The KJT (Kanner-Jugendtelefon) has launched a new telephone number for its "Elterentelefon" parents' helpline and extended its services for English-speaking parents.
The official launch event (held in Luxembourgish and English) took place at Ciné Utopia in Luxembourg-Limpertsberg on the evening of Thursday 12 October 2023.
The KJT, which is a counselling service of Caritas Jeunes et Familles (CJF) for children and parents in Luxembourg, presented its new video clip for the Elterentelefon, directed by Kiyan Agadjani and produced by Two Steps Twice (Tun Biever) with the support of the Maison Relais in Schuttrange. The multilingual video clip (with subtitles in English and French) sees parents in Luxembourg briefly but openly share their own experiences of parenting, which can be challenging. As CJF CEO Carina Gonçalves noted, the clip shows that it is okay for parents to admit to feeling overwhelmed at times; it is "important to feel heard and supported", without being judged. Director Kiyan Agadjani, accompanied by his team, added that it was important (also for children) to understand that parents are not perfect, they are humans who can be vulnerable too.
KJT Manager Aline Hartz noted that the idea behind introducing a new phone number (8002-4444 - anonymous, free of charge and considered easier to remember than the old one) and making the Elterentelefon available in English was to make this service more accessible. The helpline is now available in English every Monday from 18:00 to 20:00.
Gilles Dhamen, speaking on behalf of Luxembourg's Ministry of Education, Children and Youth, praised the fact that the KJT has constantly developed its services since its creation in 1992 and emphasised the importance of this helpline in offering "direct, fast and unbureaucratic support" to parents.
The video clip presentation and speeches were followed by a screening of the Estonian film The Sleeping Beast (in Estonian with English subtitles), organised in collaboration with the Luxembourg City Film Festival (LuxFilmFest). This hard-hitting thriller follows a group of children who spend summer in their own secret playground in the ruins of an industrial complex. When an accident occurs, they are forced to take some grown-up decisions... This coming-of-age story addresses the issues of bullying and taking responsibility (or not) for one's actions.
After the screening, the audience engaged in a discussion, moderated by KJT's Carmen Weyer, about the subjects raised in the film and their reactions to it. Gloria Morano explained that the film had been shown to adolescents during a school session at last year's LuxFilmFest, with the schoolchildren showing understanding of the main themes.
The evening concluded with drinks and canapes.
The KJT is currently run by eight staff members and relies on dozens of trained and supervised volunteers. The KJT reported that the number of contact requests is rising, particularly those in English. Since its creation over 30 years ago, the KJT has received more than 33,000 requests, including 1,757 in 2022.
During a counselling session, parents and counsellors formulate possible and adapted solutions together. KJT's counsellors can subsequently propose to follow up in implementing these solutions. They can also refer the person to other institutions for further guidance, when needed.