Page 1

Newsletter December 2012






About us

The Foundation Executive Committee Stefanie Graf, CEO Prof. Michael Schulte-Markwort, Deputy Chairman Prof. Dr. Jörg F. Debatin Mamagement Stephanie Hermes Board of Trustees Dr Andreas Rittstieg, Chairperson Thomas Külpmann, Deputy Chairman Prof. Dr. Franz Resch Children for Tomorrow is a non-profit foundation which was established by Stefanie Graf in 1998. The aim of the foundation is to support and to initiate projects that provide assistance to children and adolescents who are victims of war, persecution, and other forms of organised violence.

Advisory Committee Rolf Hunck Fritz Horst Melsheimer Steve Miller

Prof. Ulrike Ravens-Sieberer Martin Renker Rainer Verstynen

We would like to introduce Natalie Dhootun, social pedagogue

Natalie Dhootun

University of Lüneburg. She was an intern at Children for Tomorrow during her studies. Furthermore, she worked for several institutions in Hamburg which were centred on children/adolescents who came from a migratory background and who actively or passively refused to go to school. During her studies, Natalie focused on working with traumatized refugees which held a specific relevance to migratory related topics.

Natalie Dhootun joined our team at Children for Tomorrow this April. She is going to extend and realize the psychosocial programmes of the foundation together with Sarah Barth. Natalie initiated the “Deutsch-Club” this year and published a new magazine for teenagers with a group of refugees with the title “L.O.L. – Languages of Life”. We uploaded the magazine onto our webpage in the section “Kinderforum”. In addition to that Natalie started “CfT-Infogruppe” which is an offer for refugees to come to our outpatient clinic.

Her undergraduate dissertation was in specific relation to “Adolescents and trauma – an interdisciplinary field of action in social work with refugees

Natalie Dhootun studied social work/social pedagogic with a focus on psychiatric related social work at the

Chronicle Children for Tomorrow 1998








Foundation and start of the Outpatient Clinic for Refugee Children, Hamburg

Project South Africa

Project Kosovo

Art therapeutic Atelier, Hamburg

Project Eritrea

Project Uganda


December 2012 Children for Tomorrow TODAY

Opening of the Foundation’s headquarters, Hamburg

over a $100.000 during a glamorous ceremony in Paris. I would like to thank Longines for this special award. The year continued to be exciting: The foundation joined a wonderful collaboration with the aid of the people behind the musical “Starlight Express”. The ensemble collects donations for our foundation after each show. I was able to thank the whole team for their great enthusiasm during my visit to the show held in Bochum in July. In the meantime more than 100,000 Euro have been kindly donated towards our foundation.

Dear friends of ‘Children for Tomorrow’

About us


Our foundation has attained an immense triumph for the year 2012. Our outpatient clinic in Hamburg treated more children in 2012 than ever before. Whilst we are justifiably thrilled by this result, furthermore, this urges us to get organised and consolidated for the future. At this point I would like to welcome the new members of our Advisory Committee and Advisory Board. I am most pleased and enthused to working with you on future ideas in relation to the foundation‘s development. The foundation has introduced two new programmes which have enabled us to maintain and better facilitate the needs of refugee children in Hamburg. Such include our “CfF-Info-Gruppe”. This group explains various consequences of traumas including psychological symptoms and their origin. In addition to this, we initiated a group for young refugee children under ten years in a sheltered house. I would also like to mention our achievement regarding our international projects. Our school programme in Gulu Uganda has been highly positive. The school is a boarding school for war traumatized children. Whilst this programme has only commenced since spring 2012, the programme titled “Strong Minds” enables local therapists to offer counselling for children and multiple resources of assistance for their teachers.

After the summer holidays our foundation’s employees were busy preparing the first “CfT Summer Party” with more than 100 selected guests. In addition to our team, supporters and loyal partners, we were thrilled to welcome many patients from our outpatient ambulance. This event held a film presentation in relation to the foundations projects, an exhibition and a CfT quiz. The party also organised a raffle along with various other games held in the garden. My personal end-of-the-year review ends with a special mention of our new webpage. We hope you will enjoy our relaunch and the updated content at HYPERLINK „“ We endeavour that our new articles, pictures and photos will highlight the importance of our children’s destinies. We would have never been able to reach any of this year’s achievements without the help of our supporters. However, it is most important to grasp the increasing number of patients which will be the challenge in the future. We would like to extend our programmes further and include specialised offers for very young children and families. Ultimately, we need your help to achieve this! I would like to thank you for your dedication and trust and wish you all a wonderful Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

In June this year, my partner “Longines” awarded “Children for Tomorrow” with the “Prize for Elegance”. This award honours foundations which focus on disadvantaged people. I received a cheque of

Yours Stefanie Graf Founder/CEO December 2012 Children for Tomorrow TODAY


A talk with...

