Internationality is my life, intercultural youthwork is my specialization. I have been active in various youth organisations for the past 30 years, most prominently Scouting (more than 10 years cub scout leader, world jamboree troop leader) and as president of the city youth council, the head organisation of more than 20 youth organisations in my hometown, Koenigswinter, Germany. There, I am doing kids and youth summer camps both in English and German with an international team of counsellors, political representation at the municipal level and the International Leadership program, an intercultural training program with young people from many countries, giving local adolescents a chance to experience internationality at a local level. My family is intercultural (German, USA, NZ) and living in an international environment is my everyday life as Academic Director and Lecturer of Economics and Maths at an International School for Business and Management, where I teach in a prep program for international students from all over the world.
I support the ScoutingTrain project and the Yourope wagon because I can still remember growing up in a divided world, the Eastern part of Germany and Europe being a black box which I only visited once in 1983 on a school trip, never expecting, as everyone else, that anything would change in our lifetime. It was not exactly a comforting thought to live right at the frontier of a potential nuclear war. Then, suddenly, in 1989, things started moving, peacefully, and within a short time the Iron Curtain fell and a whole new world opened up, which in 1990 I used for an internship in Hungary. Those years were the most thrilling time of my life. I felt so lucky to be part of it (at least as a spectator) and wholeheartedly supported the European idea of peace and friendship, extending further and further towards the East, not even stopping, if possible, at geographical boundaries. Europe is a great idea, boundless, and needs to be taken as far as there are people who are willing to get enthusiastic about it. What better way is there than to take a train and get many young people from different countries on board to turn this idea of peaceful cooperation and friendship into reality.