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TOMORROW STARTS TODAY Commemorative book on the occasion of the opening of the new foundation’s headquarters of Children for Tomorrow

Where Tomorrow‘s Children are Today 2




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ABOUT CHILDREN FOR TOMORROW Our Foundation We introduce

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LOST TODAY, HOME TOMORROW Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Psychotherapy

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Stiftung „Children for Tomorrow” Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf Martinistraße 52, Gebäude O 44 20246 Hamburg


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Phone: Fax: E-Mail: Internet:


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Please feel free to get in touch with us; we are looking forward to hearing from you!

+49 (0)40 7410-59269 +49 (0)40 7410-57275

You can find us here:


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BUILDING A BETTER TOMORROW Photo gallery Alho – Systembau GmbH LOTOS – die Manufaktur

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TOUCHING TOMORROW – TODAY Cape Town Uganda Kosovo Eritrea

P. 16 P. 17 P. 18 P. 19

Imprint Produced and published by: Children for Tomorrow, Stiftung des bürgerlichen Rechts, Martinistraße 52, Haus O 44, 20246 Hamburg, Phone: +49(0)40 7410-59269, [] Overall responibility: Prof. Joerg Fischer, Cologne Editorial management: Stephanie Hermes Staff: Hubertus Adam, Alho, Umesh Bawa, Birgit Kahle, Fionna Klasen, Lotos, Birgit Möller, Gresa Pozhegu Credits: KFE/UKE (page 1, 2), Stephanie Hermes (page 1, 3, 10, 11,12, 13), UKE (page 2, 5), Prof. Joerg Fischer (page 3, 4, 14, 19), Koppelmeyer/UKE (page 3), Michael Schulte-Markwort (page 4), Natalie Williams (page 4), dtv (page 6) Alho (page 12, 13), Lotos, (page 14, 15), Umesh Bawa (S. 16), Fionna Klasen (S. 17), Gresa Pozhegu (S. 18) Layout: Design Labor, Britta Stahl, Mannheim [] Print: Karl Bergmann & Sohn KG [] Circulation: 1.000 pieces, subject to alterations

Commemorative book opening new foundation´s headquarter

donations 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 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: www. 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.

Dear friends of Children for Tomorrow! I am delighted to celebrate the opening of our new foundation’s headquarters with you. After months and months of planning we have now finally reached our aim - the foundation has moved in. Administration and therapy as well as our research department are now located under one roof. Before, they had been situated in various buildings. We are now proud to offer 750 square metres – enough room to communicate face to face, bundle ideas and develop new projects. Every year about 500 refugee children and their families are to be treated and cared for within the framework of the Health Care Centre at our clinic. We were more than lucky to win over the medical director of the child and youth psychiatry,- psychosomatic and –psychotherapy, Professor Dr. Michael Schulte-Markwort to head our executive committee. Mr Schulte-Markwort is responsible for the foundation’s direction and by cooperating with him we can also guarantee the quality of the clinical treatments. Soon the range of available therapy options will be broadened to include dance and music sessions.

Stefanie Graf and Prof. Dr. Peter Riedesser at the groundbreaking ceremony

In the near future it will be even easier to draw attention to our foundation Children for Tomorrow in Hamburg and beyond. Apart from caring for the patients in our ambulance, we are also going to head projects in Cape Town, Uganda, Eritrea and Kosovo in our headquarters in Hamburg. In addition, we are glad to be able to welcome domestic and international guests at our enlarged scientific institute in the near future. With their speeches and seminars, doctors and therapists form all over the world will be able to share and enhance their knowledge.

Prof. Dr. med. Michael Schulte-Markwort, Prof. Joerg Fischer, Stefanie Graf und Prof. Dr. med. Jörg F. Debatin on the construction site

I would love to thank everybody who has participated to this highlight and to this festive opening day. Without your contribution and support we would not have been able to reach this milestone of Children for Tomorrow by now. Yet we are not only celebrating the opening of our new foundation’s headquarters but also every single prospect for the future of Children for Tomorrow. I am more than happy to raise my glass to this powerful new start - since Tomorrow starts Today!

Stefanie Graf CEO

The entrance hall Commemorative book opening new foundation´s headquarter

Where Tomorrow‘s Children are Today



About Children for Tomorrow 4

our foundation: introduction Children for Tomorrow is a non-profit foundation with the aim of supporting and initiating projects that provide assistance to children and families who are victims of war, persecution, and violence. The foundation has been established as a result of many years of contact be-

tween Stefanie Graf, medical doctors of the Outpatient Clinic for Refugee Children and their Families at the University Clinics of HamburgEppendorf as well as meetings with representatives from the World Health Organization (WHO) and Unicef.

