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Die Arche - Cologne

by Die Arche Christliches Kinder- und Jugendwerk e.V.
Die Arche - Cologne
Die Arche - Cologne
Die Arche - Cologne
Die Arche - Cologne
Die Arche - Cologne
Die Arche - Cologne
Die Arche - Cologne
Die Arche - Cologne
Die Arche - Cologne
Die Arche - Cologne

This day, none of the jeans that our clothing store offers would fit 17-year old Nora. Almost every time our voluntary workers set the hall up to present and distribute the donated clothing, Nora would come around to find something for herself or indeed her two-year-old son. The young family lives together in a state-funded residential care home with barely enough money to get along. Resignedly, Nora said “The monthly amount of transfer benefits for clothing is simply not enough for me and a growing child.” Thus, we are glad that we are at least able to produce a bit of relief for people like Nora. However, watching her searching through the clothes other people didn’t want anymore didn’t really satisfy us, as we could easily see that Nora didn’t feel great.

Later, she told the head of the Arche house, Chris, that she would be expelled from school if she wasn’t able to present an internship until the beginning of next week. At “Die Arche”, we think that both stories are indeed connected: Self esteem is the key to a self-determined life. We don’t want that our children somehow battle their way through life but to enable every one to decide what path they want to follow. Hence, Chris replied: “Nora, our intern Birgül will go shopping with you now.” And they indeed bought her some essentials for a decent outfit, new jeans as well as a blouse and a jacket. Birgül told us that she acted like a pragmatic and money-saving mother. Two days later, we were able – thanks to our network – to set up an appointment for Nora with a local company that offered her an internship. We've heard that Nora made a great impression: They’ve immediately signed the contracts. And we are very sure that her new outfit played its part in it. But in the end, it was Nora who took the step through the open door.

Dear readers, we again want to thank you for your great support for our work. We are so thankful for being able to support Nora and all the others. This year, we celebrate our 25th anniversary. A quarter-century later, we are convinced that our work is as important as ever. We would be glad if “Die Arche” remains close to your heart in the future!

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Boy at the Arche looking for ideas - toy ideas
Boy at the Arche looking for ideas - toy ideas

„I’m glad that they are other people who are interested in us, who believe in us.” These words come from a girl, Lisa, who regularly visits one of our houses since years.

Now, what does Lisa mean by that? Our school support? Our daily free hot meals? Taking music lessons? Or simply our friendly ear for everything the children have on their mind? Whatever her motive was, personally, I am glad as well. Because words like Lisa’s show that our work indeed has some impact on the children’s development and that there are no limits if we do walk this path together.

In recent times, I quite frequently encounter “Arche-alumni”, grown-ups who came to us as a kid and now in most cases have both feet on the ground. May it be on our court festivals or simply in the city streets, we anyway get talking. Whether it is about apprenticeships, work, family or generally the chapters in their life, I often sense something that goes beyond expressing their thanks four our support whilst growing up. What I sense is that the appreciation that we showed them has really entrenched in their hearts. It has set the course into living a self-determined life.

Dear friends: You are as well a reason for stories like Lisa’s and all the other young people on their way into a brighter future. Our heartfelt thanks for your support in the past.

At the end, I want to present you a little outlook: The Advent season starts soon, a very special time for all children. Again, we make efforts to conjure a smile on our children’s faces. Today, we already plan and organise great events full of atmosphere for this time, with the highlight being a wonderful Christmas party where every child receives an individual gift.

Thank you again for your support. We would be very grateful if our vision to create perspectives for children in need remains close to your heart in the future.

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„Wait, I’ll go tell my mum I will join the camp again next year!”

As we approach his home town again, this little boy obviously finds it hard to say good-bye to the past days of our holiday camp. It was not only the first time he went with us on a camp, it was even the first time he ever went outside his home town for a vacation.

Far from everyday stress, the familiar environment with all its crises and existential questions, a lot of children who come to us had the chance to go on holiday camps with us this summer.

For every single one, it is a completely new, great and often eye-opening experience of getting to know a world that was hidden before: Camps at DIE ARCHE are days of seeing nature, finding new friends and further getting to know oneself. The kids love to finally be in the center of attention with our pedagogues caring about them the whole time. When we put them to bed, they get bright eyes as they tell us about what they experienced during the day: “I never had so much fun” or “this camp is the best time ever” are comments we often get to hear. Of course, we are deeply happy about that, yet it also reminds us that it is so important to be there for them back home as well.

