The SpielMobil for refugee children in the Rhine-Main area

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 Rhine-Main area. We have a van with several toys, what makes us flexible to travel everywhere around the cities of Frankfurt, Darmstadt, Mainz and Wiesbaden.

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, Darmstadt, Frankfurt and occassionally to Wiesbaden. We visit shelters in a regular cycle, mainly in a biweekly rhythm.

Our regular stations are currently as follows:

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

We are interested to start new cooperations with other establishments and therefore try to construct a solid network of volunteers so that we could ensure that the SpielMobil is out on the ground many days during the week and at many places in the Rhine-Main area.

Our concept is to make fixed dates with regular rotations with the different establishments. The advantage of these fixed rotations is the consistency and continuity in which the children can recognize the fixed “SpielMobil Days” so that they will clearly know when we are coming.

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 area that are specifically organized for refugee children and families.

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 fewer 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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