We're setting up a foundation, the first district community foundation in Berlin and the first foundation project with a multiethnic thrust. This is a brief English summary of what we're all about.
Working for Neukölln
... in the Berlin District of Neukölln
In this cosmopolitan inner-city district of Neukölln, which 310,000 people from 163 nations call home, our main concern is to develop peaceful community life among its residents from the four corners of the world. That's why we extend a very special invitation to everyone with an immigrant background to join in our project. Neukölln might be one of the poorest districts of Berlin, but it has the wealth of its international and multicultural character. We are financially independent and politically non-partisan. To safeguard our engagement financially we are collecting endowment capital. The foundation's capital remains untouched, but the interest it generates will ensure that future generations have the financial means to pursue their plans.
Ready, Steady, Go!
We have been operating since the beginning of 2004. Now we have gained stature and profile. We have successfully carried out a number of projects. They have met with a favourable response far beyond the bounds of the district.
In the spring of 2004 more than 200 young people participated in our poster competition. The primary school theatre prize "Neukölln Globe 2004" attracted entries from no fewer than 19 local schools. And on 4 November 2004 we awarded the Neukölln Civic Prize 2004, demonstrating our networking capability, for we brought together 39 civic action groups and associations. Through their civic engagement they help safeguard social cohesion in our inner-city district. At a festive ceremony in the packed Workshop of the Cultures auditorium we presented three prizes to exemplary projects in the presence of the mayor of Berlin, Karin Schubert and the district mayor of Neukölln, Heinz Buschkowsky. The prize money of ? 2000 had been earned by our Sunday flea-market sales. With this event we were able to demonstrate what a vibrant will for life there is in our district and with what self-evidence the people who live here are ready to help one another - people from all nations in day-to-day solidarity.
A Vision of Solidary Community
A major factor in our success has been our capacity to attract people to join with us. Over 50 active participants from 11 countries are now engaged in work for the Foundation. The vision that unites us is that of solidary and creative community. Everyone who wishes to live peaceably on Neukölln soil should be able to find a home here.
Our Community Foundation is still in its infancy. But we have met with a tremendous response. For example, the "Association Turkish Minority" and the "Arab Cultural Institute" have contributed to the endowment capital and become members of the council. And an African association is planning to collect capital by staging a big festivity for the Neukölln Community Foundation in the spring of 2005.
A Model for the Inner Cities?
We have won two national awards for our work in this short period. In early 2004 we were awarded the Active Citizenship innovation prize by the German bank group Volks- und Raiffeisenbanken. And in November 2004 we were selected from among 420 nominees for one of the nine equal main prizes awarded by the Alliance for Democracy against Violence. These prizes have honoured not only the beginnings of the Neukölln Community Foundation but the Neukölln itself. For our work was commended because Neukölln with its difficulties and its opportunities is a focus of national attention. There are signs that the Neukölln Community Foundation multi-ethnic approach can develop into a model for other communities.
Ongoing Projects, Future Plans
We have far-ranging plans for future projects. We will continue to support primary school theatre work, which it is particularly valuable from an educational point of view in the Neukölln context. We will intensify our links with others committed to civic engagement. A project to promote local identity by drawing attention to historic and significant sites in Neukölln is well under way. We place great emphasis on multi-ethnic and intercultural encounters. Since December 2004, we have been staging a series of dialogues in which we present civic engagement by immigrants, a source of social capital that has largely gone unnoticed by the Neukölln public. We are now being approached with proposals for projects. For example, we have been requested to collaborate in setting up a low-threshold health centre for northern Neukölln. Our experience has shown that there is a great deal we can achieve.
The website picture gallery (Bildergalerie) gives some impression of the event.
Beat the Drum for the Community Foundation!
People can be more readily convinced if approached by people they know and trust. If you draw your families' and colleagues' attention to the Foundation you will be making a vital contribution to the work we do. Perhaps you know former Neukölln residents who live somewhere in the wide world but who would like to do something for their old home district.
Help Finance our Project!
Contribute to our endowment capital. With a gift of EUR 500 or more you can become a founder. An endowment contribution can be paid in by several people together or by clubs and associations, immigrant groups, parishes, mosque communities, etc. Firms wishing to enhance their standing in the sense of good corporate citizenship through local civic engagement can enter a partnership with Neukölln Community Foundation. All donations and endowment contributions are tax deductible.
Account number:7370 86 1000
Berliner Volksbank, BLZ: 100 900 00
Donation. A non-capital donation of any amount is another way to support the development of the Foundation and its projects. This money can be used directly for our work. Every euro counts! You will of course receive a donation certificate for the finance office.
This Neukölln Foundation will survive us all. It is designed for perpetuity. The capital will grow, for as the years pass others will contribute, too. Later generations will one day be grateful that we did the groundwork in such difficult times.
Get in touch with us, in English, as well, if you wish.
Emser Straße 117
Tel: 030 / 627 380 13
Fax: 030 / 629 834 71
Thanks for your interest. Best regards.
Dr Kurt Anschütz
Tel.: 030 / 62 73 80 14,
Fax: 030 / 62 98 34 71