Children and young people are, without exception, among the first to suffer from social injustice when it rears its ugly head. With LIGHT (live in greater hope for tomorrow), we want to help improve young people’s living conditions and give them a more promising future.
We know that one-off campaigns try to help, but they rarely have a lasting positive impact. Consequently, in 2005, we decided to put all of our funds earmarked for social action and non-profit activities into our own foundation, so enabling us to help young people in a more focused, effective and sustainable manner.
In particular, we support projects that benefit children and young people in Germany and Eastern Europe. One such project is the Maria youth centre. In September 2007, the Caritas Foundation opened its Maria children and youth centre in Volgograd, Russia. Since then, LIGHT has offered the centre continuous financial support. Above all, so-called ‘social orphans’ from very poor and/or violent families can find help and a warm meal here after school. In addition, trained teachers help the children with their homework and organise various leisure activities. This helps to develop the children’s talents, strengthen their communication skills and show them that they have prospects. Plenty of group activities, good friendships, positive reinforcement and forward-looking people combine to give these young people hope, and point to a way out of the misery in their everyday lives.
Special emphasis is placed here on parental education, working from a strong foundation of inclusion and support. Many of the children live in one-room flats in larger communal housing complexes. These complexes can contain up to twelve individual housing units along a single corridor, on which occupants share a kitchen and bathroom. At the Caritas centre, the children get the opportunity to experience a different, more open and friendly environment, where attention and assistance go hand in hand with lessons in good behaviour.
A further LIGHT Foundation beneficiary is Cura hominum e. V., based in Bernau, near Berlin. This association regularly transports aid – collected in the form of in-kind donations – to hospitals, children’s homes, schools, churches, nurseries and those in need in Ukraine.
Since 2005, we have supported Cura hominum e. V. by, among other things, supplying drivers to transport donations to Ukraine. In addition, we have opened a collection point for donated items at our head office in Hürth. This collection point primarily receives donations from the TALKE Group’s employees, which are then transported directly to Bernau.
Children and young people in Germany also need our support. Since 2011, we have been a regular sponsor of the Mittagstisch project at the JuZE youth centre in Hürth, launched by the Hürth Child Protection Association. From Monday to Thursday at the centre, 22 pupils from Dr Kürten Secondary School in Hürth receive a warm meal after a long day at school, as well as help with their homework. Meals at the centre are cooked on-site with fresh ingredients and all food is paid for using donated funds.