We are happy to announce that the first Safe-Hub outside of South Africa has started developing from a dream to become reality. Considering the refugee crisis and its impact in Germany, AMANDLA together with the Oliver Kahn Foundation are very excited to announce plans for a Safe-Hub in Berlin, Germany. The site will be located in Berlin/Wedding, a part of Berlin known for being an underprivileged area where young people face a lot of challenges.
After a comprehensive needs analysis, we found that 68% of all children in this part of the city are growing up in child poverty and 81% receive financial support from the state. Two thirds have a lack of German language skills. 85% have a migration background and every sixth young person between 15-65 years is unemployed. Obesity is also a serious problem amongst young scholars (17%). Hence, we found that the underlying problems facing young people in Germany are very similar to those facing youth in South Africa; these include intergenerational cycles of poverty, unemployment and language barriers. Our main focus will therefore be to provide socially deprived children, either refugees or locals, with social skills to increase their chances in life, support their integration into society, and decrease youth unemployment.
The Safe-Hub in Wedding will act as a multi-purpose community hub where people can access a range of education, health and enterprise development services that together provide a viable and attractive alternative for young people to get involved in positive activities. Through partnerships with local schools, clubs, government institutions and NGOs such as Himmelbeet gGmbH, the Safe-Hub is using football as a common platform for coaching, training, life skills and mentoring to enable young people to realise their full potential.
Having secured the site for the Safe-Hub in Berlin, in 2016 we will focus on building partnerships to further this project. Thanks to our longstanding cooperation-partner, the Oliver Kahn Foundation, all challenges coming up next year will be approached together – we are looking forward to it and will keep you updated.
With the world’s attention on the refugee crisis, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees reports that there are more refugees today than ever before in history, and more than half are children. As refugee children begin to adjust to life in new countries, education systems will play a critical role. In a newly released OECD report on education, the organisation urges governments to address “persistent inequalities in education…in order to ensure that every child, whatever their background, can realise their full potential and benefit from a good education.” We are driven to help young people realise their potential, and in this challenging environment we see an incredible opportunity for AMANDLA to contribute.