The rapidly growing propensity and use of violence by young people is concerning. The root causes of this problem are often ignored or at least underestimated. Of course the consumption of alcohol and drugs increases the willingness towards violence, however, the problem primarily lies in the absence of self esteem and lack of success. The act of violence is a means of compensating deficits. The violence-prevention programme “Respekt.leben” of the Stiftung Jugendhilfe actively fights this problem.

“Respekt.leben“ is a pedagogical concept, taught in approximately 12 teaching units. Main themes are violence prevention and acquisition of social skills. The aim is to learn non-violent conflict resolution based on the motto “winning by giving in”. On the basis of Asian sports and relaxation techniques like Ju Jitsu, Thai Chi and Chi Gong in combination with de-escalation strategies and a lot of fun, children are able to improve their social behaviour. Additionally, they will learn that giving in can also be a triumph. Following the slogan “the cleverer makes the first move”.

The basis of conflict resolution inevitably entails the development of self-awareness and self esteem. Only people who consider themselves to be valuable are able to convey this feeling to others. In conflict situations inner strength can prevent us from automatically seeing our opponent as a rival.

“Respekt.leben” has already been active in a number of schools, youth welfare services and companies and has achieved a lot of positive results.

We bear the full cost for this project enabling more and more children to participate in the experience-based training “Respekt.leben”.

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