… rabia tayyeb “When you interpret you always remember a part of your own story“ le and start a traineeship. After my A-levels I studied pharmaceutics and started working as a research assistant at the UKE. After two years at the UKE I applied for the German citizenship which was eventually granted. In the beginning, what kind of help would you have wished for?

Rabia Tayyeb left Afghanistan when she was 14 years old. Today she works as an interpreter for the University Medical Center UKE and Children for Tomorrow. Sarah Barth interviews Rabia Tayyeb at the outpatient clinic about her work as interpreter: Why did you come to Germany? After the war, my mum was a single mother with three children. She worked as a teacher. She was politically persecuted. Women had a hard time in Afghanistan and she wanted nothing but to leave the country. This is how I came to Germany together with my mother and my two sisters. How were your experiences as a teenager growing up in Germany? I had to go to school without knowing any German at all. Nowadays there are preparation classes and interpreters but back then these things did not exist. I remember only one situation with an interpreter; it was when they asked us about our asylum background. At school, however, I did not understand one word of what they said. The teachers found it hard to tell if I was good or not – nobody understood me either. I got remarks I could not understand. At school everything was different compared to our culture at home. All of a sudden I was permanently dizzy, fainted at school and nobody knew what was going on. They sent me from doctor to doctor. However, nobody even considered the option that my fainting could have psychological reasons. Working at the outpatient clinic shows me again and again what I experienced back then. But slowly and simply I just got used to the fact that I was not feeling well. After the GCSE exams I went to another secondary school but only on probation as they called it. We only had visa permits for a period of six weeks each which had to be extended again and again– therefore we never knew if or for how long we were allowed to stay. This was the reason why I wanted to graduate as quickly as possib-


December 2012 Children for Tomorrow TODAY

It would have been amazing to have an institution like the outpatient clinic. Just to talk to somebody in my mother tongue would have helped a lot. Today I was reminded of my own story while I was interpreting a conversation. The adolescent said that he does not know if his parents are still alive and how this thought never leaves him. Until today I am not sure if my father is still alive. There is always a part of your own story that you interpret. I realise what I have achieved when I interpret during therapies. I sometimes experience nothing but happiness. For a long period of time I was convinced that it was normal to achieve what I had. But the adolescents who experience similar situations like me, e.g. problems at school, the petrifying memories – exemplify what I survived as well. Which part of the therapies are the toughest for you? That I can literally picture so many details! The adolescents feel that I am able to understand them completely. They find it easy to connect to me since I am from the same country, I know their culture and language and therefore they trust me. I often interpret questions about their experiences back home and the adolescents tell me: “But you know what I am talking about!” They assume that the conversation partner knows a lot.

Why would you say that the “Children for Tomorrow” offers are so important for young refugees? Even I still dream about Afghanistan. I dream about particular situations or impressions and all of a sudden everything seems real in my dreams. When I wake up I immediately think “Thank God, I am here and safe.” It did happen that I could not continue to interpret in therapeutic sessions because I cried so much. At the outpatient ambulance they take children seriously. The earlier they come the better it is for their life. If I had the opportunities the adolescents have at the outpatient clinic nowadays I probably would have overcome my experiences a lot earlier.

He was beaten, abused and had to walk for days. Stefanie Woynar worked as a student assistant at “Children for Tomorrow” and is currently finishing her dissertation in psychology. Due to a scholarship of the University of Hamburg she was able to visit our project in Gulu, Uganda in July 2012. Our head of the project, Dr Fionna Klasen interviewed her about her experiences: Please tell us, how did the CfT team in Gulu welcome you? At first they gave me a tour through the psychiatric clinic in Gulu. I was able to observe therapeutic counselling and other sessions with local children from the first moment onwards. During my first week I went to the Laroo School where they had school programmes.

You conducted a small research project while you were there– what was it about? Could you tell us about the results? I conducted a pilot research about the evaluation of a therapeutic method for traumatized children. One of the key aspects is to encourage children to replay traumatizing experiences with dolls. This helps them to release their horrible memories. It turned out that all participating children suffered significantly less from their symptoms.

