Prevention of abuse and malfunction in Lohne
„We do not have more problems in Lohne than others, but we tackle them. What are the best jobs for us if citizens do not feel safe and comfortable in Lohne?"
Tobias Gerdesmeyer, Mayor and spokesman of PRL
The Prevention Committee of Lohne (PRL) was not founded as a response to a specific occasion such as serious crime, but was launched with the intention of preventing grievances and malfunctions so that all citizens feel comfortable. In Lohne, more than 120 citizens work in the PRL voluntarily to mitigate - if not prevent - the negative causes of addiction, violence or fear. The motto: More safety and well-being for all by all!
Two important dates have led and influenced the development of the Prevention Committee of Lohne. In March 1997, Dr. phil. Elmar Supe, former Academic Director at the University of Vechta, pointed out the possibilities of a holistic and communal approach that exceeds conventional crime and drug prevention. In October 1997, the City Council of Lohne decided to form a municipal council of prevention. The core statement was that prevention must be a citizen’s cause and accompanied full-time. The continuous exchange of ideas between enthusiastic volunteers, the close network of school, kindergarten, youth office, police and many more, as well as the financial support of companies and citizens are important landmarks for the prevention work in Lohne. The interaction of volunteering, networking and financial support allows sustainable prevention – for more than 16 years.
„Prevention is a citizen’s cause“. How can this concept be so successful in Lohne? We have simple, clear structures and yet we all work together.
Current topics and ideas are discussed and collected in four working groups „Prevention of Violence“, „Prevention of Addiction“, „Technical Prevention“ and „Prevention through Integration“. Every four to eight weeks, the members meet under the leadership of a spokesman. In the meantime, smaller project groups meet and develop the projects they are working on.
All speakers of the working groups are members of the Steering Group as well. This ensures coordination and cooperation. Representatives of the town council, the police, the family training center the round table for integration and international understanding, as well as the women representatives strengthen the Steering Group, which meets every two months for a lively exchange. Spokesman of the Steering Group is Mayor Tobias Gerdesmeyer. This clearly shows the importance of the citizen’s initiative Prevention Committee.
Prevention Office of Lohne
Successful prevention work is achieved only through the networking of various employees. The work-intensive approach is full-time supported by the city councilors Lena Dellenbach and Andrea Marré. They coordinate all activities in the city council’s office of prevention and offer advice and assistance to all citizens.
A selection of various projects of the Prevention Committee
Projects in kindergartens and schools include:
- Puppet theater „Frieda is okay!“
The Prevention Officers of kindergartens in Lohne pursue an ambitious goal – to strengthen your child and you. At the initiative of the PRL, educators of all institutions have devoted themselves to the idea of prevention and pass it on to parents and other educators every day. Thanks to the offers in different areas of education children are strengthened in their personality, while social competences are expanded. The collection of tools functions as a good basis for ideas and inspiration for the work with children. Next to „Frieda is okay!“, which is self-developed and performed every two years, „Der kleine Pelz“ (created by the theater workshop „Pappmaché“) is another theater character that regularly visits the children. In terms of content and organization, the ambassadors for prevention are supported by a team of experts.
- Interactive theaters
Interactive theaters such as „My body belongs to me!“ (grade 4) and „Of course I’m strong“ (grade 7), which deal with children’s self-esteem and self-confidence, have been developed by the theater pedagogy workshop in Osnabrück. This includes accompanying information for teachers and pupils as well as content-related support by the school.
- Workshops in grade 7
„I am like you – just different“ starring Andreas Hoenig.
- Prevention of addiction in grade 8
This includes parent’s evenings accompanied by the police and the youth office on topics like alcohol and drugs. In addition to that, discussions with addicted patients of local clinics are organized.
Other projects include:
The „ZerlegBar“ is a mobile bar for non-alcoholic cocktails and has been developed in a workgroup which aims to make alcohol-free beverages more attractive to prevent alcohol abuse eventually. The bar can be borrowed for all kinds of events.
- „Calendar of Diversity“
The „Calendar of Diversity“ informs about every year’s multicultural events in Lohne. People with many different beliefs live here and of course each community has its own important dates. One copy is handed out to every household in Lohne.