Mission and Values
The Kreuzberger Kinderstiftung („Kreuzberg Children’s Foundation“) is committed to educational justice and youth engagement. It funds projects, grants scholarships and manages its own programs – in Berlin-Kreuzberg, Germany and beyond.
Please note: Our working language is German. Therefore, this is our only page in English. Linked pages are in German. However, please do not hesitate to contact us in English: email@example.com
For educational justice and youth engagement
We believe in the abilities of young people, support their ideas and provide education opportunities. We focus on those who only receive little support from the education system, from their parents or from their social environment.
With funding, grants and our own projects
The Kreuzberger Kinderstiftung creates opportunities and safe spaces where young people can grow and develop. They engage in political processes, discover their potential, learn how to deal with diversity and its challenges, and thereby become more self-confident and responsible.
In Berlin-Kreuzberg, Germany and Europe
Our foundation is based in the district of Berlin-Kreuzberg. Here, we support many local projects for children and youth. But our commitment does not end at the district boundaries: With Kreuzberg values such as tolerance and flexibility, the desire for innovation and the belief that diversity is positive, we are active in Germany and Europe.
With our funding programs we support projects of other non-profit organizations. We are especially happy to promote activities that are planned and organized by children and young people themselves. In addition to our Germany-wide program „Civic Engagement of Children and Youth“ we support youth projects in Greece (links are in German), who are affected by the crises.
By awarding scholarships we allow teenagers and young adults access to education and intercultural experiences. Since 2009, we have given German students who attend secondary education schools (Mittel- und Realschulen; schools which are often considered as lower education) the chance to spend a school year abroad (link is in German). Nearly 400 young people have been granted stipends. Since 2016, our scholarships and stipends have also enabled students to attend vocational colleges abroad (link is in German).
The experience of being abroad is invaluable for the personal development of young people, but many German students that do not attend the Gymnasium (considered as higher education, often leading to studying at university) very rarely have access to these experiences. 95 % of young people who go on a school year abroad are gymnasium/high school students. We believe that intercultural experiences should not be a privilege exclusively kept for those with access to higher levels of education. In addition to focusing on non-Gymnasium students, we support intra-European student exchange. We aim to bring together the youth of Europe, thereby strengthening the unification of our continent in these challenging times. Due to the same motivation, we also grant stipends for a three-week study trip (link is in German) for young people to Greece.
Our IKAROS Scholarship (link is in German) gives young people a second chance to obtain an educational degree. There are many factors that lead to dropping out of school – and at least as many good reasons to return to school for a degree or professional qualification. This scholarship enables highly motivated young people access to the necessary financial support in order to independently continue their studies.
Since 2016 we also support young lawyers who aim to fight for human rights by giving them access to practical experience in the internationally recognized European Centre for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR), located in Berlin-Kreuzberg. Being a lawyer can be very lucrative – but this is rarely the case in the field of human rights work. In particular, internships renumerations often do not allow the coverage of living expenses and costs for travel. Work experiences in the human rights field are therefore often difficult to afford. Our ECCHR scholarship (link is in German) allows capable young people from different countries, who would otherwise not have access to practical experience due to their financial situation, the chance to study. At the same time, our scholarships strengthens human rights work in general by increasing the workforce in this field.
Local programs for children
At the Foundation headquarters in Berlin-Kreuzberg we conduct our own programs for children and youth. These include a Children’s Choir, a canoe group („The Spree-Bears“) as well as an Urban Gardening Course („The Garden Pirates“) (links are in German). The garden is used more than 150 times a year by groups of young people of different age groups. Children can play in the garden, climb on our treehouse, harvest fruits and vegetables, or jump on our trampoline. In addition, youth groups use our garden and our house for seminars and parties.
Our organization consists of two parts: The Kreuzberger Kinderstiftung (Stiftung bürgerlichen Rechts; non-profit foundation under civil law) was established in 2004 by lawyer and entrepreneur Peter R. Ackermann. It implements our local programs. In 2014 the Kreuzberger Kinderstiftung gemeinnützige Aktiengesellschaft (non-profit public company/non-profit stock company) was founded. It is in charge of all other programs. With this legal form, we explore new avenues for participation in the non-profit sector. In the future, more and more shareholders will shape our organization. Of course, they do not have a financial benefit from being a shareholder of a non-profit. Instead, they fight for educational justice and youth engagement. Our goal is to involve more people in our work and to delegate responsibilities to those that are best prepared for them.
For many years, we have considered the participation of young people in our organization to be of vital importance: Each year, our Youth Advisory Board (link is in German) decides on grants totaling more than 100,000 euros.
Our organization is funded solely through private donations. Without donations our work would not be possible. This year we expect to spend over a million euros on our activities for young people.
Our volunteers, board members and employees have been working for years, in some cases decades, for educational justice and youth engagement. This commonality drives us, just as the diversity of our personal and professional backgrounds enriches our work.