Zuhören, empathisch sein, Hilfe anbietenListen, empathise, offer help

Text: Rosa Hauch · Photo: Yvonn Spauschus

The qualified architect has been involved in a number of major projects and can deal professionally with project horizons of several years. For Jan, lifelong learning is simply part of the job.

Temporary projects and interventions are often planned and realised for a short period of time. Social or socio-cultural projects have a different rhythm and often need more time for Mrs and Mr Neighbour to familiarise themselves with them.

It is more difficult for him as a person. Project coordination and responsibility for a short period of time also means spontaneous and short-term rescheduling, as well as eternal uncertainty in his private life.

For Jan, the answer is a resounding no. Yes, because it’s true. It would be easier if you knew where money was coming from the day after tomorrow. No, because it was a free decision that was supported by friends, family and confidants.

Always sitting in the office is simply not Jan’s thing. Being there with people and for people is sometimes exhausting, but much more often pleasant, profitable and fulfilling. Even when things get stressful, Jan tries to make time for it.

„In order to tackle different challenges appropriately, I combine technical, creative and social skills. A balancing act between testing, trial and error. Although the moderation kit for large group processes is still being developed, even complex topics can be tailored to the respective groups of people through empathetic communication in order to discuss and implement ideas constructively.“

Together with Grit Knoth, he is responsible for the development of the Akazienhof in Gruna. Together with local residents and friends of the project, a neighbourhood, cultural and nature centre is being created in the heart of Gruna.

Jan’s work draws on his experience from Prohlis, Cotta and Löbtau and a deep trust in the idea and the people behind it.

“I’m generally optimistic about applications and if you communicate properly, keep at it and don’t give up straight away when things get tricky, then it will work out.”

The committed people in the neighbourhood and team are anchor points for Jan, as are the existing networks, neighbourhood groups, communities and initiatives. In the neighbourhood groups, people know each other, see each other more than twice and have understood that many things are easier in an open society. Local knowledge is a jewel, even if it is unpolished.

“When I left, I had no idea what would happen here. It was only gradually that I rediscovered Gruna through friends. After several walks through the neighbourhood, I helped with the photo documentation and creation of the walking brochure about the Akazienhof. With the “Grüne Wiese” walking group, we try to convey the joy of exercise in the neighbourhood. We also organise regular meetings and conduct research into the history of the district. The neighbourhood festivals, concerts and encounters with the committed people in the district also motivated me to come back. I would like to continue on this path with the district association In Gruna Leben e.V. and the neighbourhood, look for allies, inspire an interested public for the ideas in Gruna and help to revitalise the Akazienhof.”

In Gruna, things around the Akazienhof will be nicer, lighter and more eventful if neighbours dare to tell each other their stories, if they are brave enough to ask when they need help and know from each other that sitting alone in their own four walls doesn’t have to be everything. The

More information

Neighbourhood association „In Gruna leben e.V.“
Mail: post@dresden-gruna.de · Phone: 0351 26 55 20 63

Villa Akazienhof · Schneebergstraße 16 · 01277 Dresden
Citizens’ meeting point „Grunaer Aue“ · Winterbergstraße 31c · 01277 Dresden

Dresdner Nachbarschaften – sichtbar, vernetzt, engagiert!

Neighbourhoods are everywhere – we are right in the middle of it. With district walks, conversations in the green, creative workshops, exhibitions and much more.

Supported by

The project is funded by the State Ministry for Social Affairs and Social Cohesion. This measure is co-financed with tax funds on the basis of the budget passed by the Saxon state parliament within the framework of the state programme Integrative Maßnahmen.