Executive Committee

Assistant to the Executive Committee Stephanie Hermes Board of Trustees Joachim Schiebold, Chairperson Dr. med. Joachim Walter, Deputy Chairman Dr. Manuela Mohn-Dühlmeyer Advisory Committee Former Federal President Dr. Richard v. Weizsäcker Former President of the University Hamburg a. D., Dr. Dr. h.c. Jürgen Lüthje Dr. Custodia Mandlhate, WHO-representative for mental health, southern Africa Sabine Christiansen Krista Sager, Member of the German Federal Parliament Dr. Rolf Hunck, Deutsche Bank AG

Stefanie Graf CEO

Prof. Joerg Fischer Deputy Chairman

Prof. Dr. med. Jörg F. Debatin

We would like to introduce Prof. Dr. med. Michael Schulte-Markwort Professor Schulte-Markwort has been appointed to head the Executive Committee of Children for Tomorrow on the occasion of the new headquarters of the foundation. He is going to head and supervise all the foundation’s projects. “I am delighted to work with the CfT-team here and abroad and I am looking forward to my new tasks,” he says. Prof. Schulte-Markwort was born in Osnabrück in 1965 and finished his secondary education (A-level) in Hannover. After his medical and philosophical studies in Marburg and Kiel, he went on and got a certificate of postgraduate study for clinical children and adolescent psychiatry in Lübeck. As senior physician he headed the Policlinic, a psychiatric clinic for children and adolescents at the

medical university, Lübeck, from 1992 till 1996. He finished postdoctorate studies in 1997 and started working as a professor for child and adolescent psychiatry at the University of Hamburg in the same year. He remained there as deputy director at the clinic for child and adolescent psychiatry at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf until 2004. On 1.03.2004 he was offered a professorship for child and adolescent psychiatry at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE). He headed the clinic and polyclinic for child and adolescent psychiatry and the Altona Children’s Hospital. On 15.10.2010 both departments for child and adolescent psychiatry and -psychosomatic have been pooled. Since then, Prof SchulteMarkwort is the medical director of the child and youth psychiatry,psychosomatic and -psychotherapy as well as senior medical expert of children’s psychosomatic department at the Altona Children’s Hospital (AKK). Prof Schulte-Markwort is married with two children.

Soul star Natalie Williams sings for Children for Tomorrow It is said that she easily moves between soul and jazz and then starts all over again. All guests at the opening gala of the new Children for Tomorrow headquarters experienced this themselves on 12. April 2011 in Hamburg. While growing up in Berlin, Natalie Williams quickly found her father’s jazz collection. She soon realised that her love of jazz was more than just a random hobby and started studying and experimenting with music. In the end, this turned out to be the basis for her career as a singer. She learnt her business during several visits Boston and London before Commemorative book opening new foundation´s headquarter

she finally broke through with her first European tour with the European Youth Jazz Orchestra in 2003. The resulting record was titled “Lucky Old Sun.” Since then three other records have been marketed, all highly praised and loved by the critics. Her nomination for the UK MOBO-Award (Music Of Black Origin) in October 2010 was no big surprise for her fans. The singer greatly enjoyed donating her performance to the Children for Tomorrow opening gala. Her motto: “This is a statement of soulful intent,“ fits perfectly. Please find out more at

Development of psychotherapy treatments of refugee children at Children of Tomorrow It is now more than twelve years that children and their families are treated at the foundation Children for Tomorrow. Without the foundation they would probably not get any attention at all. This is how Stefanie Graf put it at the opening in 1998. From the very beginning, the core idea of the foundation has been to help children and families with mental or behavioural problems stemming from war, violence, or by being in exile, regardless of their residential or insurance statuses. Children and teenagers are most vital to the future of any society. In Iraq, Afghanistan or Uganda more than 50% of the population is not even 18 years old, but aged 15 and younger. In 1998, right after the foundation has started, we treated mainly Kurdish and refugee children from former Yugoslavia. Later there were many former child soldiers and finally children from Kosovo and Afghanistan. As a result we developed new approaches to psychotherapies, although the underlying psychiatric problems were not new to us but the different cultural backgrounds including different points of view, the handling of having lost relatives, being lonely or having problems with their social legislation in exile. Another crucial point were psychotherapies that involved interpreters as well as including traditional health and helper systems within extended families. One year later we started our first foreign project in Cape Town, South Africa. Soon after that the dramatic situation of the children in Kosovo caught our attention: Stefanie Graf bravely went to see the city Gjakova only six months after the end of the war in autumn

