German Children's Fund

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The German Children's Fund e. V. (DKHW) is a children's rights organization founded in 1972 that promotes the dissemination and implementation of children's rights in Germany. The focus of the non-profit association lies in the fields of participation of children and young people and the fight against child poverty.

The association, based in Berlin, sees itself as a non-partisan donation and children's rights organization that is financed primarily from private funds and donations. It is particularly important to the organization to consider donors and to be a reliable and transparent recipient of funds.

The board consists of President Thomas Krüger , two Vice-Presidents, Anne Lütkes (District President Düsseldorf) and Birgit Schmitz (freelance mediator) as well as seven other people, including members of five of the six parliamentary groups. The association's work is carried out by around 30 full-time employees and around 100 association members, and is supported by more than 8,000 sponsoring members.


The association was founded on February 17, 1972 by entrepreneurs and merchants in Munich . The aim was to improve the playground situation in Germany. The "holy trinity" - slide, climbing frame and sandpit - should finally give way to imaginative and child-friendly playgrounds. In the 1980s, the concept of play space for children became increasingly important. After all, it should not only be about giving children a closed playground, but also about making the living environment child-friendly.

In the turn of time , the DKHW united with the German Children's Fund GDR and opened in 1991 in what was then hohenschönhausen a Berlin office. In 1993 the federal office moved to Berlin to be close to the political happenings in the capital. The association made a name for itself as a child political association through increasing political lobbying. It created the nationwide first position as a speaker for child policy, initiated many projects and series of events and became the central contact for politics in matters of child participation in Germany. As the sponsor of the nationwide model project “Village for Children - Village for Everyone”, the association was able to carry the idea of ​​child-friendly urban planning into rural areas. The current focus is the creation of equal opportunities for all children in Germany, under the motto: "It depends on the children!" The association operates 30 regional contact points. This is intended to further accelerate the work of the German Children's Fund for the enforcement of children's rights and a child-friendly Germany.

From 1997 the association received the DZI donation seal annually . According to the company, due to the effort and high costs involved in obtaining the seal, it was decided in 2011 not to apply for it any more. Instead, the association joined the German Donation Council on June 22, 2011 . The aim of this membership is to further improve the transparency of the allocation of funds. However, this step is no longer checked by an independent institute as before, but takes place as a voluntary self-control .

Fields of activity

The activity focuses on improving the living conditions, especially of disadvantaged children in Germany, and on positioning the association as an expert and point of contact for the issues of children's rights, child poverty, child culture, child-friendly communities as well as participation, media skills, games and exercise for children and young people.

Every year projects and families in need are supported nationwide with over one million euros through the association's development funds. Financial support is provided through unbureaucratic help for families, project financing and prices. The Children's Emergency Fund has existed since 1993, with which children and their families in need are helped. Its aim is to enable children in need, for example, to eat healthily or to participate in extracurricular activities. In addition, the association has been promoting projects across Germany on the subjects of child policy, child culture, play space and media skills for more than ten years. Multi-year funding is possible for so-called cooperation projects. The application is made online and is also possible for initiatives and individuals, especially young people themselves. In order to remain unbound and diverse in its funding, no own institutions are operated. Rather, the focus is on cooperation with numerous partners throughout Germany, including so-called contact points that work with the children and young people on site and provide information about the work of the German Children's Fund.

At the same time, the association implements its own projects that provide good examples, network actors or address children directly via modern media. The focus here is on “the competent child”, with an independent personality and diverse skills.


Over the past few years, the association has initiated, among other things, the Ein Herz für Kinder campaign. As part of its public relations work, the association is supported by many prominent helpers who are active as ambassadors for the DKHW. The most famous ambassadors include a. Enie van de Meiklokjes , Daniel Aichinger , Axel Pape , Regina Halmich or Markus Majowski . The main source of income for the association is the donation box , which is available at around 50,000 different locations nationwide.

The association regularly publishes the children's report Germany . The 2007 Children's Report caused a sensation with its finding that the number of children in poverty in Germany doubled every ten years. In the meantime, according to the association's calculations, child poverty in Germany has leveled out at around 2.8 million children, which is around every fifth child under the age of 18. The Children's Report 2012 showed that early participation by children breaks the cycle of inheritance of poverty. Every year, the association organizes the World Children 's Day festival on Potsdamer Platz in Berlin , which is attended by around 100,000 children and adults. In 2015 the motto was “Children welcome!”.

In addition to funding, the association carries out numerous of its own projects. So this u. a. an advanced and advanced training program, in which the knowledge necessary for the implementation of child and youth participation projects is imparted. The association also operates the website, which is one of the most popular children's websites with around 50,000 visitors per month. In 2008, the association initiated the World Game Day for the first time with numerous activities on the subject of play space for children, including numerous decentralized activities by its partners as part of the Alliance for the Right to Play. The association has been awarding the “Golden Brat” award since 2003. This is the highest endowed prize for the participation of children and young people in Germany. In addition to financial support, the winners receive a prize figure with the same name.

Web links

Individual evidence