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Berlin-based integration project : neighborhood house, Morus 14 is on its way out

The neighborhood house Morus 14 is dine at the penultimate lunch Of "rolling mountain", was well attended. There is Kale, the tradition of the court, if the Green politicians Anja Kofbinger and Susanna KAHL field cooking at Morus – on this day, with a Portion of melancholy. Because of the non-profit Association that is considered a flagship project in North-Neukölln, returns to the end of the year the community house in the rollberg neighbourhood of the housing Association "Stadt und Land".

Why? One reason for this is plain to see, if you let your eyes wander around the room. Disproportionately a group of people from the neighborhood: the retired and senior citizens are particularly well represented. So the scenario does not fit the mission statement of the Association, the Gilles Duhem 2003. Then district Manager, wanted to Duhem, especially of: "the neighborhood of the media is no longer drawn in the Dirt."

Gilles Duhem (archive)photo: Claudia Keller

When he started in the district management, was the rollberg neighbourhood as a social focal point: people of different nationalities, most of them live isolated from each other, poverty, unemployment, and the in Neukölln until today, well-known waste problem. Morus 14 should loosen up the Segregation in the district and the middle class in the neighborhood with the "principle of diversity, and the everyday encounters", as it says on the Homepage of the Association.

Addressed to all groups of the population", in order to make a "sustainable contribution to the social Integration of the inhabitants" should be ". Therefore, Duhem, who was recently awarded with the badge of honour of the district has the reputation as one of the. Also in the round table, he is popular among the seniors regular clientele: "Gilles is not great, so there is," says Hajo Hassemer. He's coming for twelve years regularly to the community house in the Morus Strasse 14.

But today, fifteen years later, must notice Duhem sober, that the approach is not only due to the has proven. What has been proven, the projects network students help, Shalom, "Fit and smart from the start" or the accompanied preparation for the upper level exams. You are to continue, Volunteers are continuously sought. Because of the mixture of the patent mediation and tutoring, the Association is considered as a "lighthouse project".

With the students to help make Morus the claim that integration work. Because many of the children from the rollberg neighbourhood to grow up in Arabic - and Turkish-origin families. "These parts of the population, and the offspring," says the Frenchman Duhem. However, this is also the hook: "adult projects do not work."

she had often families are large and so a large, solid environment: "you have no reason to come here," analyzes Duhem. What happens: Since the introduction of the all-day school, were also the children are less likely to be common food to the neighborhood house.

"places of the encounter to die from"

"The world has changed. Places as places of encounter from the die. The concept of neighborhood meeting place-is not sustainable without significant funding with regular funding. And I am opposed to artificial respiration.“ Politicians would find the project great, "but it makes no sense to stage encounters convulsively."

On this day, as usual, is the lunch table firmly in the hands of German retirees. In addition, the modern world is to communicate increasingly via social media, you rent for single, large events rooms. There is a fixed place, such as neighborhood meetings in the Morus street 14, little attractive.

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This leads to the next Problem: financing. The Association lives from donations, time-limited, project-based funding programmes, the rental of the community house. However, the constant application of new Budgets and the management were a nightmare. What you are missing Duhem, is a long-term funding, on which you can rely on.

The community house have proven to be profitable for years financially, but now the house with the fixed personnel and material costs are too expensive for the Association to become: "a real shame, but it only partially fulfilled the goal that had set with this place. Fortunately, the education have to do projects spatially with the community house.“

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Berlin-neukölln project Morus 14 fights for Survival

Franziska Felber

The club will have next year without a parish house. How that will be used in the future, is still to be determined. The district is the owner of "town and country" still in talks. However, that still deals for the residents of the rolling mountain district, will need to take place, the Baustadtrat of the district, Jochen Biedermann (Green). He is on the subject of meeting places is not as pessimistic as Gilles Duhem. There are already many interested parties to let you play with the idea, the house of different actors.

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