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News from the work with girls

26.11.2020

If that's not a reason to be happy: Our girls' café is already celebrating its 20th anniversary. What was a novelty in child and youth work two decades ago is now normal in Dreieich and other municipalities: a meeting place exclusively for girls and young women. What remains unique in Dreieich is that a girls' café is offered here, which can act as an independent facility with its own rooms, staff and resources.

“It is very important and good that there are institutions like these, because here girls and young women have the opportunity to meet in protected rooms,” says the municipal women's representative Karin Siegmann. The founding mothers of the girls' café, Gisela Oertwig and Gisela Hohner, are still known to the girls and young women as the “Giselas”. Together with Hilke Rütten and Divora Paulos, they form the foundation of the successful gender-reflective educational work in the girls' café.

Inge Roosen is also an established institution, who still gives sewing courses on a voluntary basis at the age of 85. “In the girls' café, girls and young women can meet, be encouraged and discover new interests undisturbed. Above all, they are upgraded here, can try out and experiment with other behaviors, without the pressure of always having to behave in a gender-compliant manner, "summarize Gisela Oertwig and Gisela Hohner. This is particularly important for girls who, due to family guidelines, are not allowed to visit facilities in which men or boys are also staying.

Whether it's a sewing workshop, dance workshops, help with homework, lectures or creative art projects: the offer has changed over the years and is influenced by the interests and needs of the visitors. The café on Benzstrasse is always open when there is no open operation in the youth center, so that the girls and young women also have table football, a pool table and table tennis. In 2019 alone, the girls' café was visited by over 170 different girls and young women.

Since the founding year, there has been an impressive number of large and small projects in the girls' café, in which hundreds of visitors have participated. For example, the project “Girls explore their city” or the series of narrative cafés where women and girls from three generations meet. A number of videos were shot, the group for young mothers was set up, diverse sports activities were used and a band was founded. Topics such as recycling, environmental protection, inclusion and self-defense also played and continue to play an important role in the program. In addition, the girls and young women always have the opportunity to discuss current events and to exchange ideas about what is particularly important to them. Trips to the theater, the Frankfurt ice rink or the amusement park are also popular. We also work regularly with the Dreieich City Women's Office. For example, since 2003 all Girls ‘Days have been organized together, international women's festivals have been celebrated together and many other campaigns such as" Dreieich stri (c) kt against violence "have been set up.

For this year, too, the girls' café had planned a big party and special activities to celebrate its 20th anniversary, which, however, could not take place due to the corona. As a substitute for the cancellation of the big anniversary party, however, the visitors made a film with which, among other things, they explain in an unorthodox way what the coronavirus actually is and how they spend their free time at this unusual time. The film will soon be made available on the city's website. “It's nice to hear again and again that in the past 20 years so many girls and women have found a place in the girls' café, temporarily or for a long time, to realize their interests and to feel good.

I would like to thank the volunteers, the municipal employees and the honorary staff for their great performance and I am already looking forward to many new campaigns and projects in the coming months and years, ”said Mayor Martin Burlon.