Stefanie Graf for a visit at the health care center

Our network in Maputo, Mozambique, was the basis for the programme “Training for trainers” that lasted from 2000 until 2008. We supported the training of psychotherapists in this civil-war ravaged country. In 2006 we started constructing kindergartens in Eritrea and in 2009 a project in Uganda that offers former child soldiers psychiatric and psychotherapeutic help. Our standard practice was to treat patients with intensive therapy for 9 months in our mobile offices, designed for refugee camps. Available therapies included not only standard individual sessions but also family oriented experiences. We also provided supervision for our youth welfare staff, conferences for education, as well as training and assistants for interpreters. It was only due to the uncounted hours of work that we are now able to offer this long awaited house with all its perfect conditions for children and adolescents who have survived the horrors of war, violence and exile.

Lost Today, Home Tomorrow

health care center hamburg

1999. In 2000 we were able to open CFT Kosovo. There as well as in Cape Town’s slums we focus on sustainability. Children for Tomorrow remains the only foundation that offers free personal and family oriented treatments in Cape Town and Kosovo. Commemorative book opening new foundation´s headquarter


Preparing Today‘s Children 6

a chat... ... with our supporter Anneliese Ude-Pestel Anneliese Ude-Pestel (* 21. Mai 1921 in Hannover) works as an analytical psychoptherapist for children and adolescents and as an author in Germany. Los Angeles. She was married to Professor Eduard Pestel, a co-founder of the Club of Rome. Since she accompanied her husband on various travels abroad she was able to hold speeches and courses about her work. Her book “Ahmet” focuses on the problems of a Turkish child who immigrates as a 7 year old with his family to Germany but experiences nothing but blame, rejection and hostility for being the child of a guest worker.

Birgit Möller interviews Anneliese-Ute Pestel about her book: Möller (M): Your book titled „Ahmed“ has been published in 1981. What made you turn to that topic? Fr. Pestel (P): The government office for youth welfare called me and asked if I could treat the boy. He disturbed his class regularly and was a bed-wetter. When he came to me with his mother I clearly saw that this boy needed help. M: You describe Ahmed’s inner turmoil between his Turkish origin and German culture. How do children and adolescents who have to leave their homes cope with it? P: The basis is their early childhood in their home country. The decisive question therefore is: What was their early childhood like? I understood that his grandmother had beaten him up. This led to a fragile foundation when he came to Germany. Many people talk about integration but when a young person carries a bad foundation it is hard to build a solid house on it, isn’t it? M: Well, then what happens with a child that suffers from a frail constitution and than additionally has to leave their home country? P: If a child has to leave and then gets verbally attacked by other foreign kids, the frail constitution cannot cope with it at all. The danger of a breakdown is imminent. The other scenario is that it gets incredibly aggressive. This happened with Ahmed. When we went for a walk in the park he shot at everything that moved. The question that arises in psychotherapy is the following: How can I teach him to find another way to express these aggressions? Everything that has a dent needs to be taken care of. This can be called a Commemorative book opening new foundation´s headquarter

proper process of denting and removing the dent. He once asked me “When will I finally know if I am allowed to hit somebody or not?” M: What did Ahmed experience in Germany that made him so shaken and angry? P: The other kids didn’t accept Ahmed for what he was. For them, he was a stranger. I once visited him in his class and the teacher said: “Ahmed, come up front please and show us how they pray in Turkey.” He showed it, which was naturally quite strange for the other children. For them he was like a caricature and they laughed at him. Then I told them: “Just image you travel to another country and all of a sudden you realise that you won’t be able to go back home. What would you need most?” Immediately they answered: “Help.” I understood that I needed to activate the feeling of helping him. You know if outer influences don’t do much good you need autonomy to decide what you want to do and you need to listen to your inner voice. This is what I call proper autonomy. In this context the phrase “education” is totally misplaced. In order to develop autonomy we need to accompany children and to enable them to develop what it was given to them by nature, we need to trust that the inner autonomy will appear in a good way. I like the word kindergarten teacher, which contains the word „garden“. A horticulturist has learnt to wait until the plant is ready to grow. They pay attention, water them and allow the sun to reach the plant. They may loosen the soil but then they need to trust. The plant will grow. We simply trust too little. M: How do you see the development of children who grew up in two different cultures? P: If the core is healthy the different cultures don’t matter that much. All people in the world can somehow agree on other cultures. Only if the core is contaminated with war and hatred this does not work out. Anger mostly builds on angst and a fragile basis. M: How did Ahmed turn out eventually? Has he learnt to handle his anger? P: Yes, he married a German woman and became a locksmith. I have visited him frequently. They live in a small modern flat and have a little son. One could say that we were able to make his foundation solid enough that he could later construct a stable house on it.

