“W hat would you like to be when you grow up? “I ask the eight year old boy who sits next to me and tinkers. His eyes are getting wide, without any hesitation, he says-“A Real Estate Agent”. Another boy replied: “You? You will never make it.” And the boy who previously was confident about his dream, suddenly seems uncertain. “Of course, can you do it, why not?” was my reaction.
Only a few days ago we opened our family center and is already clear that the children and the teens are enjoying every moment of our attention. Up to now 40-50 children and teenagers, aged 6 to 14 years, are visiting us on a daily basis.
I (Benjamin Funk) started to establish the project in the middle of January 2015. Together with Christians from the churches around us, we painted and furnished two apartments next to the large social area. In the last weeks of our set up time, two of the volunteers and two interns jointed us. As a team, we managed to create a cozy and fun atmosphere in which children and adults can enjoy themselves. Our rooms include a mother-child area with a game room, a kitchen, a group and tutoring room and the youth sector with an air hockey table – our highlight.
Nearby will be a football pitch prepared by TAG Wohnen AG Salzgitter that will allow us both, a financial support and as well the provided space, a basis for our work. The neighboring football ground belongs to our sport concept. Our boys are avid football players.
Even though sports, exercise and care in our rooms are important and useful, our project is much more then this. Missing maintenance and lack of embossing in the family reflects in the behavior of many children. Conflicts carried out with harsh words and brawls too quickly, and it seems almost as if the only one who can exist, is who defends his position at any cost. Therefore, we want alternatives to different behaviors live together.
Our offers for fun as games, crafts, dancing, tutoring and our future kids club should not be neglected, and combines well with the imparting values, as the recognition of potential of each individual.
The first few weeks were not a picnic. Many children had a lack of structure; we needed a lot of time to get to know them and to win their trust.
Viele der Kids aus dem Viertel haben kaum Chancen einen Ausflug zu erleben. Entweder fehlen die finanziellen Mittel oder nur ein Elternteil ist vorhanden, der nur wenig Zeit hat. Deshalb wollen wir die Gegebenheiten einer Großstadt nutzen, ihren Wissensdurst und Interesse stillen und Alternativen zu einem Leben zu Hartz 4 und vorgelebte Perspektivlosigkeit bieten. Das Umland bietet interessante Firmen, Institutionen als auch Ausflugsziele. Erlebnisreiche Besuche bei der Berufsfeuerwehr, Polizei und Firmen der Automobilbranche dienen berufliche Perspektiven und Träume zu wecken. Doch bei alledem, was ist unser erster Auftrag als Team? Die Kinder und Jugendlichen zu lieben, wie Jesus es tat! Dazu gibt es einfache und wichtige Wundermittel. Sie lauten Zuhören und Zeit nehmen.
Thanks to many helpers, many have become good friends, we were able gradually to establish a program with courses, holiday weeks also build up tournaments, which are continuously developing until today. It was an exciting, adventurous time that marked me deeply. Many individual fates touched me supremely.
More information (only in german): www.jumpers-netz.de