As soon as you enter our house “The Kupferhof” you will meet people or experience situations which touch your heart:
“Not just down” ..
.. is the title of a German website, which was created only about 1.5 years ago and which, of course, came to the fore on World Down Syndrome Day on 21st March 2019.
The Kupferhof is also regularly visited by children and teenagers with Down´s syndrome. They are a true enrichment for the Kupferhof because they ensure with their open nature, kindness and zest for life regularly good mood. As recently as Jolan and Nina were guests at the same time and at dinner they suddenly started to giggle and laugh about something. But so heartfelt and captivating that soon almost the entire dining room and staff also laughed and giggled. Nobody knew what it was about, and nobody cared anyway. Thank you for having made our day!
These kids are not sick (but: about every second child has a heart defect), they just have one more chromosome and that's why they look a bit different, but most of all, they're very special. They are just as adorable, creative, inventive and silly, have humor and can have fun and chill, are straightforward and direct and clever (never underestimate that!), but also moody and provocative as all other kids and teens too.
Almost all people with Down´s syndrome have learning difficulties but with the right training and support, they can graduate, train for a profession or even study. Almost all adults with Down´s syndrome live an almost independent life, either in (supervised) residential groups or even on their own.
People with Down´s syndrome and their relatives suffer the most from the fact that they are still excluded from society.
Here at Kupferhof the kids can simply be as they are and their parents do not have to justify themselves for anything. Just enjoy and recharge their batteries.
Many thanks to Patty, Stina, Jolan and Nina, that you manage to transform the Kupferhof from time to time into a theater full of joie de vivre and sunshine!
See you soon!
Sleeping through the night, drinking another cup of coffee in the morning, going to work, having lunch or dinner together with the whole family at a restaurant, relaxing while reading a book, going to the cinema with the kids, going out with the partner or travelling on holiday together.
Aren´t these things we take for granted?
But for some people these things could mean everything. Not because they have sleeping problems, or they have no time because they have to rush to work. Not because they couldn`t find a job, or they are too stingy. Not because they are not interested in reading or in spending time with (all of) their kids. Not because they have different interests or can´t afford a family holiday.
Being a parent of a child with disabilities often means to give up time. All of your time. Time to sleep, time to work, time to spend time with the whole family, with your partner or just time for yourself. Even a second cup of coffee at breakfast is time luxury you can´t or won`t afford.
This year “The Kupferhof” celebrated fifth anniversary and during the past years many guests had written into our guest book. These messages are very touching because they show deep gratitude. Gratitude for the little things and things we take for granted. Things “The Kupferhof” make possible. The feeling of being welcome, secure, comfortable and well cared for. But most of all: time, time to regain your strength and return home full of energy, by spending time for oneself, together and … time for a second cup of coffee.
Translations of the guest book messages:
Number I (June 2017)
It has been the third time we could rest, relax and recover at “The Kupferhof”. This year the rest came just at the right moment.
We almost had no more energy to pack all the things and make the long ride to Northern Germany. But Thank God we managed it.
And the time here was so good again. A full night´s sleep, time to relax. Time just to read a book. Time just to drink another cup of coffee at breakfast. Muse to have a good conversation with the family or other families. Muse to play the piano. And all that with the consciousness that Hannah is well cared for.
Thank you so much to all hands, the visible and the invisible, who enabled this time, which is so important for us.
Number II (March 2018)
The first short break after 13 years! We haven`t expected that Sara Marie was taking part in everything so well and that she was so well cared for. So we could do all the things others take for granted, like to sleep in, a romantic trip without organizing help for Sara Marie, just to enjoy….
We met here so many nice and endearing people. Thanks to all!
We would like to come back!
Number III (October 2015)
Moments, you shouldn`t miss are those you can thank for. – And this we want to do at this point.
It was our first visit at “The Kuperhof”, our first stay at your short-term home and we absolutely enjoyed it.
Since the birth of our special little one the moments of spontaneity and carefree relaxation became rare. That´s why we enjoyed this week as a gift.