Commemorative book opening new foundation´s headquarter

Together Today for our Children Tomorrow

thanks to our supporters


Children Changing Tomorrow

children´s thoughts If I could change things in my life or in my country, I would: Uganda






What makes me sad the most is: Kosovo







Commemorative book opening new foundation´s headquarter

My biggest dream is:






When I´m older, I would like to:


Kapstadt Kosovo


Commemorative book opening new foundation´s headquarter

Children Changing Tomorrow

children´s thoughts


Building a better Tomorrow

photo gallery The groundbreaking ceremonie: 13. October 2010

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Commemorative book opening new foundation´s headquarter

Completation: 15. March 2011

Building a better Tomorrow

photo gallery

Building a better Tomorrow 6

Alho systembau gmbh Our joint dedication to protect war traumatized children led to an intensive and fair cooperation between the Foundation, the architects and ALHO. We included every single wish or idea the Foundation, psycho- and art therapists or psychologists had. Our aim was to create perfect conditions for the children to be taken in and cared for. Thirteen years after their start, the foundation moves into their new building on the premises of the University clinic Eppendorf (UKE) that is laid out for the children’s needs. The complex covers a refugee ambulance, offices as well as areas for therapies, research and further education. We realised four spacious and modular rooms for individual therapies and an area of more than 60 square meters that is reserved for family- and play therapy. Photo: Michael Lauer (Head of Sales and Projects), Jan-Peter Biernoth (Area Sales Manager) und Reinhard Löschau (Construction Manager) of ALHO on the construction site We greatly enjoyed working together with an international organisation, like Children for Tomorrow, with their Founder and CEO Stefanie Graf. Of course, we are proud that our expertise and our outstanding experience in constructing medical and therapeutic institutions convinced Children for Tomorrow when they chose the building company. ALHO has frequently supported aid projects, e.g. housing at natural catastrophes or supporting the EU-embassy with mobile offices after the earthquake had hit Haiti.

Festschrift zur Einweihung des neuen Stiftungssitzes

Aesthetic architecture According to the plans of the architects Leuschner and Gänsicke, Hamburg, we realised the new building in less than twelve weeks. This was possible due to industrially prefabricated modules. We produced these modules at our headquarters of ALHO-Raumfabrik in Morsbach. Meanwhile the fundament and partial cellar was being built. The modules were delivered on time on the 30 November and only one week later the shell construction was realised. The reduced construction time is the biggest advantage of modular buildings compared with traditionally built houses. Next to top quality, of course, deadlines and price security are other important issues. Moreover, all materials used with ALHO-modulhouses are recyclable and low in emissions.

The overall impression of the building for Children for Tomorrow is deliberately reduced and simple. The children are the ones to fill the building with their personalities and bring liveliness to it. The building plan suggests two levels, one for administrational offices and the other for ambulant day care. The façade consists of dark metal panels and fair, natural aluminium windows. The simple façade can be seen as strong and safe protection for a soft core. Generous glass sides cover the east and west sides of the building and allow sunlight in the offices and rooms inside. A spacious gallery with glass and steel balustrades symbolizes a vertical communication joint. The overall impression of the building’s architecture is straight with solid, simple materials and forms that present themselves neutrally yet in high quality to the visitor. All materials for the rooms were deliberately chosen to meet the challenges of therapeutic work with children. Brownish-red high quality carpet in all therapy rooms and grey-brownish PVC floor with a wooden optic in the hallways and entrance area as well as corresponding doors, create a friendly, open and warm impression. A feeling of security that supports every therapeutic work is the effect of the floors and appropriate furniture. The equipment ex works covered windows, front doors and tiled sanitary areas including all facilities.

