Skip Navigation
Jetzt bewerben Infomaterial anfordern Beratungstermin vereinbaren
Fachhochschule Dresden

Between Ages - Network of young offenders and NEET

“I think about the walk every day. It was the beginning of my life. Before, I had no life.” (Marc VD, 1965-hike 1982)

Herewith you are visiting the final document of a three-year research and networking process on the European level. In the project: “Between the Ages: Network for Young Offenders and NEET”, initiatives have been interlinked and developed, in which modern socio-pedagogical work with disadvantaged and delinquent youths avails itself of historical pilgrimage routes for the development of self-confidence and a perspective for the future. At the core of the project are socio-pedagogical paths developed by the Belgian organisation Alba, the French organisation SEUIL, and the Saxon Jugendstiftung in order to show alternative life blueprints to disadvantaged and delinquent young people.

“I definitely changed through this walk. Actually, from the very moment I wrote that letter to Oikoten. That was a difficult task. From that moment I started to change already, in my way of thinking, not yet in my actions. I knew already at that moment that it could not go on like that” (boy, 1983-hike 2006)

These pedagogical approaches, originally created and implemented on the national level, show a rather wide variety in their implementation, a remarkable methodical variety, and, most of all, national traditions of various lengths, whose duration differs between several decades and a few months

What unites the projects, however, is the ongoing struggle for those young Europeans who, for the most diverse reasons, independent of socio-economic backgrounds, and for the most part outside of national educational careers, have placed themselves at the peril of permanent withdrawal from their national legal and social systems due to delinquent or asocial behavior. The Erasmus+ document at hand makes a contribution to the European cooperation in the realm of crime prevention planned by the European Union Crime Prevention Network (EUCPN) which, aside of the topic area of youth crime, also focuses on the international transfer of knowledge. The aim of the European project was to interlink the national initiatives, to document their work, and to make it comprehensible. Simultaneously, the transfer of the process knowledge developed with the support of the Italian Ministry for Justice and tested by two newly founded social ventures in Italy, thus accompanying the development of new initiatives. These initiatives have an experimental character and have been possible thanks to a private donation (the case of Associazione Lunghi Cammini) and the interest of RAI - the Italian public television (the case of the experience in Rome).

“Those four months of walking gave me space in my head, a space where my good experiences are. I can resource there when things are not going well.” 
(boy, 1975-hike 1990)


Project aim is the development of alternative methods and measures to imprisonment of young offenders and increase the chances of NEETs for social inclusion. Between ages evolves strategies towards juvenile crime prevention via the implementation of a platform for policies and practices. The network combates social exclusion, prevents recurrence and early school leaving, promotes social security in community and contains crimes related to petty crime, promotes commitment and empowerment of young people and positive initiatives into adulthood, and enforces last but not least public spending with regard to health issues, welfare and judicial affairs. The overall objective is hence to promote the Europe2020 strategy in the field of youth and the creation of a European association for coordinating pilgrimage activities for young offenders and NEET.




Hiking towards the future - a film about the long way to Santiago de Compostella. 

Andando nel futuro - un film sulla lunga strada per Santiago de Compostela. 

Aller dans le futur - un film sur le long chemin de Saint Jacques de Compostelle. 

Naar de toekomst gaan - een film over de lange weg naar Santiago de Compostela. 

In die Zukunft gehen - ein Film über den langen Weg nach Santiago de Compostella. 

Scientific Results

König, Karsten/Knospe, Yvonne (2021): Learning walks as a chance of reintegration for young offenders in three countries of Central Europe: Belgium, France, and Germany. In: International Journal of Educational Development, volumen 80, January 2021


Youth in Stress – Prerequisites for European projects in regard to socio-pedagogical walking    

Jugend im Stress – Voraussetzungen für europäische Projekte zum sozialpädagogischen Pilgern

Pilgrimage as starting point in a process of encountering, discovering and perceiving oneself

Pilgern als Einstieg in einen Prozess der Selbstbegegnung, Selbstfindung und Wahrnehmung von Selbstwirksamkeit

