In Uganda, only a small percentage of disabled children have the opportunity to make the best of their lives. Many of them are hidden by their parents, or even given away. In the less well-educated groups, children who differ from the norm are considered to be a dishonour or a curse because of bad behaviour or evil magic. Relatives are often unable to recognise the potential of children with special needs. They are often unaware that, with the right education and the help they need, a good proportion of these children could care for themselves later or at least help maintain the family. These children therefore barely have the opportunity to develop.
Uganda only has a few special schools that focus on the needs of disabled children. Most of them therefore never have the chance of a school education. Consequently, there is barely a hope that these children will ever escape the vicious circle of poverty and lack of education. Most disabled children never learn to read or write – even if they are mentally able to do so. Many of them cannot even count. The few schools available specifically for children with special needs receive almost no support from the state. They therefore have to fund themselves through fees, which are generally unaffordable for poor families.
The organisation Kindern eine Chance e. V. (=Giving Children a Chance] has decided to step in here. The association has set up a whole series of initiatives to support children with special needs. Alongside mobile therapy and support facilities in the scattered locations where the children live, these initiatives also include the founding of a number of special schools. To make sure that as many children as possible in the often extensive catchment areas can benefit from these, the educational establishments have been attached to boarding schools. Specially trained carers live here with the children that they look after.
In the association’s schools, the children not only receive special teaching matched to their needs. In its work with disabilities, the organisation concentrates primarily on enabling these children to live as independently as possible. Only in this way will they be able to contribute actively to the life of society in the future. The teaching is accompanied by a wide range of therapies. Physiotherapy supports strength and mobility and helps correct incorrect postures. Activities for everyday living are practised through occupational therapy; gardening, for example, plays an important part in this.
The association has set up two Christoph Bettermann schools for children with special needs in the village of Zigoti in the district of Mityana. The BOSSELER & ABEKING CHILDREN´S FOUNDATION has supported the building of Christopher Bettermann School 2 with a generous donation. Here, the children are provided with teaching, medical care with supplementary therapies and food and accommodation. In addition, the establishment also provides a holiday programme for the children and their relatives. The association also tries to maintain contact with the population with a wide range of activities to help integrate the Christoph Bettermann School into the village community. This improves the public perception of people with disabilities and thus increases acceptance of disabled people in society.
The Kindern eine Chance association was founded in Austria back in 2008. The aim of the organisation initially was to provide the orphans of Zigoti with a school education. Sustainability has always been of great importance here. Help is seen primarily as helping people to help themselves. The aim is that children will not have to spend their time begging on the streets, but instead will learn something so that they can take control of their lives as adults. What started as caring for a few orphans is now an ever increasing range of services, with a number of schools for orphans and disabled children, the serving of daily meals, training courses in crafts and agriculture plus child sponsoring and HIV programmes.
Thousands of boys and girls in Kenya are exposed to the risk of suffering visual impairment or blindness because of eye disease. The consequence: Discrimination at school and fewer opportunities in the employment market. A life of poverty is inevitable. A whole series of factors can favour the development of eye diseases, including poor hygiene and malnutrition. Many of these factors exist in Kenya, especially amongst the poverty-stricken rural population. Some of the diseases occur cumulatively or even solely in childhood. It is therefore crucial that these diseases are detected at an early stage and treated promptly – the sooner, the better.
However, the necessary infrastructure for this is lacking. Firstly, there are not enough free treatment facilities for the majority of the population who cannot afford medical care. Secondly, there are not enough ophthalmologists who specialise in children. A child’s eye is still developing and needs to be treated differently from the eye of an adult. For example, operations to remove cataracts, which occur frequently here, are always carried out on children under a full anaesthetic. Glasses and other vision aids can also be very helpful here. Regular follow-up examinations must also be guaranteed after treatment.
In view of the situation in Kenya, the Christoffel Blindenmission (CBM) has adopted the aim that every child with an eye disease should receive the care it needs within three years – whether it lives in the city or in the country. However, the appropriate infrastructure and equipment are required for this. For this reason, CBM is building up care chains in association with partner clinics at five locations in Kenya. A medical referral system is being created in the catchment area of these locations: Eight local health centres act as the initial points of contact. From here, children with special needs are referred to eight district clinics. The eye departments of the central clinics are responsible for more difficult cases. The intention is that no child in Kenya should ever go blind again just because there is no medical help. This increases the children’s chances of receiving a school education and leading an independent life.
