Background and Problems
Society – Segregation
Gothenburg is today one of Europe’s most segregated cities. Immigrants and newly arrived are concentrated in certain suburbs of the city. Many of the children in Gothenburg’s socio-economically vulnerable areas suffer from idleness and low self-esteem, which can lead to depression and in the future to substance abuse problems and, in the long run, a risk of being involved in criminal gangs. Many children and young people are also feeling bad today because of the increase in segregation in our society. The socio-economic and cultural differences are large, which affects living conditions and health and mainly affects the children. Intolerance to immigration is another stress factor for children with an immigrant background. The population has few opportunities to meet, which further increases prejudice and reduces the understanding between people.
Group – The competition
Competition in today’s society exposes many children to stress, counteracts their capacity for group collaboration and solidarity and lowers their self-esteem. Performance stress can be a challenge for many children and young people and make them feel bad. The winner is prioritized in sports competitions and the idea of competition is emphasized and valued at all in society, but the supposed benefits of e.g. sports competitions can really be called into question. Competition is an unchallenged factor that is also considered crucial for professional and personal success. Several studies show that many children feel insecure, vulnerable and stressed in their everyday lives.
Individual – Low self-esteem
Low self-esteem in children today, both in the center and in the segregated suburbs, may be due to many factors of which segregation, prejudice against immigrants and competition in children’s everyday lives are among the most important. It leads to a sense of exclusion which makes them insecure and afraid to make mistakes and inhibits their ability to overcome challenges in many areas of life; leisure, school, sports, vocational education.
Together with Reach for Change’s experts, we have developed a problem formulation visualized as a “problem tree”. The tool helps us work based on what we consider to be the “core problem”, namely:
The performance community limits children’s ability to develop self-esteem and confidence in themselves and in the groups.
The causes and consequences of this problem are expressed in many different ways, which is also visualized here as “the root causes” and “consequences”.