Children and young people from Ukraine visit FC Schalke 04

5 August 2022

Children and young people from Ukraine visit FC Schalke 04

FC Schalke 04 participats in the AKUT project, launched by Björn Steiger Foundation. The Royal Blues immediately pledged their support and around 25 children and young people who have fled the crisis area are visiting Gelsenkirchen.

Generously sponsored by the RAG Foundation and in cooperation with the Initiativkreis Ruhr, the Ukrainian girls and boys aged 11 to 14 have been meeting daily at the VELTINS Arena since Monday (1 August). All of them have traumatic flight experiences and painful memories, some of them came to Germany without parents. Thanks to AKUT, they receive intensive help from four experienced mentors for three weeks. Using various methods, exercises and games, they show the adolescents how they can gradually deal with the stressful situation – and give them back some of their zest for life.

“As the Steiger Foundation, we are very grateful for the warm welcome and the excellent support of FC Schalke 04, which has made it possible to realise our AKUT project in Gelsenkirchen as well. The intensive use of our offer strengthens us as the Steiger Foundation in our approach to act pragmatically and help where help is needed.”

Joachim von Beesten, Managing Director of the Björn Steiger Foundation

Andrea Henze, head of the social department of the city of Gelsenkirchen, also accepted the invitation to the VELTINS Arena.

“It is a fantastic project. The children have experienced the unimaginable. The earlier we start with integration, the faster we can help those affected to arrive”(…)”I am thrilled how many different actors are pulling together here. This shows how much the fate of the refugees touches each individual. That impresses me very much.”

Andrea Henze, head of the social department of Gelsenkirchen

“It was immediately clear to us that we would support AKUT. Especially when it comes to the youngest, we are always happy to help. At Schalke, we have enough opportunities to give the children and young people a protected space, to feed them healthy food and to offer them insights into our club.”

Sebastian Buntkirchen, Managing Director of Schalke hilft!

On Friday, August 5th, the girls and boys will explore the VELTINS Arena on a stadium tour and learn interesting facts about the Royal Blues. Next week, they will be allowed to attend a training session of the professionals at Berger Feld. A piece of normality after the terrible experiences of fleeing their home country.

In order to reach as many of those affected as possible, AKUT is offered in various cities in the Ruhr region – including at the Bundesliga football team Borussia Dortmund. The children who need special psychotherapeutic support receive separate help. There is also the option of participating in AKUT beyond the three weeks of the project.


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