The eyes of around 300,000 children are to be examined within three years. To ensure that as many children as possible are reached, the examinations will also take place within outreach programmes – at schools, for example. Information campaigns will also inform the population, at the same time, about prevention and possible treatment. The organisation is setting up new, child-appropriate eye departments in two central clinics. In addition, CBM is also helping to purchase medical equipment and is planning to establish two opticians’ workshops. Ophthalmologists and specialist nursing staff are to be trained in the treatment of children in four training centres.
One of the most frequent eye disorders that requires an operation is the development of cataracts. This is a clouding of the lens. Cataracts may be inborn or develop in one or both eyes during the first years of life. The illness must be taken very seriously in children, because the lack of sharpness of vision disturbs the entire development of the visual system. The clouding of the lens is often so severe that the child can see hardly anything, or sometimes nothing at all, out of the affected eye. In the operation, the cloudy lens is removed using microsurgery and replaced by a new, artificial lens. Children generally experience a dramatic improvement in sight as a result of the treatment.
The average cost of a microsurgical intervention of this type is around €160. This is an amount that is far greater than the average monthly income and that most Kenyans cannot afford. This is where the BOSSELER & ABEKING CHILDREN´S FOUNDATION is so generous: By donating €15,000, it is helping CBM to offer treatment free of charge. This means that 94 children can benefit from an eye operation that their families would not otherwise be able to afford. In this way, they will retain their sight – and have the chance of a better future too.
In the city of Gelsenkirchen, there is a higher proportion of children living in poverty than in most other German cities. Over one-third of young people under the age of 15 are in receipt of state benefits. Almost half of the children and young people come from migrant families. This situation will deteriorate even further in the coming years, as the number of children who are living under difficult social conditions in the Ruhr metropolitan region is increasing steadily, a development that runs counter to the national trend. It is precisely in Gelsenkirchen where there is a wide disparity between the opportunities afforded to children and young people.
As a result, the lives of many of these children are lacking some very basic essentials – things that are both normal and vital if a child is to develop in the way that he or she should. In many cases, they don’t get hot meals and may even suffer from malnutrition. It is particularly during the cold months of the year that many of them lack the necessary clothing. They do not get enough support or assistance, either when learning or in the encouragement and development of their talents. Quite apart from this, many of the families cannot afford memberships of sports clubs or music societies, not to mention other leisure activities either. They can’t go on holidays or days out. These are all reasons why it is far more common for the children and youngsters of socially disadvantaged families to be hampered in their development than the children of well-off families are.
MANUS was set up as a place of refuge for disadvantaged children: it is an RTL children’s and youth centre that receives financial support from the professional footballer Manuel Neuer. Here, in addition to getting good meals and help with their homework, they are offered a wide range of courses, workshops and leisure activities. Parents are involved too wherever possible. Whether we are talking playtime, sports, hobbies and handicraft, learning a musical instrument or computer courses: at MANUS, young people are offered a wide range of ways to develop. Here, they are given room to run around and toys to play with, as well as having the run of a library to read in (and to be read to in). In this way, the centre gives these children a wide range of opportunities for socialising, as well as for resolving conflicts and developing their talents.
This children’s centre, which is located in Gelsenkirchen-Buer, opened its doors in early October 2014, a roomy old city mansion having been especially renovated for this purpose. The MANUS is open to children and young people aged between 6 and 18. Girls and boys of any background or status are invited to stay. A conscious decision has also been made to invite the children of better-off families. In this way, the children and young people can form friendships completely independently of their ethnic and social backgrounds. This gives them the opportunity to break down prejudices and overcome social and cultural barriers. In fact, the centre’s name is intended to illustrate this too, as it is derived from the Latin word ‘manus’, which means ‘hand’, i.e. it is a place where children and young people are given a helping hand. It was decided to set up this centre in the district of Buer precisely because it is not a very socially deprived district. The fact that the project’s sponsor Manuel Neuer grew up here was an important factor too, of course.