Experts who focus on quality ALHO has been an expert in production and perfection of high quality modular buildings and temporary rooms for more than 40 years. More than 650 highly qualified employees implement their continuously improving know-how in every single building. We produce our room modules in four factories in Germany, France and Switzerland. Our sustainable construction also results in up to 70% reduced construction time, produce significantly less emissions on the construction site and offers a rate of almost 100% recycling of the buildings. Our service spectrum mirrors the various possibilities of our room modules. Prefabricated and on the premises constructed buildings are turned into clinics, laboratories, retirement homes, schools, kindergartens, hotels and administration buildings. Buildings can be purchased or rented according to our customer’s wishes.

An overwiew of the CfT-building 12 weeks of construction time on the premises 24 room modules 68 tons of steel 1.000 qm2 insulation 400 qm2 sound proof ceilings 100 m sun protection

Commemorative book opening new foundation´s headquarter

Building a better Tomorrow

alho systembau gmbh


Building a better Tomorrow 14

LOtos – die manufaktur Due to their main theme “hard shell, soft core” Robert Nader and Sascha Powonska span the arrow from architecture to the mental state of the refugee children and their families. At the beginning of the therapy many children are very quiet and introverted. They slowly start trusting their doctors and therapists. In order to support the process of healing, Lotus chose colours and materials that relax children. “Visitors find soft and warm colours in the house,” explains Sascha Powonska. The play- and waiting area is accentuated by colourful chairs, the therapist’s offices are deliberately equipped in neutral white. At the same time, Lotus also had to satisfy the representative function of the foundation. “It was quite a challenge for us as architects to find the right balance,” says Powonska.

Robert Nader, CEO at Lotus and Sascha Powonska, architect, discuss their furniture concept with Stefanie Graf. Hard shell, soft core – this is the main theme of the furnishings of the new CfT headquarters at UKE in Hamburg. The concept has been developed by Lotus, an office furniture producer, which has been supporting children on a charity basis for years. Together with the architect Sascha Powonska, Lotus created a furniture concept that is customized to for children and their doctor’s needs. All pieces of furniture were produced by the Oldesloe based company and were donated to the foundation. “This project is of major importance for us,” says Robert Nader, CEO at Lotus. “Children who suffered from war, persecution or violence seek help at the refugee ambulance. Our concept of furniture and the furniture itself help to make it cosy for the children and their families. The layout of the rooms, colours, forms of the furniture, all this is crucial for any therapy. We are proud that we could create this special place together with Steffi Graf and others.”

Commemorative book opening new foundation´s headquarter

Economic success and social responsibility is closely intertwined for Robert and Mehrjar Nader, CEOs at the traditional family business LOTUS. The company was founded more than 100 years ago. Both CEOs are fathers of several children. From early on they shared the idea of offering the same chances to all other children. Both brothers have been supporting several projects for children and adolescents in Hamburg and close by. Now they have a new focus in supporting Children for Tomorrow.

lotos – die manufaktur

About Traumformart-architektur-powonska Sascha Powonska, a freelance architect who is based in ScharbeutzHaffkrug and Bad Oldesloe, focuses intensively on holistic and concept oriented design. For him it is most crucial to find a central theme. He is an expert on all nine phases of the German Fee Scales for Architects and Engineers (HOAI), corporate architecture, revitalisation of offices and interior design. His approach is to appeal to all senses, design in a poetic and metaphoric way, develop naturally, find holistic and future oriented solutions, keep the location, time, function, use, importance, expression and origin in mind and combine it with innovative, functional, sustainable aspects to present simple architecture or projects. His strength is his close vicinity to his clients, partners and co-workers, comprehensive research and detailed analysis of the situation before the project starts and to deliver individual, conceptual, economic and target oriented results. concept for colours and furniture About LOTUS Lotus has been a manufacturer of office furniture for more than 100 years. They are experts in special office furniture and individual design concepts. The Bad Oldesloe based company that is ownermanaged, supplies companies with a unique identity and creates an atmosphere in which people easily work creatively and productively.

