As a Berlin-based organisation, we decided this year we would like to centre a project on children in our own city. We partnered with the Stephanus-Stiftung NGO to help the refugee community of Köpenick and open a library for children who have moved to Berlin.
Berlin is home to a diverse range of immigrants from across the world and has welcomed refugees seeking to build a new home here. Most refugee children growing up in Berlin are multilingual but have limited access to books in their native language. The project set to build a library consisting of books in Arabic and Farsi so children can continue to read and discover literature and parents celebrate storytelling with their children in their mother tongue. Repurposing a classroom in Köpenick, we filled it with shelves and furniture, books and decorations for children to enjoy.
Following the library’s installation, we hosted almost 20 children and their parents for an afternoon of reading, dancing and fun workshops. Thanks to the help of Katja and Katherina, who represent the staff of Stephanus, there is now a Lilipad library in where kids can come once a week to enjoy a small activity with a volunteer and take home one book or two to read and bring back later.