The BOSSELER & ABEKING CHILDREN´S FOUNDATION has funded the MANUS’s complete kitchen, including furniture and utensils, to the tune of 100,000 euros. The kitchen is an important place in the children’s centre, as it is where the meals are prepared and where the children cook and bake under adult supervision. It also means they are eating regularly and healthily. In addition, they learn basic cooking skills, enabling them to make tasty dishes from fresh ingredients.
Adrian Bosseler, initiator and founder of the BOSSELER & ABEKING CHILDREN´S FOUNDATION hails from Gelsenkirchen himself. Just like Manuel Neuer, he grew up in the same district of Buer, where the MANUS is now located. For Adrian Bosseler, supporting such a project was a matter dear to his heart, not least because it gave him the opportunity to support the city he was born in.
The Manuel Neuer Kids Foundation helps socially disadvantaged children. It supports a range of projects in Gelsenkirchen, this being the hometown of the professional footballer Manuel Neuer. It aims to provide financial assistance for children and young people, as well as helping them to achieve their development potential and make the most of their talents. This is intended to give them new stimuli and show them different perspectives, and in this way contribute to their social integration.
The first RTL children’s centre in Germany opened its doors in spring 2009. In 2008, broadcaster RTL had held a telethon that was the first to collect donations for these establishments. A number of celebrities have agreed to act as project sponsors. Each of them acts as patron to one of the centres, right from its planning and realisation up to and including its day-to-day management.
In early November 2013, typhoon Haiyan raged in the Philippines. The island of Batayan was hit particularly badly by the devastation. Most of the buildings have been partially or totally destroyed, many people were left homeless. The damaged buildings also include schools and kindergartens. As long as the facilities cannot be repaired or serve as emergency accommodation, no classes will take place.
The typhoon also did not fail to leave its mark on the school in the village of Barangay Kabac. Two classrooms were completely destroyed, the other rooms have some major damage. The day care centre for poor children has also been hit by the devastation. Each of the classrooms is equipped for 55 to 60 pupils, the day care centre can provide places for around 60 pupils. Around 300 children are affected by classes being cancelled.
The Philippine Organisation Action for Nurturing Children and Environment (ANCE) has set itself the goal of rebuilding the school in Barangay Kabac to enable the local children to continue with their primary school education. Around 10,000 euros are needed for the building materials and labour and planning costs. The project is financed by donations. For the procurement, the ANCE is supported by the Schmitz Foundations, with whom a cooperation has existed for the last ten years.
The ANCE was founded over 30 years ago and is strongly committed to providing support for poor population groups. The organisation collaborates with numerous aid organisations. Its partners value the ANCE for its committed work, the efficient and economical resource management, detailed reporting on the individual projects and the correct accounting. The BOSSELER ABEKING CHILDREN`S FOUNDATION is supporting the reconstruction of the school in Barangay Kabac.
There is not enough money for a pair of new glasses, the old ones get repaired with a plaster. A winter jacket is out of the question, the pullover will have to make do. A desk of their own for a son or for a daughter? Far too expensive. In Nuremberg, every third child is a victim of poverty. The parents cannot afford many things which really ought to be a matter of course. Unemployment or illness is often involved. There is no money for food, clothing, school materials. Some children do not even have their own bed.
But poverty is more than just deprivation. A girl who has not got a bike cannot ride around with her friends. A boy does not visit the swimming baths with his friends if there is no money to pay for the admission. A school trip is unaffordable. However, anyone who does not regularly take part in activities soon becomes an outsider. Added to this is the shame. The self-esteem of socially disadvantaged children drops. The consequence: they withdraw into themselves. Often their performance at school also suffers. A vicious circle.
The support of the “Kindernotfonds der Stadtmission Nürnberg e. V.” (Children’s Emergency Fund of the Nuremberg City Mission) plays a role here. The fund provides targeted support for children in need. From school material to assistance and clothing, a pair of glasses, medicines through to a used bicycle – each child receives what it lacks. With some of the children the focus is on a warm lunch in the kindergarten. For other children, the fund pays for travel expenses and subscriptions to sports clubs or the admission to the children’s theatre. Fees for school trips and leisure activities are also borne.
