Social Forum Tuebingen


Social Forum Tuebingen

By Feras Trayfi


What are self-help groups? And is there such a thing for fugitives and migrants as well? With these and other questions in mind, our editors Aliaa Abd Khalaf, Feras Trayfi and Mostafa Elyasian were guests at the Social Forum in Tuebingen. Barbara Herzog, a self-help consultant and graduate psychologist at the Social Forum, answered their questions.

With which problems do people come to these groups?

People with the same problems and diseases meet in a self-help group. They exchange experiences as well as information and support each other. If you want to participate in these groups, you have to follow some important rules. There are certain prerequisites and conditions. The most important one is confidentiality. There are also rules for group discussions: only one person can talk at a time; you should talk about yourself; you should rather talk to someone than talk about someone; you should not judge, you should not try to do everything better. Most people with problems such as heart disease, cancer, alcoholism, depression or mental illness come to these self-help groups. However, there are many more topics up to even playing chess together. Most self-help groups are open to people aged 18 and over.

In which languages are these group meetings carried out?

The meetings are offered in nine different languages, these are German, English, French, Spanish, Arabic, Turkish, Italian, Greek and Russian. Further languages will be added in the future.

Are there limits to these self-help groups?

The Social Forum does not set limits. It behaves neutrally and is not associated with any political party or religious group. But it is, of course, very committed to human rights.

Is the Social Forum generally known by people?

The Social Forum stands up for all people, but its degree of popularity is rather low. The aim is of course to become more known through important projects and reporting on them.

In addition to the self-help groups, does the Social Forum also offer other additional services?

The Social Forum Tuebingen promotes self-help and civic commitment in the social and health sector. In addition, it represents self-help groups or associations in the social and health sector also vis-à-vis third parties. It is also committed to accessibility and the social participation of all people, especially people with disabilities. The contact point for self-help offers a variety of services for citizens.

In the spring of this year there was another meeting of the new project group “Migration meets self-help” of the Social Forum Tuebingen. Representatives of various groups and associations were present, including tünews INTERNATIONAL. There was intensive discussion about the new project and a lookout for opportunities for cooperation. This new group should mainly be there for refugees. For this project group there is now a regular appointment: every second Thursday of the month always at 7 p.m. in the Social Forum in Tuebingen.

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The consulting hours of Mrs. Duke are: Monday and Tuesday 9 to 12 o’clock, Thursday 5 to 7 p.m.

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