Menden, Germany

In Menden, All Kids are VIPs

February 12, 2010

A competition invites students to design projects on how to improve integration at their elementary schools

Boxweltmeisterin Ina Menzer in der Bonifatiusschule

The “All Kids Are VIPs” campaign invites German students between grades 5-12 to submit project ideas on how they could improve integration at their schools.

By prompting students to think about solutions to these issues, the campaign heightens awareness and sensitivity to the challenges that immigrants students face and empowers the students to find ways that they can help create a more welcoming environment for newcomers.

School children submit their ideas to the Alle Kids Sind VIPs website – as text, pictures or in video format! When winning ideas are selected, celebrity ambassadors (Germans of migrant origin themselves) are invited to an exciting launch event. Child-friendly ‘ambassadors’ include sports heroes such as the footballer Mario Gomez, the actress Susan Sideropoulos and TV presenter Daniel Aminati and Shary Reeves.

The Bonifatius School in Menden, Germany, was among the recent winners. Competing against the over 100 schools that took part, students in Menden organised a sports festival for children at St. Maria’s, a local kindergarten. The sports festival allowed children from immigrant families to improve their German in a playful and uninhibited way through games and physical activity. Three time boxing world champion Ina Menzer, a celebrity ambassador for “All Kids Are VIPs” also came to train with the students and talk about her childhood experiences as an immigrant.

“I know how it is to have to keep your fists up and be strong no matter what,” she explained. “When my family arrived in the city of Mönchengladbach from Kazahkstan, I was 10 and couldn’t speak a word of German. Only by working hard and having a lot of self-discipline was I able to make it. That’s what I’d like to give these kids: the ambition and perseverance that go hand and hand with being a good boxer.”

Cities of Migration will be watching for updates from this exciting student-led program.

Themes: Learn, Anti-racism

For this Good Idea contact:

Caroline Dessin , Bertelsmann Stiftung
Carl-Bertelsmann-Straße 256
33311 Gütersloh , Germany ,
Telefon: +49 5241 81-81379

Alle Kids sind VIPs: Boxweltmeisterin Ina Menzer