Do you remember any particular story of a child? I remember Emmanuel particularly well. He was kidnapped by the Lord’s Resistance Army when he was ten and had to serve as a child soldier for four years. He told me about them beating him, abusing him and he had to walk for days while he and other children had to drink their own urine in order to survive. He lost contact with his mother and his siblings during the war and still does not know if they are alive. He accuses himself massively since he was forced to kill civilians during the time with the rebels. These horrible scenes haunted him until he was able to tell us about his guilt during a counselling session.

We started our school programmes in Uganda while I was there last March and I talked about them in our last newsletter in great detail. What has happened since then? Patrick, the CfT employee visits two schools twice a week. Each school has a group of students who were exposed to extreme psychological stress. Patrick meets them in counselling classes so that they have the chance to talk about their problems and worries. In addition to that there are special classes about topics such as the recognition and handling of psychological problems and ideas and methods to strengthen the feeling of identity and self-confidence. The hut we constructed in May was decorated with the CfT logo while you were there – what is on offer in the hut? There are group therapies for traumatized children and several times per month there is relaxation training for traumatized victims as well. What was your impression about the situation in Gulu? Did you feel safe? I never saw any form of violence in Gulu although I was very aware that Gulu is not a safe place yet and I heard all the stories in the counselling sessions. I know for example that children are hit with a bat at school. Girls are often raped in the city and you see many soldiers with weapons. Seeing machine guns became an everyday sight in Gulu. The local therapists in the clinic do a brilliant work in sometimes extremely tough conditions.

A talk with...

… stefanie woynar

Stories from our kids

Outpatient clinic Hamburg My Auntie said: “Wait A Moment, I’ll be right back….“ The 13-year-old X came to our outpatient clinic in August 2011. His social workers from the residential care unit were worried about him since he always seemed to be sad and he also suffered from insomnia. On most days he was so exhausted that he simply put his head down on the school desk. X is originally from Guinea. His mother died while giving birth to his younger sister when he was seven years old. After his mother’s death he lived with his father. He says that they got on well and had a proper bachelors’ house. Yet three years ago everything changed. His father was arrested because the government believed he was part of the opposition. When “the men” came, X was alone at home with his dad. They hit his father and took him with them. X stayed behind, alone. He was completely devastated and asked his neighbours for help. They took care of him for a short while and contacted his aunt in Europe. She flew to Guinea, arranged for a fake passport and took him to Germany. Suddenly, however, she left him alone at the airport. He remembers that she said before she left, “Wait a moment,

Today he lives in residential care for teenagers. When the others laugh, he does not feel anything. He is constantly brooding and wondering if his father is still alive and how he could have helped him. X feels betrayed, abandoned and forgotten. He does not see any reason to continue his life at all. Nothing seems to have importance any more. Sometimes he thinks about committing suicide by hanging himself with a rope. Since his German is not yet so good he does not have many people he can talk to. A few days ago he started talking a bit more in our outpatient clinic although he still has great difficulty in describing his thoughts and feelings. With the help of an interpreter he can participate and express himself in counselling sessions and has the feeling that he is being heard and understood. X said that in the meantime he wants to live. Above all because he hopes to see his father again one day..

“I often think I’m going crazy and can’t do anything about it” “I am 16 years old and have been living in Germany for the past eight months. I am originally from Africa, from a small town right next to the sea. I enjoyed swimming and now and again I spent time with my friends on the beach at night although this was actually not allowed. Yet we always had good fun. I loved my parents dearly: my dad was always a lot of fun and we played football together. My mum was the best cook ever. Nowadays, I sometimes try to cook like her but that makes me sad and the food does not taste of anything any more.

later on that many people were shot dead at this demonstration. My parents were killed too. I now live in Germany but I am still afraid. I try to stay awake as long as I can each night since the dreams return when I fall asleep…and then the whole story begins again. Again and again. I often think I am going crazy and cannot do anything about it.”

One day, everything changed. My parents and I went to a demonstration. I don’t even know what it was about. I think the people protested against the fact that the government forbade you to express your own opinion. At least, that is what my parents explained to me back then. They were often very dissatisfied with the situation. All of a sudden I heard gunfire and then there was only blood and screams. Everybody ran for their lives and I couldn’t see my mother any more. I ran too and my dad was next to me. Then he was gone. I don’t remember anything else. Suddenly I found myself in a military vehicle with many other men and women. There was another boy of my age. My hands and feet were chained and I had no clue what was going on. The following two weeks in prison were the worst time of my entire life. I cannot talk about what happened and I pray each day that I will forget it someday. I heard in the news


I’ll be right back.” However, she did not return and at night the airport security approached the boy and handed him over to the police.

