Stagiaire Maša Toplak onderzoekt Leids meidenwerk
Maša Toplak studeert Social Education aan de University van Ljubljana Slovenië. De komende maanden loopt ze stage bij Sociaal Werk Nederland en TOS in Leiden. Ze stelt zichzelf voor in het Engels (de Nederlandstalige versie van dit artikel vind je in de de bijlage):
'My name is Maša Toplak and I come from a litlle green country nestled between Austria, Italy, Croatia and Hungary called Slovenia. I am a master student of Social Education at University of Ljubljana in Slovenia and I am now writing my master thesis about youth work. I came to the Netherlands as an Erasmus + practice exchange student for 6 months and my new home is now in Delft. As an intern at Social Work Netherlands I am doing a reaserch on girls work and do practice at Thuis Op Straat Leiden.
Social pedagogy is a study of depriviligades societies and their positions in the mainstream population. It examens and gives attention to a holistic approach and is very relationship centered. Study of Social pedagogy in Slovenia is mainly focused on underprivileged children and youth and gives a lot of attention to different forms of youth work. That is why practice in Thuis Op Straat Leiden (TOS Leiden) is so exciting to me, because I have the chance to see in person how youth work is practiced here in the Netherlands. TOS is a non-profit organization that started in 1996 in Rotterdam and later on in Leiden in the year 2000. Their main objective is a positive climate on the streets and playgrounds. They organize activities for the youth and actively involve local residents to use public space and make it better. They are present on the playgrounds in the afternoon and help insure the environment is clean and safe for the children and residents to play. They also go to schools during lunch breaks to interact with children and include them in safe and intresting games. With love and attention, positive role models and visible recurring presence TOS makes a connection between home, school and free time. Through play you can intervene, motivate, stimulate and support children, but TOS is also a link between the community and other organizations all for the goal of making the neigberhoud safe and kind towards everyone. As an intern I get to go to schools and to the playgrounds in the afternoon and see for my self what this established method can do.
TOS Leiden also gives me the oppurtunity to see the practical work side of the reaserch I will be doing with Social Werk Nederland. Although little is known about gender-specific work within youth work, attention for working with girls is necessary. This is because there is often less attention for girls within the often male dominating social domain. Adolescent girls are less present in the public space as boys or children. That is why meidenwerk provides the space, interventions, games made specially for the girls and girls alone. As girls work method is present in the Netherlands it will be intresting to see if it is developed in some other countries and what are the differences between the interventions. My reaserch will therefor be focused on meidenwerk or girls working method.
In these 6 months in the Netherlands, I hope I will learn a lot of interesting facts about girls, why it is important and how we can achieve good results. method. I think it is good to compare different practices so we can learn from the mistakes or good practices of others and make major improvements to youth work in general.'