For the children affected, the work of the Children’s Emergency Fund greatly enhances the quality of life – not only in terms of material aid. That there are people who support them encourages the children. Even minor changes can help to break the cycle of shame, exclusion and resignation. The newly acquired self-confidence helps to make friends and perform better at school. The Children’s Emergency Fund is financed by donations. The City Mission checks regularly that the funds are used properly and reports on the achievements of the initiative.
For years, the catchphrase binge drinking has been making the rounds in the media. Young people consume alcohol until they become unconscious. Drinking games and peer pressure play a key role here. The young people drink beer, mixed drinks and vodka like water. They want to test themselves, compete with other young people, go beyond their own limits. In the process, the number of minors who are admitted to hospital after consuming alcohol continues to increase.
In Nuremberg, around 25,000 minors regularly drink alcohol. At the same time, one tenth of them consume quantities that would even harm a healthy adult. Many of them suffer life-threatening alcoholic poisoning. More than 300 young people were admitted to one of the hospitals in Nuremberg in 2011 after consuming large quantities of alcohol. Their average age was 15 – the youngest of them were only eleven.
To counteract this, the Nuremberg City Mission puts its trust in the addiction prevention project HaLT – Hart am LimiT. While still in hospital, staff of the addiction help centre visit young people who were admitted in a state of intoxication. There they hold so-called bridge conversations with them. The parents also receive an invitation to come and talk. The focus in the following counselling sessions is in particular on explaining the facts.
The advisors support the young people in their attempt to come to terms with their harmful consumption of alcohol. They identify alternatives to have the borderline experiences important for young people, for example sports activities. Furthermore, they support parents in holding constructive discussions and the preparation of sensible rules. Both the Children’s Emergency Fund and the HaLT project are supported by the Nuremberg City Mission. The BOSSELER & ABEKING CHILDREN`S FOUNDATION has supported both projects with donations.
The creation of family communities for children and young people who cannot live with their parents – that was the objective the Albert-Schweitzer Children’s Fund in Bavaria has championed the cause of. The charitable association was founded in 1996. It runs woodland nursery schools, open all-day schools and a number of children’s homes in the Free State of Bavaria. This is where house parents look after the children and young people entrusted to their care around the clock.
Once a year, these children are to be allowed to experience a holiday trip. That is why the Albert-Schweitzer Children’s Fund organises a summer camp every year for all children who live in its educational establishments. This year’s trip to Italy to the Abruzzi region started in August 2013. The Children’s Fund had entrusted the Centre for Curative Education and Therapy in Volkmarsen with the planning and carrying out of the activity programme. The summer camp was financed through donations to which the BOSSELER ABEKING CHILDREN`S FOUNDATION has also contributed.
On 17 August 2013, the children and young people, supplied with ample food, began their trip to the Abruzzi region. For most of them, they were travelling abroad for the very first time. They spent two weeks in a small village in the mountains. There they had the opportunity to explore the rich variety of flora and fauna of the Abruzzian mountains. In the region covered by more than 1800 plants, brown bears and Apennine wolves also settle in addition to chamois, peregrine falcons and golden eagles. But most of all, the children were able to test themselves during several mountain hikes and gradually build up physical fitness during the in part demanding tours.
The children and young people were particularly looking forward to the trips to the coast some 30 kilometres away. Hardly one of them had ever seen the sea. The sandy beaches there were ideal for playing, romping, being lazy and enjoying the sun and sea. The highlight was a trip to Rome. Together with their supervisors, the children explored the eternal city and its most outstanding sights. The trip left all of them with deep impressions.
The dog has been man’s best friend and companion for millennia. People with physical handicaps benefit from partnerships with specially trained Assistance Dogs. These dogs help their human partners to deal with day-to-day living. The charitable association VITA e.V. Assistenzhunde (VITA) has been in existence since the year 2000. It was founded by qualified social pedagogue Tatjana Kreidler, based on an idea from England, to train Assistance Dogs for physically handicapped people in Germany, too. The aim was to give these people more independence and quality of life – especially when they cannot afford it themselves. And VITA has pioneered the training of Assistance Dogs for children and young people Europe-wide. The certified association is the first in mainland Europe to train Assistance Dogs to the internationally recognised standards of the umbrella organisation Assistance Dogs Europe.
