“Of course, we were afraid of letting our children travel to a foreign country, but an experience like this is simply unique.”

The Aksöz family, whose two sons took part in the mail@more German-Israeli youth encounter project.


The Aksöz family has Syrian and Turkish roots. They are Arameans, and it means a great deal to them that their sons can visit Israel through mail@more. Despite initial misgivings, it was therefore clear that this was a unique opportunity that simply had to be taken.

At an information evening for all the parents involved, the teachers and guides from Spiegelbild explain the youth encounter programme and answer any questions they may have. They address people’s concerns, generate trust and convince the parents of the positive development opportunities for their children by having this experience abroad.

During the trip, the parents are kept up-to-date with everything that goes on via a special WhatsApp group. The guides send photos and write about what happened during the day. If there is any prospect at all of danger arising at a certain place, it is not visited, and the parents are informed. The safety of the children comes first at all times.

This particularly close collaboration with the parents is a part of the concept developed by Spiegelbild. It is thanks to this collaboration that a relationship of trust is built, which enables the parents to let their children travel to Israel without having to worry.

When their children return from Israel, the parents can see that they have changed. They have become more grown-up and have learned a great deal about mutual respect and tolerance.

“As a result of the trip, my children became more mature and independent, and they gained experience of a different culture.”