Die Arche - Hamburg

by Die Arche Kinderstiftung Christliches Kinder- und Jugendwerk
Die Arche - Hamburg
Die Arche - Hamburg
Die Arche - Hamburg
Die Arche - Hamburg
Die Arche - Hamburg
Die Arche - Hamburg
Die Arche - Hamburg
Die Arche - Hamburg
Die Arche - Hamburg
Die Arche - Hamburg
Die Arche - Hamburg
Die Arche - Hamburg

The spotlights are on, the screen on which the children will later be seen is adjusted for the last time, and the wig fits as well. We are ready for the Arche Carnival Party 2021.

My colleague Dorina and I are ready on our party stage. The room is empty, but the digital room "Zoom" is gradually filling up with children. Many of them have dressed up, some appear just as they are. A teacher, two clowns, a princess, an astronaut, a Red Indian and a few other colorfully dressed kids appear on the screen facing us.

And then, finally, it is showtime! There is dancing, singing and laughter. The children battle and throw streamers and confetti from the carnival bags they picked up at the Ark earlier. In the kid’s rooms they try to built the highest towers with different objects and everyone is allowed to pantomime a carnival figure. Their faces are filled with pure enthusiasm. They are fully committed and give their best. The "Ark Party Spirit" that we usually experience in the real children's party room is full on. Difference being that they have to keep a distance. At the end of the party, the doughnuts from the carnival bag can finally be eaten.

The online carnival party is no different from our normal live party, except for the atmosphere. This is more noticeable live than on screen. But since this is the only possibility to see one other at all, we will do it this way.

A year ago, we would never have thought that our Ark program would be completely digital. Nor did we think that parents would write to us after an online activitiy, expressing their gratitude and sending photos.

In addition to digital homework support and tutoring, the rest of our entire Ark program takes place as usual - but most of it is online. During the course of the week, the children pick up different program bags that contain the things they need. Therefore it is possible to carry out handicrafts, the cooking project, the "girls and boys only" program, but also other activities, such as the kid‘s party or a "real" carnival party. For the past year, our motto has been: "There's no such thing as we can't". We are always looking for and finding creative solutions that not only inspire us, but above all our children.

In addition to the digital program, some children and young people are also allowed to come to the Ark. Some of them use our facilities from 8 a.m. to do their homeschooling in peace and with a solid internet connection. Others do their homework with us, study for upcoming final exams, or are happy to simply have someone listening to them.

We can also offer children, who live under very cramped conditions, the opportunity to play at the Ark a couple for hour. There is also a "walk and talk", where a child can go for a walk with a member of staff, fool around on the playground or explore the nearby forest with siblings.

But the fact that the children and parents are so enthusiastic about our online offer is currently the greatest gift for us.

Dear readers, we again want to thank you for your great support for our work. We are so thankful for being able to support so many kids.

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For us at „Die Arche”, 2020 certainly is a very special year: We celebrate the 25th anniversary of our work. A quarter of a century in the fight against child poverty and for children. 25 years of investment in people who were not quite born on the bright side of life. For sure, it is a long time in which we were able to convey perspectives, hope, self-esteem and love to thousands of children and young people, fill empty stomachs and provide school support. Besides that, we also gave those children a voice who did not have one of our houses in their neighbourhood, as we made the topic clear to the public.

Of course, we want to use this landmark to look ahead as well: We are committed to keep being there and continue to work for disadvantaged children with all our heart and to offer them a contact point where we can meet them directly and immediately in their everyday life.

This year the Corona crisis has pushed many families and also the staff of the Arche to their limits. Restrictions in social life in times of Corona hit children especially hard. And the support we provide, the help we offer, is still needed.

During the lockdown, the virtual Arche was created and offered many families support with schoolwork via computer and video chat, online programs for the children, virtual bedtime stories and online parents' breakfast. At the same time, our employees made home visits to the families to bring them food, toys and educational material.

At the moment everything is difficult to plan, because depending on the location of the Arche and the current situation there, the Arches may be allowed to open for a limited number of children. However, this already means more work, because in addition to the reduced offer of activities on site, we organize many small camps and excursions and at the same time want to be with those who have to stay at home. This is an enormous double workload, but the Arche is and remains a lifeboat for hundreds of families.

The restrictions are also evident during the Christmas season. The usual Christmas program with big celebrations and Christmas markets cannot take place this year. But Christmas remains the most important holiday of the year for us. Almost all Arches are currently planning several small Christmas parties. At least the children should be able to celebrate a little community with a nice Christmas dinner and a colourful program. No child should be without a present at Christmas. Gifts play an extremely important role and are eagerly awaited by the children. Especially in families who do not have a budget for this, the annual gifts fill a large gap. Christmas should remain what it always was in the Arche - the most beautiful time of the year.

