Supporting Families with Disabled Children

by Hande fur Kinder e. V.
Supporting Families with Disabled Children
Supporting Families with Disabled Children
Supporting Families with Disabled Children
Supporting Families with Disabled Children


Covid still largely determines our everyday life. 

Nevertheless, we try to make our special guest children and their families forget the daily routine here at Kupferhof and give them a nice time.

Due to contact restrictions and lockdown most of the events cannot take place right now. This makes it all the more pleasant that some activities are possible on site at Kupferhof (of course under strict hygiene measures):


  • Tiergestützte Pädagogik “Wolkenmobil” (animal-assisted education)

When “Wolkenmobil” is invited, Kupferhof appears even more colorful. Everyone is looking forward to the various animals, such as dogs, hens, guinea pigs, giant snails.

It´s been proven again and again, that animals can make us smile without words.

Some kids dared to touch an animal for the very first time. Others managed to calm down with the animal´s support and could relax.

  • Musiktherapie (music therapy)

Music is a good way to release or to express emotions especially for children with complex disabilities.

The kids cannot even hear the music, but can also feel it. The vibration of the different sounds provides an opportunity to feel their body and contribute their well-being.

  • “Clowns im Einsatz” (Clowns at Work)

Whenever the clowns stop at Kupferhof, there is dancing, singing and especially laughter everywhere.

Our special kids seem to become weightless. The clowns contribute the general well-being, following the slogan: Laughter is the best medicine.


These activities are only possible thanks to your donations, thank you very much!


Clowns im Einsatz
Clowns im Einsatz
Clowns im Einsatz
Clowns im Einsatz
Clowns im Einsatz
Clowns im Einsatz
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May we introduce: Thea, Helen, Anna and Nils.

These four are currently completing a voluntary social year at the Neuer Kupferhof in Hamburg.
Most of these committed youngsters support the institution's teams during this time for three months each in the areas of care, education, kitchen and house / garden.
In order to help them get used to the situation and to give them a deeper insight, an orientation day “The Neuer Kupferhof as a workplace” was launched. Premiere day was on 10.10.2020.

In the morning there was a tour through many departments of the house, the afternoon was all about raising awareness for work in the areas care and education, including role reversal. Our four young helpers learned what it means to care for a child with a disability, but also what it feels like to experience the simplest everyday situations as a person with a disability.

What should you watch out for when feeding? How important it is to stay focused on the child, also to show them that they are valued. And how do I get a deaf and / or visually handicapped child to open the mouth at the right moment? The same applies e.g. whilst brushing teeth. Our guest children are not like all other children. They are special.

Anyone who has ever kept occupied or looked after two or more children at the same time knows that they seldom do what they're supposed to do. In this regard, our special guest children are in no way inferior to “normal” children. However, their disability does not make it easier for the carer ...

Due to the role-reversal games, Thea, Helen, Anna and Nils found out first-hand what it means to master simple everyday situations with a disability. How helpless you are, how it feels to be dependent on outside help for so many things, what great trust you have to have in your carer.

For example, it was felt to be particularly difficult to be fed as a supposedly visually impaired child. Opening your mouth on command, not knowing what is being fed (sweet, salty, etc.) if this is not communicated by the carer. Or to have the feeling of only being processed on the side when the carer is distracted and not concentrating on the child.

The list of empirical values could be expanded considerably.
The experiences of Thea, Helen, Anna and Nils have shown that caring for children with disabilities is a specific responsibility. A challenge that the parents of children with disabilities master daily, every single day and every night.

These are our voluntary young heroes - all four complete the voluntary social year as a gap year and for orientation between school and studies:

Nils (19 years)
Would like to study mechanical engineering and can later imagine to use the knowledge acquired during the studies in the production and development of wheelchairs etc.

Thea (18 years)                                                                                                                                                                                                   Would like to use the time as an orientation time as she does not yet have any concrete job ideas.

Anna (18 years)
Applies for the dual study program "Advice for Education, Profession and Employment",
because she found it difficult to choose a profession and would like to help others in the same situation going forward.

Helen (19 years)
In the meantime, she has decided to do an extra-occupational education in order to become a curative nurse. She will start her apprenticeship next year at the Neuer Kupferhof.

It's great to see that there are always also young people who care about the needs of people (and especially children) with disabilities and are ready to help, understand and learn.

Thank you so much to all of our young volunteers.



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Teddy Fiete is happy to have playmates again
Teddy Fiete is happy to have playmates again


Corona and Covid 19 appear to become new bad c-words. Because they also mean, inter alia, travel ban, distance rules, face masks, hygiene regulations and closures. Of course, the Kupferhof was and is affected.

We used the temporary closure to do necessary (renovation) work and repair in the house and in the garden, as well as to develop a good hygiene concept. Nevertheless, the Kupferhof was more like a haunted house in comparison with normal operation. Only a few employees worked at the same time, but above all no child laughing or shouting, no parents who settled down for a chat somewhere or siblings playing. But we didn't and won´t let it get us down and thanks to a good hygiene concept we have had up to 8 guest children in the house again for 5 weeks. A great start. With a great concept. With and for our great, special children.

