welcome! The Lower Rhine Region is Colourful!

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Scouts and Guides contributing to refugee support activities in their local communities in Europe (23): a story from Xanten, Germany

Last month, an unused building the city of Xanten, in Northrhine-Westphalia, Germany, had decided to open for refugees was victim of an arson attack. This incident was at the origin of an event the local DPSG Niederrhein-Nord Scout District (member of DPSG – Deutsche Pfadfinderschaft Sankt Georg and the World Organization of the Scout Movement) organised this Sunday. Together with other civil society associations (including the Flüchtlingshilfe Xanten, the Jugendkulturwerkstatt eXit and neighbouring Scout Districts), the Scouts decided to show everybody that the Lower Rhine Region (Region Niederrhein) is colourful and open to welcoming people seeking refuge from atrocities in their countries.

And more than 600 people answered the call. Dressed in colourful cloths and equipped with flags and posters claiming “Refugees Welcome” and “The North Rhine Region is coulourful”, they assembled in Xanten’s market square on Sunday afternoon.

When looking at the colourful crowd in front of him, District Commissioner Christoph Fromont felt that this was an incredible picture, really showing that the Region was open and diverse: “Each bad news, like the recent arson attack of the future refugee centre in xanten, should be countered by plenty of positive, encouraging story. This is what we have achieved. And this is why we have called for this gathering!”

“The willingness to welcoming refugees to the Lower Rhine Region does not stop with the distribution of flyers and the wearing of ‘Refugees Welcome’ tee-shirts. No, that’s just the beginning!” he added, “Let us eliminate fear and encourage encounters.”

The gathering ended with the more than symbolic building of a colourful human cordon (measuring several hundreds of meters) around the partially destroyed building, which will soon be the new home for refugees in Xanten. And as a strong signal of the city’s colourfulness and hospitality many people decorated fences and railings with scarves, shawls and handkerchiefs of all shapes and colours.

(contributing to the text & (c) image: DPSG Bezirk Niederrhein-Nord)

Read a full story in the regional newspaper rp-online.

And if you are involved in a similar refugee support activity in your local community, let us know and we will share it, too: just complete this form!

How do I make a campfire bread? Come, I’ll show you!

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Scouts and Guides contributing to refugee support activities in their local communities in Europe (21): a story from Uedem, Germany

Uedem? Where is Uedem? Many refugees might have wondered where this town was situated on the map of Germany where destiny had decided that they would find their temporary new homes. We, too, had to check the map to discover that Uedem is located between Duisburg and Kleve on the river Rhine close to the Dutch border.

And the surprise was even greater when the refugees arrived in Uedem: a group of members of  DPSG Uedem, the local Scout and Guide Group (a member of DPSG Niederrhein-Nord District of DPSG – Deutsche Pfadfinderschaft Sankt Georg) awaited them waving colourful flags, holding up “Welcome” and “Willkommen” posters.

The Scouts and Guides – with the help of friends of the local school – had spent several days preparing their Welcome Party: they collected toys, games and jigsaws, stuffed animals and dolls, footballs, basket balls and other sports equipment! And they planned a series of activities for their “Willkommensfest” using many of the collected items with their guests, handing them over as presents at the end of the day. Others were busy in their kitchen and prepared pastry and other dishes to serve at the party.

Many of the newly arrived refugees attended the welcome party, happy spend an afternoon in friendly and happy atmosphere with their new neighbours. While children and young people happily enjoyed the games their parents and other adults were glad to settle down and relax for a few hours in good company, away from their tense and stressful life.

What started as a colourful afternoon of games and sports finally ended around a genuine campfire, where Scouts and Guides and their new friends enjoyed preparing (and later eating) their campfire bread on sticks cut from bushes only moments earlier.

(Source: rp-online, 9 Ocotber 2015)

If you are involved in a similar refugee support activity in your local community, let us know and we will share it, too!

Just another volunteer at Dortmund’s main refugee welcome centre

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Scouts and Guides contributing to refugee support activities in their local communities in Europe (12): a story from Dortmund, Germany:

“When it became evident that the many refugee families would continue their travel to different parts of Germany, including Dortmund, once they will have reached our country in the southern province of Bavaria, members of Stamm Weisse Rose und Stamm Vagabunden, two local Scout and Guide groups from Dortmund and members of Bund der Pfadfinderinnen un Pfadfinder e.V., one of the National Scout and Guide Associations in Germany, decide to offer their time, experience and skills:

They join volunteers of other local civil society organisations at the Dietrich-Keuning-Haus, which had been designated as main welcome centre for refugees arriving in the city of Dortmund. The prinicpal task for the volunteers is helping with the checking, sorting, and piling of donated cloths and other goods while others start setting up the distribution chain. Yet other Scouts and Guides join the organising team of the centre, responsible for making sure that enough volunteers are available all time and that they are allocated tasks according to their skills.

Many trains each with up to 500 refugees are expected to arrive in Dortmund for several days, but the main welcome centre at the Dietrich-Keuning-Haus is ready: a local, multilingual welcome committee awaits the first groups of refugees: just listen to these two short features broadcast by Radio 91,2 which capture the atmosphere just before the arrival of the first trains in Dortmund. Or read this article published by The New York Times last week.”

If you are involved in a similar refugee support activity, let us know and we will share it, too!

14th European Guide Conference


Europe Committee WAGGGS is happy to join with our hosts for the next European Conferences, Ring Deutscher Pfadfinderinnenverbände and Ring deutscher Pfadfindervebände, to invite you most sincerely to join us for the 14th European Guide Conference and the 14th European Guide and Scout Conference.