Socio-pedagogical Walking as an European Alternative in the Work with Young People in NEET and young Offenders. A theoretical perspective

Sozialpädagogisches Pilgern als Europäische Alternative in der Arbeit mit benachteiligten und straffälligen jungen Menschen – eine theoretische Einordnung

I Cammini Socio-pedagogici come un’alternativa europea per il reinserimento sociale di NEET e giovani criminali. Una prospettiva teorica

The Who is Who of Walking as an Instrument to Work with NEET’s and Young Offenders in Europe

“LUNGHI CAMMINI” project Report of the 2016 summer experience

Progetto “LUNGHI CAMMINI” Relazione esperienza estiva

Pilgrimage as a way to deal with vulnerable youths – the 3 month way from Belgium

Onthemen met kwetsbare jongeren. Wat kunnen we leren van Oikoten?

Walking to break with the past: the French way

Les sejours de rupture et la propositions seuil de marche educative

Walking to the future – Concept of the first developed way in Belgium

Five days between prison and Santiago de Compostela Social educational pilgrimage in Saxony

Fünf Tage zwischen Haft und Santiago de Compostella Sozialpädagogisches Pilgern in Sachsen

Report on the results of walking with NEET’s and offenders

Requirements for the route - Handbook for socio-pedagogical walking tours with delinquent and disadvantaged youths

Voraussetzungen für den Weg - Handbuch zum sozialpädagogischen Pilgern mit straffälligen und benachteiligten Jugendlichen

Requisiti dei percorsi di cammino. Guida pratica ai cammino socio-pedagogici con giovani criminali o svantaggiati.

Strategy for re-engagement of young offenders and NEET

White Paper to Force Walking as an Instrument to Work with NEET’s and Young Offenders in Europe

Sozialpädagogisches Pilgern als ein neues Instrument für die Arbeit bin benachteiligten und straffälligen jungen Menschen

Libro Bianco sul Cammino come strumento di lavoro con i NEET e con i giovani criminali in Europa

Documentation in Media

König, Karsten/Höhne, Nathalie: Den richtigen Weg finden - Sozialpädagogisches Pilgern als Alternative zu Arrest und Jugendstrafvollzu. In: Katholische Bildung, Verbandsorgan des Vereins katholischer deutscher Lehrerinnen e.V. (VkdL), Heft 3+4/2020, 121. Jahrgang, Seite 68 - 77. Weitere Infos:

Radio Maria Swiss (25.2.2019, German)
Talk zum Tag, mit Karsten König zum Projekt Pilgern mit jugendlichen Kriminellen

Katholic News Agenc (21.2.2019, German)
In die Natur, statt in den Knast

RP-Online (2.8.2018, German): 
Sie lassen ihn laufen

GENTE VENETA (20.7.2018, Italian by Giulia Busetto)
Il cammino che cancella i reati dei minori

Famiglia Chrisiana (25.7.2018, Italian)
A Santiago per tornare sulla retta via, una scommessa della giustizia minorile Sozialpädagogisches Pilgern als europäisches Projekt (6.7.2018; German)

Sächsische Zeitung (12.3.2018, German): Der Lange Weg zum ich Sozialpädagogisches Pilgern als Alternative zum Jugendstrafvollzug (15.2.2018; German)

Retesole Televishion Italia (17.3.2017, Italian): 
Walking transitions, una conferenza per discutere dei giovani autori di reati

Deutschlandfunk (29.8.2016, German): 

Further Documents (no results of BA-Project)

Bernard Ollivier (2017):Marche et invente ta vie. 2000 Kilometres a Pied Pour Tenter De Se Reconstruire. Arthaus-Poche. ISBN:978-2-0813-9674-6

David Le Breton/Daniel Marcelli/Bernard Ollivier (2015):Marcher pour s'en sortir. Des vies mal parties bien arriv'ees. érès. ISBN: 978-2-7492-3325-1

Enger, Sven/Kerstin Merbeth (2018): Zwischen den Zeiten in Sachsen. Ich-werden von Jugendlichen unterwegs. Kann Pilgern eine Methiode der Sozialen Arbeit werden? in: Christian Antz, Sebastian Bartsch, Georg Hofmeister: »Ich bin dann mal auf dem Weg!« Spirituelle, kirchliche und touristische Perspektiven des Pilgerns in Deutschland, S. 271-285, UVK-Verlag Konstanz. ISBN: 978-3867648493

Sächsische Jugendstiftung (2019): Pilgern als Methode der Sozialen Arbeit für junge Menschen in multiplen Problemlagen. UVK Verlag, Konstanz.