December 2012 Children for Tomorrow TODAY

I am 16 years old and come from Burkina Faso. I came to Germany six months ago and started speaking German five months ago. I love exercising and playing football. I live ……and go to German classes. I speak little German but my French is better. I live together with four people from Afghanistan but I have my own room. There are two supervisors in my house. I love Germany; however my German is not good enough. Every Tuesday I have a group meeting with my supervisor and flatmates. I came alone to Germany and have been learning French since I was six years old…

When Tamim arrived in Germany, he hoped that things would finally improve Tamim was born in Afghanistan. During the war he watched as his father was shot dead. After this his mother was petrified that something could happen to him as well and arranged for him to escape from Afghanistan with human traffickers. Tamim was to have a better future. The escape took several months and was sometimes extremely dangerous. In Turkey he hid with other refugees in a house and all they had to eat were water melons. One night he escaped with the help of traffickers in a rubber dinghy to Greece. He stayed with other boys in a sheltered flat for young people. Tamim often thought about his family back home and Afghanistan. When the other boys asked him about what had happened to his family, Tamim got extremely angry and upset. Tamim now lives in Germany. When his social worker asks him how he made it to Germany, Tamim doesn’t know the answer. He has forgotten.

Tamim is afraid of going to school since he doesn’t understand the teacher or the other pupils. He finds it sometimes hard to concentrate as there are so many things on his mind. In addition to that Tamim behaves strangely. The other students were surprised when somebody slammed the door shut and Tamim paniced and ran away. Tamim missed class the next day. Sometimes Tamim is depressed when he arrives at school and he often reacts in an irritable and angry manner when he is spoken to. At night he cannot fall asleep because he cannot stop thinking about the war and his murdered father. He sometimes suffers from nightmares and is then exhausted the next day at school. His biggest wish is to become a famous football player one day since he loves football.

Stories from our kids

outpatient clinic hamburg

I am from Benim and 16 years old. I came to Germany five months ago. The first months were difficult because I didn’t speak German but I am improving. The people in this country are quite closed up in the beginning but when you get to know them better they are truly lovely. When I am not at school, I am at the theatre, or I go for a walk or I will paint something. I live in a sheltered accommodation for teenagers together with two Afghani and four Germans. I would like to talk about my country but I have bad memories about it.

December 2012 Children for Tomorrow TODAY


Photogallery 8

Grand CfT Summer Party 2012 More than 100 children, adolescents and adults joined us for our big summer party early September. We were happy to see that along with our foundation’s employees and supporters, many patients from our outpatient clinic and children from our psychosocial programmes, such as the Deutschclub, the Hamburg Führer, our school programme and the swim team came to get to know each other, have a fun time, eat, laugh, play and chat. There was a raffle with every other ticket winning (among to other things there was a Pinata the children had to bash), a film about the foundation’s projects, an exhibition, a CfT quiz and many games outside in the garden.

December 2012 Children for Tomorrow TODAY

Children for Tomorrow would like to thank the supporters of our summer party: ‘Bahde Brot’ with their ten different sorts of bread, ‘Mazza’ for the Syrian delicacies and ‘fritz-kola’ for the drinks. Thank you for supporting us!

December 2012 Children for Tomorrow TODAY


Grand CfT Summer Party 2012



starlight express „I almost cried…“ …confessed Natalia when she heard the story of the main character Rusty from Starlight Express The actors of the skate musical “Starlight Express” collect donations for “Children for Tomorrow” after each show throughout the year. The musical has been supporting renowned charity projects for more than a decade and contributes a cheque of more than 100,000 Euro each year. In October the musical invited children and adolescents from our school programme “CfT macht Klasse” for three days to Bochum. 21 children between 10 and 17 years from Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Syria, Albania, Somalia and Macedonia had the chance to enjoy a backstage visit to the successful musical. We would like to thank the team of Starlight Express on behalf of the adolescents for this unique experience. In particular we would like to thank Kirsten Zenker and her team, Marita Zengeler, the actors, Bernie and his amazing team from the Skate Department and the lovely canteen team!

23.10.2012 8 am: Meeting at the main station

23.10.2012 1 pm: Lunch at the Starlight canteen We went directly to the musical, with our luggage! An exciting schedule was ahead for all of us: First we had a lovely meal at the in-house canteen and the teenagers were happy about their companions at the table – among them many actors in their costumes.

All children were already at the station by the time the supervisors arrived, nobody wanted to be late.

23.10.2012 08:46 am: Departure from Hamburg 11:47 am: Arrival in Bochum For many adolescents this trip marked the first class trip since they are not allowed to leave the city without permission due to their visa status. The three hours on the train passed quickly whilst they listened to music and happily chatted.