Life has returned to the Kupferhof: singing, laughing, playing, making music, baking, fooling around, painting ... again. Yes, the Kupferhof is alive again! With, in and through our guest children.

We hope to be able to welcome parents and siblings to the Kupferhof again in August.

If you consider the burden the LockDown (closure of schools and day-care centers, home offices, etc ...) was for "normal" families. Can you imagine what that means for families with a disabled child? No relief, at no time. Instead, 24 hours on standby and commitment. And that 7 days a week.

We are therefore fighting for the Kupferhof to be able to open to the whole family again soon. We are not alone in this. It feels like in a huge extended family: Friends and our (former) host families also support us, send us happy pictures, write encouraging messages and initiate great fundraisers, be it through birthday fundraisers or even a donation bike tour across Germany.

At this point, a big thank you for these great supports.

We are confident and looking forward to offer as many families as possible a few days off at Kupferhof. Some relief from hard everyday life, which these families need now more than ever.

Stay healthy and warmest regards from the Kupferhof.

Our nerves are on edge and there is no ray of hope
Our nerves are on edge and there is no ray of hope
(Hopefully we can make up for our cancelled stay.
(Hopefully we can make up for our cancelled stay.
(Maja is still raving about her stay. Whenever...
(Maja is still raving about her stay. Whenever...
Maja making ice cream
Maja making ice cream
Anton and the Very Hungry Caterpillar
Anton and the Very Hungry Caterpillar
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We are very lucky that “the New Kupferhof” is located in a beautiful, green area on the outskirts of Hamburg.

With our special children, the nurses go on excursions into the neighbouring forest, go for walks around the small, nearby lake or to the farm. The nursing staff also visit the slightly more distant riding centre with the therapy horses on foot with the children, provided the weather permits.

More distant destinations cannot be reached with several children, especially if they dependent on wheelchairs. This is a shame, because Hamburg has a lot of interesting and exciting things to offer which our guest children would enjoy and what the nurses would like to achieve: Excursions to the city parks in Hamburg and Norderstedt, to the adventure playground Schemannstrasse in Volksdorf, to Gut Wulksfelde, to the surrounding swimming lakes, to the harbor, to the airport, to animal parks (Hagenbeck and Trappenkamp) and much more.

All these excursions are not possible without means of transportation. Therefore, a transporter should be purchased and converted accordingly, so that it is suitable for four to five wheelchairs, or for the specially equipped wheelchairs that some of our special children need.

However, we rely on donations to finance the vehicle.

We hope to be able to fulfill this wish soon. The shining children's eyes of our little special guest are worth all our efforts, and we try to give these children a great time during their stay here at Kupferhof.

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The Neue Kupferhof is a very special place and is unique in many ways.


This is confirmed by the comments of some of our nurses on the question of why they work in the Neue Kupferhof or what constitutes the work in the Neue Kupferhof.



I find it nice to be able to support the parents of our guest children with special needs, so that they can take a breather and recharge their batteries. Here, I can satisfy the basic needs of the children and get a lot back in return, such as the gratitude of the parents, the parent´s joy of seeing us again, and also of the guest children, especially if they have been guests at the Kupferhof several times.

I am fascinated by the non-verbal communication with the children with special needs, which we use in order to recognise and interpret their requests and basic needs. I enjoy using and perfecting this ability every day.

For all that, I do like to take a long journey to work. My journey to work and back is 76 kilometres [47 miles] each way. 



I find the work here in the Neue Kupferhof more meaningful than, for example, in hospitals, because there is much more time here to apply what you have learned.



Here at Neue Kupferhof, you are much closer to the patients and their families, and the contact is much closer.



(still in training to become a nurse)

I chose the Neue Kupferhof for my student assignment because the concept of the Kupferhof appealed to me. I have learned a lot here.



Here, at the Neue Kupferhof we usually have, depending on the disability of the guest child, care in a ratio of 2:1. This gives you a lot of time for the child entrusted to your care. It is not the "full and clean" - principle which applies, but that you have time to play and time to do things, so that the individual child has fun.



I find it fantastic working with these special children.

No differences are made here between the different illnesses of the guest children: they all have the same value.

It is possible to respond very individually to the child that you care for here.



The Neue Kupferhof is a unique place where you can help our guest children with special needs to have a good time, as well as their parents and siblings.

Here, you are surrounded by many nice people, guests and colleagues. 

I appreciate the constant challenge of looking after new guest children. No week is like the other. And that's great!



A good atmosphere, warm-heartedness, openness, appreciation, acceptance from each other, freedom from being judged by others ... These are keywords which I associate with the Neue Kupferhof and which make up this unique place.

The fantastic location of the facility in the middle of the countryside makes it possible to go outside with the children who have special needs at any time, to have fun outside with the children and colleagues.

Every day you learn new things, with each other and from each other.

You can feel the harmony in this house. A harmony that is radiated by all who enter and leave here.

I am very grateful to be able to take part here.

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Organization Information

Hande fur Kinder e. V.

Location: Hamburg - Germany
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
Andrea Jaap
Hamburg, Germany
$17,607 raised of $55,000 goal
219 donations
$37,393 to go
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