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KIDS & CO celebrate their birthday

On 10th March 2012, the Association KIDS & CO celebrated its 20th birthday with many guests and an attractive programme. The words of welcome by chairwoman Steffi Märker and a photo exhibition recalled the beginnings. Young people talked about what KIDS & CO meant to them in a very lively manner at a panel discussion facilitated by actress Annett Fleischer. Kids from SONNENECK presented a surprise with their Mask Theatre. Mayor Stefan Komoß summed up his experience with the Association in a few words, “Whenever you visit KIDS & CO, you have the feeling that you are received with empathy and emotional happiness and friendliness, so that the entire work setting in the Association is vey appealing. It is not the work alone that makes up an organisation but also how you perceive them. I think it is this feeling that characterises KIDS & CO to a high degree. In a word: likeable!”

His message for the coming 5 years: “I expect KIDS & CO to be an important partner in the implementation of my master plan ‘Youth and Training’. By 2016, we want to eliminate youth unemployment in the borough.”

Chairwoman Steffi Märker during her opening address for the KIDS & CO anniversary.

The Mask Theatre Group offered an amusing programme at the panel discussion.

Mayor Stefan Komoß spoke of his fondness of the KIDS & Co Association.

Opinions of young people:

Tobias Wicke
today a BMX pro and world champion: “ I helped to build the first halfpipe at SENFTE 10 in 1996, and I am happy that another such ramp will be built in 2012, and I’ll be there to help!”

(currently a participant in a project for school truants and working voluntarily since the early morning at the Association’s birthday, to prepare the buffet): “Through KIDS & CO I have come to appreciate work and I meanwhile know that one needs school.”

“Following my university degree in biology, I gathered first work experience in England through KIDS & CO and the EU programme Leonardo da Vinci. This project triggered my passion for permaculture. Now KIDS & CO are offering me the opportunity of developing my own projects in this area and I am able to pass on my passion for nature and the environment to young people.”

“I am currently undergoing training to become a special needs teacher for children with learning disabilities and then I want to work with children with behavioural problems. I never thought that I had it in me. I had a lot of personal problems. Ms Schlögel from KIDS & CO also believed in me and helped me a lot, introducing me into this training. I am grateful to her. She is my great professional role model!”

Sven Kohlmeier
“I had a vey sheltered family home and did not go to KIDS & CO because I needed help. Still, I received it. I was an active member of the Youth Parliament and in the Kaktus Children’s and Youth Office. Our first project was the struggle to maintain the little cinema Kiste beside the newly built large Multiplex cinema in Helle Mitte. The Kiste cinema is still there – also thanks to KIDS & CO. I stuck to the political career since then – and today, I am a Social Democratic MP in the Berlin Parliament.

“Up until the age of 28, I got by on various mini jobs and on unemployment benefits. I did not have any training and no one wanted to employ me, The JobCenter sent me to KIDS & CO – to work for an additional 1 euro per hour on top of my unemployment benefit. KIDS & CO motivated me to dare and take up training. I was able to start and complete my apprenticeship at the training restaurant of KIDS & CO. Now I am an assistant chef with a catering company.”

Photos on 20 years of KIDS & CO













Anniversary celebration