The first pre-Christmas highlight in Germany is St. Nicholas Day. Then the teams in the Arches are very busy as each Arche child will receive a parcel.

Your support helped us a lot. It contributes significantly to the fact that we continue to offer a free lunch every day in our houses, support the children with their homework, offer them sensible leisure activities and help them to cope with all the big and small problems of everyday life.

Dear readers, we again want to thank you for your great support for our work. We are so thankful for being able to support children for nothing less than 25 years. 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!

Bernd Siggelkow

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Bounce Houses, pedal cars and feeding times with turtles and rabbits - the Arche Kinder-Ranch offered a best-possible contrast to the current Covid situation that many kids face today.

Faces, filled with joy, excitement and relief – this is how our Kids usually welcome the Summer vacation. Resting and relaxing, fun and games – this is what children think of when they hear that Summer vacation is on the way. That is precisely how it should be. However, this year, everything was different.

Due to Covid-19, many children could not look forward to having  vacation. Enjoying the Arche Summer programs or experiencing the various camps during the warmer seasons of the year were, in light of a restricting pandemic, no longer possible. How does that affect a child? Forced to stay at home, away from friends and a healthy daily structure, how can children process such massive structural changes that come with a pandemic? Many kids ask question after question, are angry, annoyed and, often, helplessly react, not able to process the unfolding of recent events.

In order to offer the children a safe-place to simply be and play, we were able to offer small camps and various activities that were in adherence to the regulations from the state of Brandenburg. Through these activities and events, an oasis was made available for many kids in the midst of the everday „Corona-life“. Several small groups stemming from various Arches spent a few nights at the Kinder-Ranch, while other Arche groups experienced day trips.

On the way to the Kinder-Ranch, many Kids ask filled with excitement: „What kind of animals do you have?“, „Can I feed the animals?“, „Can I ride a horse?“ They are, however, not the only questions that we receive. „Is the Coronavirus also at the Kinder-Ranch?“, „Do I have to wear a mask?“ , „Can horses also get Covid?“ These questions alone make clear how the topic of „Covid“ plays a role in all of our lives.

Fears and worries are obvious challenges for many children. Schools were closed, many Arches went either virtual or opened partly. It was no longer possible to hang out with friends like many once knew.  The normality of „together“, the nearness that’s found in familiar contact persons has been, unfortunately, starkly restricted. Some children have experienced Covid on a more personal level, as family members and loved ones were directly affected by the virus.

However, these children could be a „normal kid“ again at our camps. That means: contact with other children, fun and playing, forgetting daily life, riding horses, feeding animals, jumping in a jump house, riding on pedal cars, or playing soccer. They were no longer visiting a virtual Arche, but had returned to real life. They could play and laugh with friends and workers.

This Summer went by way too fast. For many kids, it was hard to say goodbye. They would give one final hug to their favorite animal before they went home. It was common that many left the Kinder-Ranch with tears, hoping to visit again soon.Every child left with a fun-packed Summer, filled with memories that they will carry and embrace as the next school year begins.


Dear readers, we again want to thank you for your great support for our work. We are so thankful for being able to support many kids.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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Dear friend of the “Arche“,

we would like to thank you from the depths of our heart.

Thank you for your enormous support at an extraordinary time like this. We are awed by your sympathy at our children´s situations, as well as by the huge wave of willingness to help. But only with your help we could have been able to provide the aids in need for our children and their families recently.

After closing our doors in the middle of March, we served more than 1600 families with food parcels and sanitary products.

Not only the supply of aid packages - we also kept one eye on the consequences of living together permanently in the smallest spaces. The “Arche” accompanied children through their new everyday life.

To stay in touch and be there for the children and teenagers we arranged a virtual Arche at the very beginning. By means of groups on messengers, children and parents are able to text and call us. In case of problems encountered we gave advice. Besides, our employees tried their best to help with homework, they played, danced and sang together – everything online of course.

A focal and essential message to the families which was delivered through aid packages as well as virtual support reads: You are not alone!

Thank you for participating in it!

And even though some of our locations are able to reopen due to strict hygiene regulations for a limited number of children, we are far apart yet from our varied daily routine. It is still not possible to open the doors for everybody and serve with usual offers such as lunch for free, which is actually so important. All the more we are looking forward to the moment we may welcome all our children and their families.

Until then we will support needy families with aid packages, encourage them for this curious situation and offer to help.

We will stay on it – motivating and caring, we are there! Whereas we are not systemically relevant in terms of COVID-19, all the more we are extremely relevant for relationship!

Once again, thank you very much for facilitating this situation with your donation!

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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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Project Leader:
David Täubert
Germany, Germany
$19,626 raised of $25,000 goal
 
140 donations
$5,374 to go
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