Four keywords you should bear in mind: Dream (Traum), room, (Raum), form (Form) and concept (Art) – in German: Traumformart

LOTUS focuses on precise quality combined with timelessly elegant and emotional design of office furniture. In the 1950s their latest hit were typewriter foldaways, nowadays super modern modular furniture systems or furniture for conference rooms including integrated presentation techniques guarantee lasting and sustainable success for LOTUS. The combination of industrialized production and handmade finishing allows individualized furniture with a great love of detail. LOTUS is run by Robert and Mehrjahr Nader. They started working together in 1992. It is not only their common love of furniture, materials and rooms, but also their affection towards people. Their top priority their trust in their employees and vicinity to their customers. This explains the high priority of personal assistance and contact with the customers. The Bad Oldesloe furniture experts never focus on one piece of furniture or room alone but always keep the whole company in mind. The perfect solution is when each area in the company gets its individual design, starting with the entrance area in perfectly matching CI-colours, individually adjustable desks up to an elegantly furnished yet cosy bistro for the employees.

Commemorative book opening new foundation´s headquarter

Building a better Tomorrow

Customers highly appreciate that their demanding commercial property projects are greatly taken care of at LOTUS. The brothers are experts on space efficiency analysis, 3-D visualisation, light and acoustics – LOTUS project planning offers a comprehensive service and also organises for the professional moving to a new premises.


Touching Tomorrow-Today

cape town


By Umesh Bawa Imagine you lived in a country where a mouthful of water from the wrong water tap led to prison. Imagine you lived in a country where a man earned way less than his neighbour for the very same work. Imagine you lived in a country where children of different skin colour were not allowed to swim in the same ocean. Imagine you lived in a country where the government told you that your ancestors used to be primitive and basically no human beings at all. This is how life in South Africa was during the apartheid-regime. In 1994 the situation finally changed after long years of struggle: Under Nelson Mandela a democratic, non-racist South Africa was being established. It seemed that opportunities for a better life had never been closer. I founded the organisation „Children in Crisis“ 3 years after the end of the apartheid in 1997. My aim was to offer free psychotherapies to traumatized children. We started our first project in Langa which is the oldest black township in Cape Town. Two years later we contacted the foundation “Children for Tomorrow” which had the same idea in mind – to offer psychosocial and psychotherapeutic programmes for children and their families. Our cooperation has been successful from the early beginning onwards and since then the foundation has supported the Cape Town project with their sponsorship. It is 17 years now since the apartheid-regime ended, but the majority of families and children still suffer from social neglect, poverty and violence. Nelson Mandela’s quest to establish “a society without fear and violence for our children” has not been put into reality yet.

Commemorative book opening new foundation´s headquarter

The programme “Children for Tomorrow South Africa” remains to be an important institution in the city. Courses for drug and violence prevention in particular are fully booked. Teenagers learn to enhance their own strengths and to handle the consequences of violence and abuse in a better way. We focus on three points: Firstly, clinic programmes in which we offer psychotherapies including trauma therapies and art therapies. Secondly, we offer supporting programmes, for example aggression handling and group therapies. Our third focus is on prevention, which takes place mainly through music and dance groups. Alongside these therapies our sport programmes such as „Kicking for peace“ and „Cycling for Peace“ are very popular. Kids from townships all over the city are invited to participate in our “Kicking for peace” tournaments. Children who attend “Children for Tomorrow” use sports as a means of expressing their feelings and are accompanied by psychotherapists during training sessions. If we believe that a child needs special care because they are aggressive or extremely inverted, we offer therapeutic support. Since we began 13 years ago our project has received a lot of attention in Cape Town. Two weeks ago a little boy who suffers badly from nightmares and concentration problems told me „My heart was broken into many little pieces but you have put them back together again!” I am delighted to learn that Children for Tomorrow have opened their own centre in Hamburg. We will continue growing together and with this keep Nelson Mandela’s words in mind: “There can be no keener revelation of a society‘s soul than the way in which it treats its children. Our success must be measured upon the happiness and welfare of our children who are the most vulnerable people of any society – and their biggest assets.


Arrival ames picks me up from the airport. There are mosquitoes everywhere and even at night it is hot with temperatures of 28°C. I quickly change my winter boots for sandals. Next morning we drive to Gulu, which takes six hours. We use the time in the car to chat about everything. It has been two years since I was here last.

Situation in the Country At first glance, Gulu has not changed much. Houses are colourful and the streets are full of people. Yet I realise that there are new banks and hotels which promise hope for a better future. The countryside, however, has changed a lot. During my last visit two yearsago most people lived in refugee camps and depended on World Food Programmes. Meanwhile most of them have returned to their home villages and work in their fields. In addition, I realise that we haven’t had a power failure in three days. “Yet this is no change,” I learn from the waiter “right before elections take place we have always had electricity.” Visiting the Superindentant As important as greetings are official visits. Today we are guests at the Head of the Clinic, the Medical Superintendent. He has just started his job and we would like to remind him of his predecessor’s promise to offer free rooms to our project. We are invited to take place on a gigantic couch. Later it turns out that James and Ben already know each other and suddenly the atmosphere is more relaxed. We laugh a lot and the Superintendent promises tosupport us.