Vita Assistance Dogs are trained specifically for the physically handicapped. They help people with all the everyday things that they cannot manage themselves. For example, they fetch things, help with dressing and undressing, or go for help in an emergency. They are faithful partners, practical helpers, ice-breakers and mediators rolled into one. As medicine on four legs, the Assistance Dog takes effect on several levels: psychologically, physically, socially and cognitively. It literally opens doors, and promotes social integration by making contact with other people, awakening interest, lowering thresholds, and providing topics of conversation. With and because of the dog, self-confidence, independence, openness, empathy and enjoyment of life are thus enhanced.
VITA trains Assistance Dogs to the highest standards of quality. These standards are based on the guidelines and directives of the VITA concept and of the umbrella organisation Assistance Dogs Europe. The cost of training one dog amounts to an average of 25,000 euros. But that is not all: after a person and his or her Assistance Dog have been paired up, the aftercare continues as long as the dog lives. The teams meet at least six times a year in the training centre in Hümmerich, or in the Rhein-Main region. There, they refresh what they have already learnt, learn new things, or take part in activities such as the Team Qualification Test. The costs of aftercare amount to several times the cost of the training.
With your donation the BOSSELER ABEKING CHILDREN´S FOUNDATION, will help the Association to continue its important and very beneficial work. VITA is financed entirely through donations and the support of friends, promoters and sponsors. Up to now, VITA has formed 35 teams consisting of handicapped people and Assistance Dogs, of which 17 are children’s teams. The Association assists each team as long as the dog lives. This ensures long-term, sustainable development of the partnership between human and animal – especially when the living conditions or the effects of the illness change.
Can riding and handling horses help seriously ill children? Does contact with animals actually have a positive effect on the physical health and psychological well-being of people? The Children’s Hospital and Polyclinic of the ‘Rechts der Isar’ Hospital of the Technical University in Munich would like to find this out with the use of scientific methods. This is because only therapies that can be substantiated scientifically can be definitely considered as successful and funded by the statutory health insurance schemes.
People have been aware since ancient times of the positive influences of animals on human health. Modern studies have proven that a person’s blood pressure and pulse rate drop in the presence of an animal. In addition, pet owners have a significantly better one-year survival rate after a heart attack. The fact that riding has a calming effect was already known by Hippocrates. Riding has a positive effect especially in the case of people with neurological diseases. However, there is still a lack of sufficiently meaningful studies in this area.
This is where the study of the Children’s Hospital and Polyclinic starts: using the example of riding therapy, they are seeking to examine the impact of animal-supported therapy on the quality of life of seriously and chronically ill children and their families. For this purpose, 60 children aged between four and 16 who are suffering from severe acute or chronic illnesses are being examined. In addition, the examination is also dedicated to the siblings of the seriously ill children, who are children themselves. Because their development is frequently affected by the illness of the brother or the sister.
When riding and handling the horse, the illness fades into the background. The child is given the chance to take an active part and thereby develop a new self-confidence and also show this new-found self-confidence to its parents and siblings. The aim of the study is to measure the quality of life of both the patient as well his or her family. For if the riding therapy has a positive effect on the sick child, it stands to reason that a positive effect exists at the same time on the whole family.
The study was made possible by the BOSSELER ABEKING CHILDREN´S FOUNDATION, which is supporting the project with a donation.
Living in extreme poverty
The small town of Quimilí is situated in the province of Santiago del Estero, one of the poorest regions of Argentina. The population has to contend with dry seasons lasting for months, summer temperatures of up to 50° centigrade and extreme climatic fluctuations. Moreover, the people here are plagued by dust and insects. Many of them live in huts or dwellings without sanitary facilities, suffer from hunger and lack the most basic necessities to survive.
The Polish priest Eugenio Milewicz established the parish of “San Pedro Y San Pablo” in Quimilí in 1988. Here he provides not only pastoral care. The core of his work is food for children, which provides a warm meal every day for up to 500 children. If there is enough money, the children are also given a breakfast with a glass of milk and a sandwich. For many families these meals which are held in several halls six days a week are vital to survival. For just 15 euros, Father Eugenio can feed a child for one month. Financial support which the priest depends on is provided by the charitable association “Hilfe für Quimilí e. V.”, which has been in existence since 2006.
The BOSSELER & ABEKING CHILDREN`S FOUNDATION supports the association with a donation to ensure the food for children also in the future.