Aoun; Cristea; Dinci (Attore): Boez - A Piede Libero. The video documentation about the 900 kilometer-walk, which our friend Roberta Cortella organized with the Italian-television RAI for six youngsters in summer 2019 is now aviable as a DVD.

Results of Dresden Conference

Preveous Conference:

The dialog of Law and Social Work - Recht und Soziale Arbeit im Dialog 

A conference of the Fachhochschule Dresden (FHD) University of Applied Science.

In the "Deutsches Hygienemuseum" Dresden, 14.03.2018

Dr. Veronika Hofinger - Institut für Rechts- und Kriminalsoziologie, Wien is speaking on new ways in the relapse Research: The "desistance" - Concept and its implication.

Presentation: Neue Wege in der Rückfallforschung: das „Desistance“-Konzept und seine Implikationen für die Straffälligenhilfe (German)

Dr. Veronica Hofinger: „Desistance from Crime“ – eine Literaturstudie (German)

Dr. Kay Hemmerling - Landeszentrale für politische Bildung Sachsen: 
No freedom without compulsion - why in coercive contexts, we must provide learning opportunities for a free life in democratic society (Presentation German) 

Sieglinde Eichert (center), - Educatorin and (certified) KMDD-teacher provided a Workshop on moral developmen twith about 70 participants in three languages.

Prof. Dr. Georg Lind: Diskussionstheater / Moral ist Lehrbar

Prof. Knospe (FHD) und der Dresdner Jugendrichter Markus Vogel diskutieren, wie das sozialpädagogische Pilgern die sozialen Ressourcen junger Erwachsener stärken kann.


Andrea Büttner, Geschäftsführerin; Sven Enger, beide Sächsische Jugendstiftung: Recht und Pädagogik unterwegs

New ways of working with delinquent and disadvantaged young people opens the international conference on socio-educational pilgrimages at the University of aplied science Dresden (FHD). With the pilgrim salutation "Ultreia - go beyond your limits", the conference will take you on the Jacobsweg to Santiago de Compostella and show you the possibilities that open monotonous walking for social work. In the framework of this project, social work and youth, companions and accompanying persons enter into a dialogue that opens up new paths and widens perspectives. Specifically, the conference will test the Konstanz Method of Dilemma Discussion (KMDD) in a separate workshop and present it as an opportunity for moral dialogue. This builds on the experience with the methods of moral development (Kohlberg) during the socio-educational pilgrimage in Saxony. Scientists and practitioners from five European countries participate in the conference as speakers and discussion partners.

In die Zukunft gehen - ein Film über den langen Weg nach Santiago de Compostella (German).

MDR 14.3.2018: Pilgern als Strafe für kriminelle Jugendliche(German)

Sächsische Zeitung 12.3.208: Der Lange Weg zum ich (German)

Also on FB:

Program (german)

Program (english)


Documentation of final Conference

Crossing Borders

Walking with young people in need: a look behind the scenes

September 27 2018

9.00: Welcome

9.30 – 11.00:

- Opening: fragments from a diary

On the road from Belgium to Italy (10’)

- ‘Making Europe move: how ideas can change life and society’

Overview and results of the Erasmus+project ‘Between Ages: Network for Young Offenders and NEET’ (Karsten König – Fachhochschule Dresden – coordinator BANetwork) (25’)

- ‘Hiking towards the future’

A short documentary about long-distance hiking with young people in need by Alba (BE) & Seuil (FR) (Director Roberta Cortella) (15’)

- ‘Les marches éducatives de Seuil’

An overview of the results of the research on the walking projects of Seuil by ProEthique Conseil (20’)

