Adolescents and young people are currently in the headlines as problem-ignoring corona spreaders, as carefree pampered partygoers. The “Youth Poverty Monitor” of the Federal Association for Catholic Youth Work, presented on Thursday, makes it clear that this does not say everything about youthful life in Germany.
Based on current statistics, the monitor paints a rather bleak picture of hopelessness and opportunities, in which 3.2 million people under the age of 24 should live. The short formula for this number is: a quarter of all people at risk of poverty in Germany are under 25 years old. The trend – especially in Corona times – is increasing.
The long version knows that millions of young people without realistic chances of an independent and self-financed life are a great burden for those affected and a high mortgage for the economy. The long version also knows that these young people at risk of poverty are most likely to come from families at risk of poverty and most likely will start families at risk of poverty.
All people lost to society have been and will remain. The long version knows that this is a great and senseless injustice and that society would do well to make every effort to remedy the situation and provide particularly supportive help to young people from a precarious background.
Instead, far too often, the German reality is that young people who receive so-called educational assistance and live in homes or assisted living groups are thrown out at the age of 18. Until then, they usually don’t have an internship or job from which to live and afford an apartment. And then they start to move down the slide.
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That biographies of young people are not based on such long recognized patterns to this day is a shame in itself. Changing this is so necessary and would be in the interest of everyone. For example, the monitor makers of the Catholic Youth Work demand the right to education, basic security for children and young people and more affordable housing for them.
Instead, however, it is more likely that general corona crisis management will overlook the worsening problem situation of those in need anyway. It’s as if they aren’t that important because they are used to a precarious existence. Those who complain about another digital semester will receive more attention. That is also right. But only if the others don’t forget.