James Okello, Ben Alipanga and Fionna Klasen

Ambulance Ben awaits us in Gulu. Our practice rooms are located in the local hospital, next to the psychiatric department. “Meanwhile our ambulance is quite popular,” colleagues tell me. A lot has changed since I was last here: it is now nicely decorated and furnished. There are toys in the therapy rooms and curtains which the nurses have sewed. Yet, the consequences of the 20 years of war can be seen everywhere. A lot of children have lost their parents and often had to become soldiers themselves. Children suffer from posttraumatic stress disorder and depression.

Planning and Departure The eventful week is over far too soon. We have discussed a lot and made many plans. We believe it is important to construct the round hut and to continue informing the population about psychic problems of children through local radio programmes. Everybody listens to radio, even in the tiniest village. In addition, we want to take care of children outside of the ambulance. We will start this in a school for war-traumatized children. I need to say goodbye and James takes me to Kampala, the capital. I’ll be back in six months and I am excited what will have changed by then. “No sweat” – but we roll up our sleeves!

Construction of the Round Hut We would love to construct a round hut as a play area and for group activities in addition to the two therapy rooms we already have. We discuss where the hut could be located. We stand in a circle to feign the hut and decide for a spot right next to the entrance area of the psychiatry clinic. Next, we make an appointment with Francis, who is a construction expert. “Timber beams are out of the question because termites will destroy them,” he says. He also doesn’t support our idea of a traditional thatch. It is too dangerous, patients might set it on fire. According to Francis the hut will be more expensive than we had previously thought. James recognises my worries. “No sweat,” is what he says in moments like these.

Touching Tomorrow-Today

By Fionna Klasen

Therapy lesson with mit James and Ben Commemorative book opening new foundation´s headquarter


Touching Tomorrow-Today



By Gresa Pozhegu I love to say that luck knocked on my door when I started with my first conflict resolution training at CfT. Until then I hadn’t concerned myself with various topics but this has totally changed. I had to come to terms with my feelings and was rewarded with friendship, not only with other participants but also with coaches. They have indeed become my friends. During the course they allowed us enough space to talk bravely about everything and at the same time they offered closeness to allow mutual trust. We have become honest friends and they often made us laugh during our exercises. Now I know that laughter can totally change the situation of a group and bring light into darkness. At the beginning we learnt the meaning of trust that you have to win it but you also can easily loose it again. We discussed where conflicts result from and how you can solve them in a constructive way. At these meetings I first learnt about the position of a mediator. I really hope that I can learn a lot from mediators so that I too can be a mediator in everyday life. I truly learnt that friendship and conflicts are based on communication. You always win and loose friends through language. Language is what makes people beautiful or ugly. We also learnt how to use language properly and how not to abuse it. Our coaches taught us to observe gestures and facial expressions in order to understand people better. I learnt all this from my two new friends, my coaches. For us they are just like guardian angels. They turned us into braver human beings. Thanks to the training I found a new strength to deal with life’s challenges.

Commemorative book opening new foundation´s headquarter


Abashawl has a new kindergarten. Thanks to the support of Germany’s TV channel RTL and their charity programme “Spendenmarathon” a new CfT psycho-educative kindergarten was opened at Cape Horn in 2009. After a difficult planning and constructing period now children in Asmara now have the opportunity to find an escape from their mental suffering and are learning to find their way out of their problems.

Our Kindergarten in Asmara

In an extended therapeutic programme they help children to overcome problems and to find their way in life. The Asmara based kindergarten welcomes around 300 children: 150 in the morning and 150 in the afternoon. Classes are taught in their local language Tigrinja and English. Another kindergarten in Ghinda, which is a poor village in the vicinity of Massawa, is being planned for 2011. Out of 40000 people in Abashawl about 7000 children up to 6 years old live in extreme poverty. Many of them are not only traumatized but also socially excluded. According to the motto “we stand side by side” children learn to care for each other and to feel sympathy.

Touching Tomorrow-Today

By Joerg Fischer

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TODAY - english edition 01.2011  

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

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