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20 Years, 20 Voices: KJT, Luxembourg

KJT
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To celebrate the 20th anniversary of Child Helpline International, we invited some of our members – from all around the world, and whether they are founding members or members who have only recently joined us – to share their stories in this special series showcasing child helplines across the globe.

KJT (KANNER-JUGENDTELEFON) – LUXEMBOURG

Since its foundation in 1992, over 30,000 counselling sessions have taken place by phone and online with children, young people and parents in difficult phases of their lives or in crises. We gave over 30,000 children and young people a safe place; we listened to them and gave them a voice. This would not be possible without our 100 volunteers who give their time to support children, young people and their parents every day.

KJT (Kanner-Jugendtelefon) was founded, following the ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, in 1992 by Croix-Rouge, Fondatioun Kannerschlass, Ligue Médico-Sociale and Caritas Jeunes et Familles. These services are still responsible for KJT under the direction of Caritas Jeunes et Familles.

The telephone counselling service 116111 for children and young people was expanded in 2003 with online counselling. In 2007, the parents’ phoneline Elterentelefon was added, as well as the BEE SECURE Helpline. Since 2021, Chatberodung has also complemented the service. Last year, our parents’ phoneline received a new number (8002 4444) and also added a separate time slot for receiving and processing English-speaking caregivers.

In 2013, KJT introduced the European harmonized number 116111 for the Kanner-Jugendtelefon. This harmonized telephone number allows children and young people to contact the national child helpline wherever they are in Europe.

KJT is part of the Luxembourgish Safer Internet Centre called BEE SECURE together with our partner SNJ. BEE SECURE aims to promote the safest, most responsible and positive use of information technologies. KJT operates the BEE SECURE Helpline and the BEE SECURE Stopline.  We’re also member of the European networks INSAFE (awareness centres and helplines) and INHOPE (illegal content hotlines).

All our helplines are based on the basic principles of anonymity and confidentiality, i.e. they are extremely low-threshold in terms of access.

We are especially proud about our volunteers, the heart of KJT. Our 100 volunteers are always curious, willing to help, empathetic at all times. On average they stay a long time with us and volunteer for more than 10 years. Some of them have been volunteering for over 30 years. This year a huge number of volunteers successfully participated in the official first aid course for youth mental health.

Some of our volunteers are ambassadors for KJT. They have given KJT a face since 2014, as our counsellors are all anonymous. This ambassadorial role primarily takes the form of interactive workshops, but they also visit various events with activity and information stands. In this way KJT aims to reach as many children and young people as it possibly can, to let them know that there is always someone they can turn to with their concerns, problems and questions. Exchanges about KJT services and the basic principles of KJT are confidence-building and facilitate access for children and young people.

We have been a member of Child Helpline International for many years. Regional and global crises have shown that the exchange and the network enabled by Child Helpline International is more important than ever, and is expressed perfectly by our slogan: “Stronger together”.

We are especially grateful for the international and European meetings from which we always leave enriched and inspired through the exchanges of experiences, thoughts and ideas between child helplines. However, we also really value the dialogue with our international colleagues outside of meetings. We are in regular exchange to find out about trends, challenges, data collection and software. At this point, we would particularly like to emphasize how we have benefited from the openness and helpfulness of the European network in order to be able to open a new chat counselling service in 2021. We owe the finding of a high-quality, secure and user-friendly software to the good contact with our international colleagues.

In addition to the valuable offline contacts, we also appreciate the online world that the Child Helpline International network opens up to us. The eLearning modules that are available to us on pertinent topics are a real treasure of knowledge and training opportunities that can be easily integrated with our own everyday work.

Finally, we appreciate the regular offer of online workshops. This is another opportunity to benefit of the concentrated power of international knowledge and experience of colleagues. It is very enriching being at the same time in our office and at the same time connected to colleagues from other continents.

 

Aline Hartz
Executive Director, KJT

Voices of Children and Young People

Here are some touching, motivating and encouraging statements from people seeking support via KJT:

“Without you I might not be here anymore.”
This is a phrase that occurs regularly among the users of our online help

“I have already called here several times. I really appreciate the conversations, as I’m not so good at socializing with people my age. The conversations here help me move forward…”
16 year old

“There’s a question that I just can’t get out of my head and the situation won’t let me go. I don’t really have anyone I can talk to about these things (…) Today is the first time I’ve found enough courage to talk about it (…)”
14 year old

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