The SpielMobil for refugee children in the Rhein-Main region

The escape out of crisis circumstances usually leads children being unable to take toys from their otherwise ordinary daily lives. Instead, these children usually carry terrible experiences with them as luggage and are confronted with the severity of life far too early. Playing falls into the background and they have to grow up far too quickly.

Playing is crucial to the development of children because children discover, practice, and cement various developmental stages in basic ability, dexterity, and knowledge. These children need a place where they can be children again. The SpielMobil creates such a place and travels for this reason to several shelters in the Rhein-Main region. So we are both fast and flexible if a shelter is getting closed and the residents have to move. The SpielMobil travels everywhere around the cities of Frankfurt, Darmstadt, Wiesbaden and Mainz.

Here is what the SpielMobil does:

Einsätze für Kinder – SpielMobil

Commitment for children
  • Regular visits to refugee apartment buildings and other establishments
  • Appearances at specific events and organized parties, for example, the summer festival for refugees
  • Transport of different indoor and outdoor games or toys for children of all ages

Anlaufstelle für Erwachsene – SpielMobil

Drop-In Center for adults
  • Welcoming of adult refugees
  • An integrated coffee station in the SpielMobil for the facilitated uptake of contact information and relationship building with other refugees with workers and neighbors, etc.

Brückenbau – SpielMobil

  • Offering contact to professional help systems, such as doctors, workers, and further organizations that will meet the needs of the families
All of our information has been summarized into a flyer that can be downloaded!

Questions and answers concerning the SpielMobil

The SpielMobil currently travels to organized locations in Mainz, Wiesbaden, Darmstadt, and Frankfurt. We are now in conversation with shelters in Offenbach to start locations there as quickly as possible. Beyond that, there are interested shelters in the cities of Kronberg and Oberursel. As soon as we have a solid network

Our SpielMobil visits refugee homes in a regular cycle, at the moment in a biweekly rhythm. At present we are working on a fixed route planning.

Our regular stations are currently as follows:

  • Frankfurt: every 2nd Thursday
  • Mainz: every 2nd Saturday
  • Darmstadt: every 2nd Saturday
  • Wiesbaden: only for special events

Through the construction of a solid network of volunteers and team leaders, we would like to ensure that the Spielmobil is out on the ground every day in play stations in refugee shelters as soon as possible. We see this effort as our focus

Concretely, that means making fixed dates with regular rotations with different establishments. The advantage of these fixed rotations is the consistency and continuity in which the children can recognize these fixed “Spielmobil Days” so that they will clearly know when we are coming. The referenced appointments with fixed rotations will be kept.

There will also be special events according to the strength of the volunteer teams in addition to the fixed appointments. These special events include things such as summer parties in the region that are specifically organized for refugees.

Almost a third of those people who currently seek asylum in Germany consists of minors. Everyday life for these children is especially dreary and monotonous. They often live in one shared room with their entire family and have less possibilities to play or move around.

Through the joined possibility in the refugee accommodations these monotonous days can be changed. Spending free time together creates trust and allows social contact as well as relationships to be built as the positive course of integration continues. Encountering one another opens doors and removes prejudice. There is where the Spielmobil becomes a mobile offer that the various refugee accommodations can utilize to bring children of all ages together to play. The workers and helpers from the Spielmobil give the refugee children attention so that they can connect without the concern of cultural or language barriers. During the play stations, the children communicate with one another and with the Spielmobil helpers in different languages and they learn to overcome the fear of contact in their everyday lives.

Already children, who have to escape from crisis circumstances, often bring ugly experiences with them as their baggage rather than the toys that they should be carrying. As a result, they are confronted with the severity of life far too early. These children need a place that allows them to be children again. The Spielmobil wants to be this place for these refugee children. Playing is the best facilitation of motor skills, creativity, and thought processing for children. Light-hearted games ease some of the burden that the children carry in having to process through their traumatic experiences. It brings a piece of reality back into everyday life.

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