1. GA-English

Neighbourhood meeting in Endenich: Many want a place where they can meet

Neighbourhood meeting in Endenich : Many want a place where they can meet

How can we better support each other in these times of crisis? Around 30 citizens had many thoughts on the matter at a neighbourhood meeting in Endenich.

The energy crisis and rising costs of living have given some young Bonn residents the idea to network better with other citizens in the city and to think about how they can better support each other in these times. After the first neighbourhood meetings in Beuel and in the old town, the initiators now met with about 30 women and men in Endenich in the "Theater im Ballsaal".

One topic was the energy price flat rate that students are supposed to receive as a one-time payment. "We are still waiting for that," as Jakob, one of the initiators of the neighbourhood meeting, criticised. He also said it was not yet clear when the 49-euro ticket would be introduced. The student, who does not want to have his full name in the newspaper, and his fellow campaigners therefore want to ensure stronger regional solidarity. They also want to get to know people outside their own circle of friends and jobs. "I live in a house with pensioners, students and people who go out to work. The crisis affects all of us," he said.

In the theatre, where there is usually music, dance and performing arts, there was a lively exchange of ideas among the participants at the meeting. The question was what could be done to improve the coexistence in the district. Some remembered the "Bonn Box". A wooden hut at the corner of Hosenbrücke and Schubertstraße where people could deposit clothing and household items that were still usable and could take other things back with them. Unknown persons had set fire to the hut last year, it burnt down completely. "I was horrified that it burnt down," said one participant. She would like to use such an offering again. Others think saving food is a good idea.

But the community environment is also about helping each other with everyday things and exchanging services, she said. " When I work on the wall with a drill, I do more damage than anything else," said one man. Other suggestions included setting up a private home swap exchange or a private car sharing platform. Older participants wanted more technical assistance in using a mobile phone or laptop. Many would also like to see a community centre for all age groups. It could be located in Endenicher Burg, some suggested. "There are youth centres for younger people, but nothing for the age group above," said a participant named Dirk. He has been annoyed by this for years.

Beate Krugel, a presbyter of the protestant Trinitatiskirche congregation in Endenich, said that people may not be aware of many existing offers. For example, the congregation runs a "Meet and Eat" event where students can cook and eat together. But so far, due to a lack of registrations, this has not yet happened.

At the end of the meeting, many of the participants swapped telephone numbers and e-mail addresses and promised to stay in touch. Further meetings are planned.

(Original text: Jan-Oliver Nickel; Translation: Jean Lennox)