Although Munich ranks among the leading metropolitan centres worldwide, children still grow up in social hardship here. For example, in the Hasenbergl north district numerous young people and children are affected by poverty and live in social housing or former emergency shelters.
Many of their families have been dependent on social welfare for generations. Deprivation, hardly any access to educational offers and few opportunities on the training market determine their lives. Without intensive support their prospects of personal fulfilment and professional success remain low. The tragic alternatives are a lifelong dependence on social welfare benefits or even addiction and crime.
The Lichtblick (ray of sunshine) Hasenbergl institution is committed to helping children and young people from socially weak and un-educated families. To offer these children better future perspectives, the organisation provides a healthy basic provision and intensive educational support. A social training course with the focus on occupational ability rounds off the programme.
The aim is to accompany the children and young people in an independent, autonomous life. Each child should be able to attend the school that corresponds to their actual talent, and also successfully complete their education. This includes learning how to deal appropriately with aggression and conflicts. Each child should be given a realistic chance of a training place in the first job market, persevere with it and be sure to make a sound start in their working life.
In addition, the children and young people are introduced to a healthy lifestyle which also includes the development of interests and sensible leisure activities. In order to also gain support for this in the families, the Lichtblick Hasenbergl also offers an extensive training programme for parents.
The BOSSELER & ABEKING CHILDREN´S FOUNDATION supports the work of the Lichtblick Hasenbergl organisation with a generous donation. In this way, the foundation supports the comprehensive educational programme of the institution. This includes daily educational support, parent training courses and an intensive, real-life, social training course with the focus on occupational ability.
The healthy basic provision with lunch, fruit provided at break time, clothes, school requirements and if necessary the arranging of therapeutic help ensures that the children grow up healthy and are capable of concentration and learning.
There is hardly a country with more orphans than Uganda. Many of them have lost their parents through AIDS, whilst others have had to leave their families because there was not enough food to go round. Most of these children live on the street and survive from begging.
They are all caught up in a vicious circle of poverty, a lack of education and hopelessness. The association “Kindern eine Chance” (English translation: ‘Giving children a chance’) has set itself the mission of helping these children. They are to be given the opportunity to learn something that will enable to make a living for themselves in future.
The village of Nateete, located in the Mubende district of central Uganda, has never had a proper school. Only a provisionally trained teacher is available to teach the children in a cramped, poorly equipped room. Most of the inhabitants of Nateete work as day labourers on a coffee plantation. They hope that through receiving a good school education that their children will have better prospects. However, no money is available for building and running a normal school.
This is where the BOSSELER & ABEKING CHILDREN´S FOUNDATION is financing the construction of a school building comprising three classrooms, a large, roof-covered veranda and a sanitary unit. The church is providing the association “Kindern eine Chance” with the plot of land required for this.
The BOSSELER & ABEKING CHILDREN´S FOUNDATION is also covering the costs for employing four qualified teachers and one head teacher. The organisation “Kindern eine Chance” gets the parents of future children involved in the planning and running of the school from the outset, since sustainable school education can only work if it is supported by the whole family.
It is particularly important for socially disadvantaged children to establish contacts and make friends in a sports club. In the process they also learn to accept rules in everyday life and practise self-discipline. Moreover, they learn that success requires regular training and develop team spirit and solidarity. However, foregoing the membership in a sports club can often be an easy way to save money for many low-income families.
For this reason, the Munich Youth Sports Association (Münchner Sportjugend) set up a relief fund as far back as 2001, which is used to finance membership discounts for children from deprived families. The initiative “Sport for all children” gives socially disadvantaged children a lasting opportunity to participate in a club sport. The BOSSELER & ABEKING CHILDREN´S FOUNDATION has helped to promote the development of these children via the provision of financial support. Social virtues such as fairness, responsibility and standing by one another give particularly adolescents from difficult family circumstances with experience of violence new inspiration. The BOSSELER & ABEKING CHILDREN´S FOUNDATION hopes that incidents such as the brutal attack by adolescents at the suburban railway station in Munich-Solln can be prevented in future thanks to this and similar initiatives.
