Care for neglected children
200 > Each week, the ‘Star in the North’ provides about 200 hungry children with a free lunch. However, the Dortmund wortundtat partner ensures that its six to eleven-year old guests from different cultural backgrounds do not only have something warm in their stomachs. The affectionate carers also give the children recognition and care and a place for carefree play. Often, their parents do not have enough energy or time for this.
Dortmund’s Nordstadt is a melting pot of over 130 nations and a social hot spot. A large part of the population who lives there, has limited or no German language skills. This lack of education has a direct detrimental effect on the living conditions of many families. Unemployment, school problems, over-indebtedness, … The spectre of financial and social consequences is wide and also affects the children’s future prospects. It is very difficult for young adults to develop positively in such an environment.
Island for people seeking help
The ‘Star in the North’ is a meeting place for children, young people and families. The house, which is located by Nordstadt’s Borsigplatz, has committed itself to the people in the district – including the youngest and thereby weakest of the community. The open Kid’s Club is free for all children of the district. Each afternoon from Monday to Friday, the house welcomes them – mainly without prior notice. Experienced and affectionate carers look after the children and provide protection and attention where needed. An important event right at the start of an afternoon is a joint warm lunch. During the meal, which has been prepared in the in-house kitchen, children are able to ‘come down’ and to regain their strength.
Afterwards, plenty of playing, sports and arts and crafts opportunities strike a balance to their exhausting everyday life. The children play football, jump on a trampoline,borrow board games, paint, build with Lego or just run around. Older pupils can retreat to a quieter area to do their homework.
The carers in the ‘Star’ believe that being together in a friendly environment and social interaction is of utmost importance. Staff wants to give every single child love and recognition. Forgiveness too is a key value: not every child is capable to always behave properly in the community. However, if a child is sent home, it will be told exactly of what went wrong – and will be given a warm welcome again the next day.