The non-profit association Kinder im Zentrum Gallus e.V. runs a multi-generation house in Frankfurt am Main. Over 75 full-time employees work in the house and are supported by 100 volunteers and interns.
The NGO is a migrant self-organisation that focusses on the field of education in Frankfurt’s Gallus district. The multi-generation house provides a huge variety of offers for people of all ages in the neighbourhood. It is seen as a meeting point and a space for activities and learning, which comprises, for instance, prenatal classes, kindergartens (the first Arabic-German bilingual kindergarten), education programmes for gifted youth, special programmes for elderly people, social assistance for families, job orientation courses, German language courses (e.g. German courses for mothers), music classes, cultural events, a tailor’s shop, a cosmetic studio, a café and many other things. The target group are the residents of Frankfurt’s Gallus district, many of whom have a history of migration in their families, who have lived there for generations. People from neighbouring districts also take advantage of these offers. Originally, the core target group was youth but since the house was turned into a multi-generation house in 2007, the target group comprises locals of all ages. In the past few years, they have also offered support for refugees from nearby shelters in various languages.
The house has a very good reputation in the neighbourhood. Municipal institutions like the ‘Volkshochschule’ (an adult education centre), public music school and the opera house support and cooperate with them as do large and small companies and businesses. International business people living in the nearby ‘Europaviertel’ neighbourhood cooperated to finally open the first grammar school in the Gallus district in 2013.
By now, the organisation can look back at 40 years of experience in making offers to people from the neighbourhood. Quite importantly, being a migrant organisation always enabled them to be aware of the needs of their largely migrant target group. Hence, they were able to support them with the right offers and did not plan activities that did not meet the locals’ demands. In addition, their cultural experience and linguistic skills made it easier for them to bond with their target group. Pursuing an empowering approach creates an open atmosphere that invites everybody to participate. They have cooperated with the city municipality to include regular educational institutions into their multi-generational house instead of sending children to more distant institutions. http://www.kiz-gallus.de/