Background: the large influx of refugees following the financial crisis at the beginning of the Millennium challenged us to use our expertise to provide child support services for a refugee shelter in Germany. In it, registered refugees are waiting for their own accommodation as well as final administrative procedures.
Faced with a new life in Germany, many of the families did not know or did not take advantage of psychosozial support programs for minors. Not offering such programs we supported the NGO managing the shelter by providing playful building projects for and with children in which they built toys, instruments and supported the building and maintenance of a vertical garden bench.
This project took place over two years and was supported and finally continued by the Trial & Error Kulturlabor collective that also supported the project in Jordan. Throughout the project we were able to support many children and give them something to look forward to. Through their engagement their learned to built and they built self esteem at the same time. It was the first time that they truly interacted with their host community and most heartwarming.
Given the compared luxury to their life on the road, the refugees were not excited about working with reusable materials to produce products for their home, as their home were temporary and they were very much drawn to new products. This is in part due to social status they aspire too and how recycled products are perceived by the recipient target group.