The Himalayan region of Dolpo lies secluded in the North West of Nepal. In addition to numerous ethnic Tibetans, Tibetan refugees are also settling here at an altitude of 2,000 to 4,500 metres. Their children are not normally reached by the care and health services of the country. Neither do they receive any support from the Tibetan government in exile nor from the Nepalese government. Setting up an educational infrastructure in these outlying villages is extremely difficult and is seldom successful. The village of Saldang is an exception here.
This village is located at an altitude of 4,200 metres not far from the Tibetan border and belongs to the Tibetan cultural sphere. Life is hard for the Dolpo-Pa, the inhabitants of the region. They live in a highland desert without streets or electricity just as they did hundreds of years ago. They cultivate their barren fields and travel with Yak caravans over the border passes to trade with Tibet.
The village inhabitants wanted to give their children the opportunity to receive an education, whilst preserving the Tibetan tradition of their homeland at the same time. Until the end of the 1990s it was not possible for the children of Saldang to go to school. As far back as 1995, the Tibet activist Adelheid Dönges decided to help, her awareness heightened by a visit to the Dolpo region. Together with village inhabitants and the organisation Friends of Nepal (Freunde Nepals e.V.) she was able to found a school in Saldang. In 1999 lessons began with the school’s first pre-school class. Today, the Shelri Drukta School is home to two pre-school classes, the primary school classes 1 to 5, as well as the middle school classes 6 and 7. In addition to subjects on the Nepalese curriculum, the children are also taught their mother tongue, Tibetan.
The BOSSELER & ABEKING CHILDREN´S FOUNDATION has paid the salaries for three qualified Tibetan teachers who are prepared to work in this inhospitable border region.
Around 1960, the first refugee children arrived in India from Tibet over the Himalayas. At that time, the Dalai Lama arranged for the creation of places to live for the children of his native country. Today, there are nine Tibetan children’s villages in India, each accommodating 1,000 to 2,500 children and adolescents. In addition to children who fled across the Himalayas on their own two feet, children of former refugees, who were born in Nepal or India, live here. Apart from offering these children a homeland, the preservation of the Tibetan culture, the existence of which has been under threat since the occupation of Tibet by China, plays a central role. In the children’s villages, Tibetan children and adolescents receive an education in their own language, culture and religion.
Many ethnic Tibetans of the Nepalese Dolpo region were unable to provide their children with a school education by their own efforts. For this reason, they have flooded increasingly into the refugee reception camp of Kathmandu in recent years in order to be able to accommodate their children in a Tibetan children’s village. For the reception camp the situation turned out to be increasingly more difficult, since it had no infrastructure for these children. Thanks to the cooperation with Saldang and the positive experience with the Dolpo pupils of the hostel in Kathmandu, a plan was developed to construct a house inside a Tibetan children’s village. The children’s village of Ladakh in Northern India proved to be particularly suitable for this, as this region strongly resembles the Dolpo region due to its altitude and remoteness and the Dolpo children are able to feel as if they are at home.
The BOSSELER & ABEKING CHILDREN´S FOUNDATION contributed to the costs of the construction of the new Dolpo house in the Tibetan children’s village of Ladakh.
The American psychologist and behaviourist Dr. David E. Nathanson developed a unique form of therapy for severely handicapped children more than 25 years ago: the dolphin therapy. This is aimed particularly at child and adolescent patients who suffer from severe and complex diseases. In addition to serious physical handicaps, the diagnoses are characterised by psychological problems and behavioural disorders.
This is where the dolphin therapy starts: the patient and the dolphin are at the centre of the 14-day therapy. First of all, each child is prepared for contact with the animal from a platform. The dolphins, which live in a natural bay on the sea coast in accordance with the regulations on animal conservation, are capable of recognising the special needs of each patient, and approach him or her playfully.
DISCOVER THE JOY OF LIVING WHEN PLAYING WITH DOLPHINS
The children usually lose their fear of the dolphin quickly, and develop self-confidence. Direct contact between the animal and the children in the water then follows. Curiosity, and the possibility of communicating with the dolphin, awaken the vital forces and the joy of living in the patients. This motivates them to become more aware of the world around them. The qualified medical staff and therapists at the Curaçao Dolphin Therapy Center also care for the parents, who follow and support the activities.
