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We’re opening doors again…

For children to whom doors to education and medical care are closed not only at Christmastime.

Since 2013, we have provided money and in-kind support to the Children and Youth Center in the Meschenich district of Cologne. We would be very happy if you participated in our campaign.

These children’s parents do not feel welcome anywhere. Not in the place they come from, and not in the place they have moved to. They are not considered presentable enough for marketing and donation campaigns. Because marketing is asocial and likes to adorn itself with pretty pictures.

But we would like to help open doors for these children, whose lives are entangled in a thicket of governmental, medical, and school regulations. Because they are “illegal” or have fled or live in the wrong part of town.

Help us by making a donation to:

Kinder- und Jugendzentrum Köln Meschenich
Bank account number: 7 852 957
Stadtsparkasse Köln
BLZ 370 501 98

Please write “Donation for Meschenich07 Mentoring Project” as the purpose of use.

Please provide your full name and address. You will receive a donation receipt promptly.

The campaign

In 2013, we launched the “Opening Doors” Christmas initiative to support the Family Mentoring Project in Cologne-Meschenich. We would like to have a lasting impact, together with the initiators of the project, Dr. Kleine Diepenbruck and Ms. Azbiye Kokol from the Children and Youth Center.

The target group of the project is especially impoverished families and families living in isolation in the Cologne-Meschenich district.

In a first step, we helped fund the establishment of a coordination unit (one part-time employee working 10 hours a week). This person is responsible for the general conceptualization and for giving expert advice to and accompanying everyone participating in the process.


Outside of the center of Cologne, a microcosm has formed that functions according to its own rules and structure. On the street, this is particularly apparent among children and adolescents. Many children in the neighborhood do not go to school or go only sporadically. Sick children receive medical care only at a later stage because their parents do not take them to doctors. And when they do, it is difficult for the doctors to remedy their illness or take the necessary measures due to language barriers. The children often lack basic provisions such as adequate shoes, gloves, and hats.

The main aim of the campaign is to help the children and adolescents become integrated in education and enable subsequent generations to undergo a healthy development. To this end, three institutions – the elementary school, the local youth center, and the booster club Soziales Meschenich would like to launch a project in which volunteer mentors help the families deal with infrastructure institutions in the fields of education and health care.

How can you help?

First: you CAN help. Of course with money, but also with material donations and time. For example, you or interested friends or relatives can support individual families or children.

Mentors can

  • help the participants recognize their potential
  • help them overcome their isolation by creating an internal haven of trust with them and, initially, through targeted action to enable them to become increasingly independent as they pursue their goals
  • convey to families of all origins the basic values of living together with others and promote their intercultural competence.

The work includes introductory talks, advisory sessions, and networking. The time resources of the mentors are not the only consideration. Their experience has to be assessed and overstrain avoided. The coordination unit has to continually record the mentorships in a database and document goals that have been achieved as well as difficulties and failures.

If you would like to become involved as a mentor, please contact:

Natalie Kamenetski
Kinder- und Jugendzentrum Köln Meschenich
Brühler Landstraße 428
50997 Köln

And if you would like more information on the project, we recommend reading the brochure issued by the Berufsverbandes der Kinder- und Jugendärzte e.V. (Association of Physicians in Child and Adolescent Medicine) with a report by Dr. Kleine-Diepenbruck on page 32 (in German).

On the pictures:

Great thanks to Alexander Schlaubitz, who supported us and our Christmas campaign for the second time with his photographs.

Alexander Schlaubitz, who was born in Venezuela in 1965, is the marketing director of Lufthansa Passage in Frankfurt. In this capacity, he is responsible for the airline’s marketing activities.

Alexander Schlaubitz travels a lot, but always takes time during his trips to capture visual impressions. He focuses on the doors of the world. We saw his photos on Facebook and were thrilled.

After graduating with a business management degree from the University of Missouri, USA, Schlaubitz gather professional experience at various advertising agencies in the USA. In 2001, he began working at Leo Burnett and in 2003 at the communications agency Change Communications, where he was responsible for the strategic planning of various key accounts, among other things. Three years later Schlaubitz took over the post of marketing director for the European, Middle Eastern, and African markets of Intel Corporation in Munich, before taking on the same position at Facebook in 2011.

Alexander Schlaubitz is the father of two children and lives in Frankfurt.

Jointly open doors with us and lend a helping hand at the feast of Love for the youth centre Cologne Meschenich.

Thank you very much in the name of all the children.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.