March 18, 2021
In collaboration with local public health actors, international students from Jacobs University are supporting their Bremen fellow citizens to overcome language barriers with video reports on the current corona situation. The Corona Report Bremen – the title of the new format – is published on a weekly basis in six languages. In this way, it contributes to the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
Language barriers are a serious challenge in times of corona – especially in an international city like Bremen, Germany. For many residents of the region, it is difficult for them to keep up with current developments and regulations. This is also reflected in high infection rates in Bremen's districts with a high international population. Students of Jacobs University have launched a project in just three weeks on the initiative of the neighboring district of Grohn/Vegesack: They are tackling the problem with the Corona Report Bremen. This is done in cooperation with the Landesvereinigung für Gesundheit und Akademie für Sozialmedizin Niedersachsen e.V. (LVG & AFS – the Lower Saxony State Association for Health and Academy for Social Medicine ), which has a site in Bremen and is also coordinating the newly launched Health Professionals in the Neighborhood project. Both projects are funded by the Bremen Senator for Health, Women and Consumer Protection.
"So far, there are only a few foreign-language and current information offers concerning the corona pandemic in Bremen," Dirk Gansefort from LVG & AFS explained the problem. "The videos bridge this gap. This gives us the opportunity to convey well-founded information to all Bremen residents quickly and at a low threshold." Since the beginning of March, health workers deployed in disadvantaged neighborhoods particularly affected by the corona pandemic have also been contributing to this. They are to support various local actors, advise residents and make information services more accessible. "In doing so, they can also use the Corona Report videos for educational and advisory work." The Bremen Senate’s Department also expressed a positive opinion: “It's great to work with students from all over the world and accompany this creative process."
Jacobs University’s new Community Impact Projects provide the framework for this project: As an integral part of their studies, students get involved in various projects with local partner organizations with the aim of contributing to the region and putting what they have learned into practice. The cooperations range from the development of a traffic strategy on the subject of car sharing with Bremen’s traffic office to the construction of a calisthenics park to support young people from disadvantaged socioeconomic backgrounds with the help of the Bremen organization Hood Training.
"I see this as a great opportunity to gain experience and also to think outside the box," explained business student Thea Mischel, who is involved in the video project. She is the team manager of the group that finalizes the German-language scripts from LVG & AFS and then translates them into English. "I'm learning how to assign tasks, lead a large and internationally diverse group, and make sure the ball keeps rolling." The content is then translated by various language teams and passed on to the student reporters for recording. In addition, there are groups that take care of the technology and visual aesthetics.
Every week, a team of nearly 50 students produces multilingual videos with the most important information on current developments, figures and measures relating to the pandemic in the Bremen region. The content is prepared and reviewed by the participating institutions from Bremen and Lower Saxony. "Practically, we are running a small to medium-sized business on a part-time basis with the project," said Dr. Jakob Fruchtmann, sociologist at Jacobs University and initiator of the Community Impact Project, explaining the effort behind the reports. "It's really great what we've accomplished there in just a few weeks – it gives us energy."
Every Friday, the YouTube channels of the Senator for Health, Women and Consumer Protection (SGFV) and Jacobs University's SMP Media Center feature a new report. The new format was launched at the beginning of March. With French, Turkish, Arabic, Russian, Romanian and English, a total of six languages are represented, each with its own playlist. The channels also offer a platform for queries and suggestions on future topics or information needs.
Bremen Senator for Health, Women and Consumer Protection: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLvegtNNwe0AfLQLkksgqVoi4KgF_QiCi4
Jacobs University SMP Media Center: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChijrdhoKPajpzJvoKsJfOA/playlists
About the LVG & AFS:
The Landesvereinigung für Gesundheit und Akademie für Sozialmedizin Niedersachsen e. V. (LVG & AFS) is a non-profit, independent professional association for health promotion, prevention and social medicine with headquarters in Hanover and a dependence in Bremen. The goal of LVG & AFS is to contribute to the improvement of health equity of the population. To this end, it implements appropriate projects and programs in Lower Saxony and Bremen.
Dirk Gansefort | Fachreferent LVG & AFS Nds. e.V.
corona-report [at] gesundheit-nds.de | Tel.: +49 511 388 11 890