- Associazione Lunghi Cammini: first experiences with walking with young people in Italy (10’)

- Skypecall with Roberta Cortella

Live and direct to one of the first hikes in Italy (10’)

11.30 – 12.30: On my way to Compostela

Together with a youngster who did a 3 months hike we will share with you our Oikotenmethod. And shed a light on what works in long-distance hiking. (Stef Smits & Sophie Boddez – Alba vzw)

12.30 – 13.30: Lunch

13.30 – 15.00: Presentations (each 30’)

Narrative ways to rehabilitation (the biographical interview) - Els Wouters (Clinical Psychologist, Systemic & Narrative therapist. Associated to Interactie-Academie Antwerpen and working at Elim, psycho-therapeutical centre and Agora, therapeutical and formation centre)

Young people with deviant or delinquent behavior (drugs, violence, loverboy circuits, school dropout…) return to their daily life after a long hike. Their renewed good intentions, the different experiences and new ideas gained in this period of walking risk to disappear quickly. In a biographical interview we try to connect the different moments in their lives and re-connect them with meaningful individuals and values. Parents, family members, friends or social workers are direct or indirect witnesses of this layered, reflecting process. In this way, we integrate their experiences into a more coherent life story, both for the youngster and the other parties involved.

- In search of the essence of the relationship youngster-companion in the long-distance hikes of Alba - Yvan Houtteman (lector philosophy HoGent/ex-companion Alba)

Based on analysis of interviews with young people who walked the Camino with Alba, Yvan investigates what they experienced as essential and specific in their relationship with their companion. Can their interpretation be linked to recent ‘reclaiming youth’ theories such as ‘The circle of courage’ and ‘The virtues project’?

- Long-distance walking and effectivity: from output to outcome - Stefaan Pleysier (Prof. Dr. Faculty of Law KU Leuven and director of the Leuven Institute for Criminology (LINC))

Critical reflections on ‘what works’ and ‘what helps’; on recidivism and desistance.

15.00 – 16.30: Panel discussion: first hand testimonials

Young people in need walk for 3 months. But who are the other parties involved in the process? Testimonies and discussion. (Moderated by Kris Verhaege/journalist VRT)

16.30: Long-distance walking in the new youth welfare system - Stefaan Van Mulders (Head of Administration Youth Welfare)

17.00: Closing moment: ‘ex-young walkers’ today

Language: Dutch – simultaneously translated to French and English

Photos: König, FHD

Diese Website verwendet Cookies, um verschiedene Funktionen bereitzustellen.

Dies umfasst sogenannte Session-Cookies, welche für die korrekte Funktion der Website benötigt und nach dem Schließen des Browsers gelöscht werden. Mit Hilfe der Statistik-Cookies werden anonymisierte Benutzerdaten für die Nutzungsanalyse erhoben. Mit dem Setzen des Cookies für externe Inhalte erlauben Sie z.B. die Einbindung der Chatfunktion, Karten und Youtube-Videos in diese Website. Bitte entscheiden Sie, welche Cookies Sie zulassen möchten. Abhängig davon können einige Funktionen der Website nicht verfügbar sein. Weitere Informationen zu Cookies und externen Inhalten entnehmen Sie bitte unserer Datenschutzerklärung.

Diese Website verwendet Cookies, um verschiedene Funktionen bereitzustellen.

Dies umfasst sogenannte Session-Cookies, welche für die korrekte Funktion der Website benötigt und nach dem Schließen des Browsers gelöscht werden. Mit Hilfe der Statistik-Cookies werden anonymisierte Benutzerdaten für die Nutzungsanalyse erhoben. Mit dem Setzen des Cookies für externe Inhalte erlauben Sie z.B. die Einbindung der Chatfunktion, Karten und Youtube-Videos in diese Website. Bitte entscheiden Sie, welche Cookies Sie zulassen möchten. Abhängig davon können einige Funktionen der Website nicht verfügbar sein. Weitere Informationen zu Cookies und externen Inhalten entnehmen Sie bitte unserer Datenschutzerklärung.

Ihre Einstellungen wurden gespeichert.