23.10.2012 2 pm: Constructing Inline Skates 5 pm: Dinner at the Starlight canteen 6 pm: Arrival at the youth hostel After lunch the teenagers constructed inline skates together with the Skate Department team. The adolescents proved great talent at putting wheel bearings, axles and ball bearings together. The Starlight Express team was amazed by their talent and advised some of our children to consider a traineeship in craftsmanship since they were so talented.

Foto: Jens Hauer, Starlight Express

After a delicious dinner the happy group went to the youth hostel.


December 2012 Children for Tomorrow TODAY

Foto: Jens Hauer, Starlight Express

24.10.2012 10-12 am: Strolling through Bochum’s city centre

about the actual show was granted during the warm up training afterwards.

We used the chance to get to know Bochum a bit better with a little shopping tour through the city centre. 24.10.2012 6.30 pm: Showtime: Starlight Express 24.10.2012 1 pm: Lunch at Starlight 2 pm: Stuntshow of the actors 2.30 pm: Meet & Greet 3 pm: Backstage Tour

Foto: Jens Haue

r, Starlight Expr ess

Everybody was fascinated by the show and tried to recognize their new friends on stage. We had our own V.I.P. area during the break and enjoyed cold drinks and pretzels. When the actors asked for donations for “Children for Tomorrow” our children applauded the most!

The teenagers were amazed by the actor’s performances during an exclusive stunt show. They were fascinated by somersaults, dances and wild chases with more than 60 kmph! The highlight was a jump which went over the heads of the children.


starlight express

25.10.2012 12.10 pm: Departure to Hamburg

Afterwards the children met the actors during a Meet & Greet meeting, were able to ask questions and collect autographs. A backstage tour gave them an accurate impression about stage life behind the curtains and they were allowed to try the colourful helmets of the actors.

Two exciting days were behind us! Some children played games and cards on the train while others used the train ride to catch up with sleep.

24.10.2012 4 pm: Skate Training 5 pm: Warm up The Skate training exemplified the actor’s knowledge for the children. Although many of them had never tried inline skating before they were eager to copy their idol’s moves. A first promising impression

Foto: Jens Hauer, Starlight Exp


December 2012 Children for Tomorrow TODAY


At a glance

Hamburg Kosovo





„Children for Tomorrow“ Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf Martinistr. 52 / Kinderweg 1, Gebäude O44 20246 Hamburg

Have you thought of becoming a supporter of Children for Tomorrow? Your donation makes it possible for children to have a fair chance at proper development

Tel: +49 (0)40-47 19 308-10 Fax: +49 (0)40-47 19 308-25 Mail: Internet:

Account holder: Children for Tomorrow Account number: 070 7000, BLZ: 200 700 00 IBan: DE49 2007 0000 0070 7000 00 Swift Code: DEUTDEHHXXX Deutsche Bank, Hamburg For donation receipts please include your full name and address (in capital letters) on the bank transfer form. For donations of more than 200 Euros a donation receipt will be sent automatically if your address is included. Of course you also have the opportunity to donate online. Please use our donation account at the “Bank für Sozialwirtschaft.” Refer to our website for more information:


We would like to express our deepest thanks to all our supporters and sponsors as well as to our charity staff for their lasting commitment.

Produced and published by: Children for Tomorrow, Stiftung des bürgerlichen Rechts, Martinistraße 52, Kinderweg 1, Haus O44, 20246 Hamburg, Telefon +49 (0)40 47 19 308 10, Fax + (0)40 47 19 308 25, [] Editorial management: Stephanie Hermes Staff: Sarah Barth, Natalie Dhootun, Fionna Klasen, Carolin Mogk, Rabia Tayyeb, Stefanie Woynar, Gökhan Yilmaz Credits:: Johannes Arlt (p. 1, 3), UKE (p. 2, 3), Natalie Dhootun (p. 2, 4,6,7 ), Starlight Express (p. 3, 10, 11), Stefanie Woynar (p. 5), Sarah Barth (p. 8,9), Gökhan Yilmaz (p. 10, 11), Starlight Express, Jens Hauer (p. 12) Design: Design Labor, Britta Stahl, Mannheim [] Print: Karl Bergmann & Sohn KG [] Circulation: 1.000 exemplars, subject to alterations


December 2012 Children for Tomorrow TODAY

TODAY - english edition 12.2012  
TODAY - english edition 12.2012  

The foundation established by Stefanie Graf initiates and heads individual projects which benefit a healthy development of children and adol...