Many parents are prepared to accept children from orphanages or from difficult social backgrounds into their families to give them a loving upbringing. However, in most cases this fails due to insufficient living space and their inability to afford the addition of extra space. The state government simply lacks the necessary resources to support such extremely disadvantaged children, and they very often end up vegetating in state-owned institutions. The Foundation therefore considers its top priority to establish and support children’s homes. We have, therefore, developed a basic project that can be adapted to different local circumstances, and be implemented in such a way as to have the best possible impact within the framework of existing opportunities.
Parents can receive and raise up to twelve foster children in each children’s home. These homes are not established through the state or private individuals. As a matter of principle, it is only undertaken in cooperation with appropriate local charitable associations, foundations, or church organisations in order to rule out any use that is not in accordance with our aims. Upon completion, the children’s home is written over to the relevant approved operator.
The foster parents are selected and trained in cooperation with local authorities. In order to ensure that the family is materially independent, the Foundation often establishes a mini-farm as well, as state support is generally not sufficient. In this way, the children learn how to grow fruit and vegetables in the gardens and greenhouses, and to take responsibility for hens, rabbits and other animals.
In order to improve their opportunities for the future, the children receive additional foreign language lessons. In the holidays, and sometimes outside holiday periods, the children (and sometimes also their foster parents) spend time in recreation and leisure centres, where they can get to know other children, make new friends and benefit from one another’s experiences. These retreats are organized under professional supervision, and are used intensively to give disadvantaged children a good quality of life.
Seminars are offered for the parents to help them to carry out their duties as foster parents as effectively as possible. By exchanging experiences with other parents, and by talking to specialists in the field, they gain a lot of beneficial help and support.