No struggles, not having to be humbly grateful for being tolerated, no minor role, no marginal figure, no annoying petitioner.
But just being welcome.
We haven´t had such a good time for so long.
Your lovable and openminded warmth did so good.
And we got great moments to take with us:
The first time we went to the cinema together, both of us and our 11-year-old sibling.
An afternoon at the Lego Store without time limit, just the three of us and the Lego stones.
Those things and moments became very precious.
And: You managed to destroy our guilty conscience because we brought our (special) child here and left him in your care.
For one week we could step back, watch and learn that Noi felt comfortable.
We now know, that it is a time out for all of us, if Noi stays at Yours sometimes. – Thank you!
Thank you for your lovable way to do things, thank you for your attention!
And thank you for the courage and the engagement to make this wonderful institution come true – from a vision to reality.
You realized the needs and desires of your guests, so that they can take a deep breath when it´s most needed.
May the Blessings of Christmas bring you Peace and Joy throughout the New Year.
The following letter shall encourage other people to help. Thank you very much for your sopport!
Once more, a special thank to you, Niclas and Robin! You had a great idea and your donated money helped us a lot.
Here is Niclas´and Robin´s story:
First of all, to introduce ourselves: Our names are Niclas and Robin, we ´re two friends in the early 20s. We had a quite pleasant childhood and most important we are fortunately healthy (despite headaches or the flu sometimes). But we are aware that being healthy isn´t a matter of course and so we decided to support less fortunate people.
Since our birthday is roughly on the same date, we’re celebrating our birthdays together for a couple of years now. Every year the same question: “What do you want for your birthday”?
… Neither of us had an idea about what to answer.
That´s why we decided to help within our possibilities and collect for something good. Instead of taking presents or compensating money for the location, we asked our friends to donate.
But why Haende fuer Kinder / the New Kupferhof?
To be honest, we grew up in the area of the New Kupferhof and got to know Haende fuer Kinder through family, friends and events there. We wanted to collect for something local, where you can see the results and the happiness spread in the kid´s faces. We wanted to support Haende fuer Kinder which give the special kids and their families the opportunity for a stress-free and happy time at the New Kupferhof in Hamburg.
The New Kupferhof fitted perfectly, we didn’t even need to argue what we collect for.
Together with our friends we collected a reasonable amount (almost 900€) for the New Kupferhof. Thanks for that!
Despite all that, we probably worked on our health as well, since we did not get all the alcoholics and candies you get from those guests without an idea for another present.
But most important: Helping makes people happy – including yourself! J
All the best
Niclas and Robin
"My best experience at the New Kupferhof so far was the encounter with an autistic boy who didn`t like dogs. My dog Luke noticed immediatley that the boy couldn´t tolerate eye contact and that the boy preferred to keep his distance.
So, Luke turned his back on him at an appropriate distance and wagged his tail. He came back to the boy again and again after visiting the other kids. Luke did not give up but did not impose. After about half an hour the boy imitated the movement of the tail by wagging his sleeve. Then, after a while, the boy actually ran to Luke and stroked him. That was a big achievement for this boy. And Luke has intuitively applied the right strategy, "says Anke Wolf, Luke's dog handler. She adds: "Luke and I have been coming to the New Kupferhof regularly since November 2017 and we both love these lessons very much."
It is also Anette Bethge and her dog Ayla, who are already "old hands" at the New Kupferhof. The special thing about both dogs: They do not know any performance thinking, they just want to be there and help in their own way.
Together with their dog handlers, the four-legged friends must complete a comprehensive training. Anette Bethge and Anke Wolf, for example, also learned how to "read" their dogs. Only if they are able to interpret their condition correctly at any time, it is ensured that humans and dogs can optimally help the little guests in the New Kupferhof. "If at the end of our lessons the children dare to stroke Ayla or go with her on a leash, the joy on both sides is always huge," is how Anette Bethge describes her assignments, which are an integral part of the weekly program in the New Kupferhof.
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