On our camps, the children learn what it means to be a team player, build trustful relationships with others and handle conflicts. During the time together, they also tell us and the other children what usually causes worries at home or school. Above all, the children learn how precious they are.

Dear friends: Our heartfelt thanks for your support in the past. We would be very grateful if our vision to create perspectives for children in need remains close to your heart in the future!

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Karl keeps us on the go. He comes to one of our houses on a regular basis and is very present. Karl is a bit smaller than the other children, what yet might be a factor for his feeling of having to fight his way through more than the others.

Working with Karl is never easy, but that makes his great progress in recent weeks even more worth admiring. Let’s tell you the story of a great boy who is taking big steps right now.

On the football ground was where Karl used to be in his element. He used to sidestep any defender and celebrate every one of his goals as if it was deciding a World Cup final. Actually, he is still a very good football player. But until recently, this was all he had in mind. Doing homework usually looked like this: He pulled one of our pedagogues by the sleeve, said “Please help me with my homework!”, and with that, he meant: “Please do my homework!” A few minutes later, he would say: “Finished! I’ll go play now!”.

Day for day, we tried to support Karl. Having a friendly ear for him and starting the tasks together with him. A lot of failed attempts and alarm signals from school later, he reluctantly agreed to wrapping a deal: We would read football books together, and, more important, before he starts to play. “Football players read as well”, he found out. After reading lots and lots of football books, Karl started reaching out to other books as well: He began to do his homework, finally with some patience as well. “Please help me” now really means: “Please explain this to me”. And when it comes to the range of numbers up to 20, he says: “Thanks, I can do this by myself”.

This is a great progress, but of course only a start. Reading and writing are still a big challenge. But when he leaves the football ground, he nowadays often says: “Come on, let’s read again!”

Children like Karl show us how important it is to take time for every child, even if it is a long road to go. We strongly believe that Karl is taking the right way now. Dear friends: Our heartfelt thanks for your support in the past. We would be very grateful if our vision to create perspectives for children in need remains close to your heart in the future!

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We hope you had a good start into 2019 – for our part, we are indeed able to tell you about quite a lot that has happened at our Arche-houses…

For lots of our children, first school vacations took place: This week, usually between January and February, is commonly called „Ski vacation“. But while lots of our children’s classmates actually do spend winter vacations in the mountains, even the idea of making a journey is for our children only a dream far away from reality. For them, winter vacation is rather another prove of their underprivileged situation in our society. But wait a minute.

Dear supporters: Together, we were able to set up a great vacation programme against winter’s dreariness and you can really say that our children spent a great vacation time full of excitement as well! We visited great attractions in our houses’ environments where our children had the chance to warm up in the luminous atmosphere of a bonfire after a hiking trip, make the acquaintance of ponies or to try out various facilities of a sports hall. We are sure that our activities offered something for everyone, and the week went by in a flash, but will certainly last long in our memory.

Anyway, school has started again and in addition, we want to address a question we are often asked: “How do you get the children to learn and do their homework?” Yes –

In our houses, many kids also do their homework. For a lot of kids this isn’t very easy or pleasurable. But our system of rewards can help with that. Any time one of our kids gets their homework done they are rewarded a point. These points can be collected, and the kids can then exchange the rewards with a great toy. Our little Martin was especially studious and was able to trade his points against a skateboard he had been eyeing for a really long time. He is now the owner of a skateboard and it only took him 37 points. He now skates around proudly and motivates other kids to do their homework in our homework room as well. When asked whether he intends to continue doing his school work now that he has gotten what he wanted, he answered “Of course, I swear, I will always get my homework done!”

By the way: We appreciate all kinds of little toys (like card or board games, Lego, stuffed animals, books, pencils…) which we can use for our reward system very much. Just write us at or give us a call (+49 30 – 992888822) in case you are interested!

Dear friends: Our heartfelt thanks for your support in the past. We would be very grateful if our vision to create perspectives for children in need remains close to your heart in the future!

Best wishes
Die Arche

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Organization Information

Die Arche Christliches Kinder- und Jugendwerk e.V.

Location: Germany - Germany
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @ARCHE_Kids
Project Leader:
David Täubert
Germany, Germany

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