Although the dolphin therapy cannot cure the physical illnesses, it can achieve sustained improvements. For example, the patients become increasingly more attentive during the course of the therapy, are able to concentrate better and make contact with others. Moreover, progress appears in emotional experience. Many children are able to signal enjoyment, to talk, or to overcome fear for the first time after the therapy. By penetrating the children’s isolation and promoting their capability for interaction, the therapy lays the foundation for traditional medical rehabilitation.
In the meantime, some 10,000 patients from 55 countries have been helped by the dolphin therapy. However, the financial situations of most families make it impossible for them to finance the cost-intensive treatment. The relief organisation “dolphin aid” collects donations for these families.
The relief organisation was founded in 1995 by Kirsten Kuhnert. Following an accident, her son was awakened from a coma by dolphin therapy. With the help of donations and sponsors, dolphin aid has meanwhile made dolphin therapy possible for several thousand handicapped children and their parents.
With the support of the Bosseler & Abeking Foundation, the sisters Lisa-Marie (8) and Sabrina (17), together with their parents, were looked after in the Curaçao Dolphin Therapy Center in the Netherlands Antilles in the late autumn of 2008. It is to be expected that the quality of life improves considerably for Lisa-Marie, Sabrina and their parents due to the dolphin therapy.
Steven G. (16) received a dolphin therapy as far back as the spring of 2008. Kevin Z. received a further therapy with the help of the BOSSIER & ABEKING FOUNDATION.
For further information on the organisation:
dolphin aid e. V.
Angermunder Straße 9 · 40489 Düsseldorf
The Condrobs drugs advisory service in Munich looks after round about 1,500 addicted and high-risk people each year. Moreover, it also cares for their families. Approximately 22 percent of the people affected have children. Children whose drug-addicted parents are receiving advice, support or treatment in a number of selected institutions also need to be looked after. It was necessary to employ an educational specialist for this work.
This makes it possible to integrate children into the advisory service through a number of different settings. For example, everyone involved can see, directly and in the long term, how the parents’ addictive behaviour is affecting the children. Consequently, appropriate assistance can be provided on a specific basis to improve the parent-child relationship. The focus is primarily on removing from the parents any feelings of guilt and fear, especially the fear of not meeting the needs of their children. Instead, they are to be encouraged and called upon, in concrete terms, to take over their role as parents and to accept the associated responsibility. It is obvious that this will have a positive effect on the children.
A further objective of the child support provided is for the children to be brought into the institutions so that the adviser no longer focuses his or her attention solely on the addict, but is also able to integrate the family as a whole into the support system. The knowledge and assistance provided by the educational specialist forms an important basis for this work.
To make it possible to employ this specialist, the BOSSELER & ABEKING CHILDREN´S FOUNDATION supported the creation of a new part-time position at the Condrobs drugs advisory service in 2007. The Foundation took over the staff costs for this position in the area of mobile child support.
In addition to creating the new position, BOSSELER & ABEKING offers each of its employees the chance to become personally involved: firstly, through spending a day as an observer with the Munich drugs advisory service, during which leave of absence is granted by the management board. Secondly, every employee at BOSSELER & ABEKING has agreed to sponsor a child.
Further information on the work of the Condrobs drugs advisory service:
Condrobs Drugs Advisory Service in Munich
Konradstraße 2 • D-80801 Munich
Education is the key to fighting poverty and for the realisation of human and children’s rights. More than 70 million children of school age – the majority of them girls – do not go to school. Added to this is that many schools are inadequately equipped and teachers are often not well trained.
Particularly in Latin America the situation is precarious: thousands of children live on the streets in the big cities. Their lives are marked by uncertainty and fear. Many of them have to work on plantations or scratch a living as beggars. Ethnic minorities are discriminated against.
The organisation Plan International does all it can so that children have to work as little as possible and that they are no longer exploited. The objective is to make a basic education possible for children and adolescents and to bestow them with skills which are decisive for their further lives. This also includes helping the families to find alternative sources of income – for example by making very small loans available.
The BOSSELER & ABEKING CHILDREN´S FOUNDATION has undertaken four sponsorships via Plan International. Programmes are financed with these sponsorships, which are aimed at building up girls and boys and improving their living environment via long-term projects. For this purpose, the organisation supports helping people to help themselves and the active participation of all members of the community in the projects.