German Children’s Fund

Who we are

For over 50 years, the German Children’s Fund has been supporting Germany’s children. Our focus is on children’s rights according to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Its dissemination and application in society and politics are the starting points for our work. In addition, we are committed to democratic education through participation, sufficient opportunities for play, cultural education, competent media handling and overcoming child poverty in Germany.

These are our core themes

1. Participation of children and young people
Children have rights and are able to stand up for their rights if we give them the opportunity. We promote co-determination in participation projects, at child and youth elections, and organise specialist child and youth conferences and congresses on the subject of co-determination. Those involved in co-determination develop independent opinions, discuss and learn to be able to make compromises. Participation is the core experience of democracy.

2. Sufficient time and space for play and movement
Children have a fundamental need to play. Free play is how they get to know the world. We are committed to child-friendly urban design, promote and redevelop creative playgrounds and support children in having the time and space for free play.

3. Education on children’s rights
We help children, young people and adults obtain knowledge about children’s rights, pass this on and thereby contribute to the implementation of children’s rights. To do so, we initiate innovative projects in nurseries and schools, and distribute diverse information and working materials.

4. Competent use of media
Today, it is more important than ever to be able to use media in a reflective way, to critically evaluate it and, finally, to be able to try it out safely online. Through the funding of projects, nationwide networks, the publication of advice and the children’s internet site we create the basis for child-friendly media services in Germany.

5. Cultural education
Culturally active children acquire new knowledge, develop imagination and strengthen their expressiveness. We promote cultural programmes for children and young people, in particular for those who have little access to education. This is a piece of educational equality.

6. Fighting child poverty
We help children and their families who live in poverty, and support them quickly and un-bureaucratically where it is most important: In the area of education, in a balanced diet or in recreational activities. Furthermore, we support refugee children and young people in their integration through various projects.

This is how we help children in Germany

1. Promotion of child and youth projects
The German Children’s Fund promotes over 400 projects every year, which actively involve children and young people from start to finish. The orientation and content of the projects funded are based on our core themes.

2. Inform and qualify
We offer schools, nurseries, child and youth facilities, local authorities and private individuals a variety of information concerning children’s rights. We qualify specialist personnel through training, materials and network meetings.

3. Political lobbying on behalf of children
Children need a voice. We campaign for the interests of children in politics. We publish statements on proposals and draft legislation, meet with decision makers, make demands on politicians and appear as experts in many child-political subjects.

4. Help for children in poverty
Every year, we provide individual assistance to around 2,500 children and their families in poverty, support aid agencies for children and work together strategically with local authorities to prevent child poverty.

Children’s rights throughout Europe

In the context of implementation of the Council of Europe’s current Strategy for the Rights of the Child (Sofia Strategy 2016-2021), the Federal Ministry of Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth has tasked the German Children’s Fund with the implementation of the European strategy. To this end, a coordinating office for children’s rights has been set up. Its goal is to coordinate and implement relevant projects and develop policy initiatives, in Germany and at the European level, in terms of content and organisation towards strengthening children’s rights.

Independent and financed by private donations

The German Children’s Fund is politically and denominationally independent and is almost entirely financed through private donations. Our hexagonal, transparent collection boxes stand ready to receive euro coins, foreign currency and even D-marks at over 40,000 shops, banks, pharmacies and other locations throughout Germany. We have committed ourselves to using the donations entrusted to us responsibly. We publish our financial situation every year in our Annual Report. Our high degree of effectiveness and transparency are demonstrated by the seal of the “Transparent Civil Society” initiative and by the German Central Institute for Social Issues (DZI) that we are allowed to show.

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