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Deutsch-polnische inklusive Schülerfirma - Café im Glück
Start date: Jan 1, 2015, End date: Dec 31, 2015 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The „Deutsch-Polnische inklusive Schülerfirma“ (German-Polish inclusive pupil’s company) is a project of Trebnitz Castle Education and Exchange Center in cooperation with three schools located in the German-Polish border region. The project combines formal and non-formal learning processes and therefore requires a close cooperation between schools and extra-curricular educational institutions. The participating parties are venturing into new pedagogic territory, by having German and Polish pupils found a company under the tutelage of a non-formal educational institution. Special to the project is the combination of strengthening economic skills and offering intercultural learning experiences, while at the same time applying a socially inclusive approach. By covering these aspects, the project is in line with the European Youth Strategy, i.e. empowerment, participation, social integration, transnational mobility, and securing a successful transfer into professional life. The project has several objectives. One is to achieve inclusion on a practical level. The participating youth are attending schools for students with special needs. Some of them are physically or mentally impaired, suffer from severe learning disabilities, or grow up in a difficult domestic environment. Through strategic empowerment, we offer challenged youth equal opportunities and social inclusion. In the economically underdeveloped Polish-German border region, our pupil-run Café allows youth to gain work experience in the areas of gastronomic service and book-keeping, while developing skills they later can use in “real” professional life. The project “German-Polish pupil’s company” can therefore be understood as an attempt to realize sustainable structural development in the said border region. During the twelve-month project period, four seminars of five days length will be held at Schloss Trebnitz. During these seminars, pupils will receive instructions on how to found and run a company. Each student is assigned a personal responsibility. In addition, they will attend German/Polish language classes and will be trained in barista and waiting tables, in order to provide a setting that mirrors that of an actual gastronomic service. The youth are expected to practice their acquired skills in a realistic economic context, while strengthening key qualifications for the successful transition into professional life, such as initiative, sense of responsibility, and capacity for team work. The basic idea of the “pupil’s company” is to found a miniature business which is incorporated in the Trebnitz Castle Education and Exchange Center, and which functions within set rules that mimic real economic conditions. In this way, the participating youth gain insight into production and economic processes. The pupil’s company “Café zum Glück” (The Happy Café) will be located in a public location, a retail store in the newly renovated black smith’s shop of Trebnitz Castle. Guided by a project coordinator, the inclusive youth group is going to first be trained and then work in the areas of gastronomic service, book-keeping and floristry. The joint activity of serving guests and visitors is going to enhance participants’ self-esteem. The group consists of 24 youth from Poland and Germany.
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