The charitable involvement of the citizens of Lübeck was also a matter of great concern to our founder Emil Possehl. The Foundation now supports the more than 300 registered charitable associations enriching life in Lübeck. Almost half of these institutions are sports clubs that do important youth work beyond sport and are a lively gathering place in the city’s districts. The work of most associations is supported by the voluntary involvement of their members. The Foundation promotes the development of spaces such as artificial turf pitches as well as subsidies for coaching positions and sports equipment and provides financial support to charitable institutions and initiatives for the implementation of social projects for people with a wide range of needs. We would like, for instance, to also give migrants in Lübeck access to all local (educational) services. Numerous charitable institutions and volunteers are involved in integration in our city and are supported by the Foundation.
More and more people are finding the forest to be a source of recreation, exercise and reflection. In Lübeck there are quite a few opportunities for this: the city forest encompasses more than 500 hectares of forest. Its model of near-natural forest use is now a global role model. It is based on the recommendations of the climate summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, and environmental organizations recommend the application of these principles worldwide. As few encroachments as possible are best for the protection of the forest: only a few trees that are particularly old and produce high yields are harvested, deadwood remains in the forest. This creates countless small habitats - a paradise for beetles and birds. The way in which people working in Lübeck's municipal forest involve citizens is also exemplary: an information trail has been set up in the city's largest forested area and over 120 guided tours are available every year. The Forest Adventure Day has been organized for 17 years and is aimed at the whole family with many hands-on activities. The Possehl Foundation has supported this event since its inception.
The Possehl Foundation provides support in almost all areas of integration assistance: existing structures need to be expanded and new options coordinated. In addition, we are particularly interested in strengthening volunteer work, with the arrival of a large number of refugees in 2015 having encouraged many citizens of Lübeck to support those seeking help.
The "FLOW - for refugees" service! Orientation and Welcome Culture" provided by the Protestant Church welfare organization for the Lübeck community is aimed at young refugees between the ages of 16 and 25: a volunteer mentoring program promotes contacts to the local population, thus enabling practical application of the German language and faster integration. A network for traumatized victims improves their psychosocial care, supplemented by cultural, sports and leisure activities.
The Adult Education Centre in Lübeck is the largest provider of German courses that are so vital for integration. The option "German for everybody" is open to all newly arrival immigrants here, regardless of residence status. Where the Federal and local governments are not responsible for financing these language courses, the Possehl Foundation jumps in.
The Sprungtuch e.V. ["Safety Net"] association offers a "Language and Culture Brokers Pool", because a lack of language skills is a substantial barrier in the integration process for immigrants. It aims at improving the understanding between people whose knowledge of German is inadequate and the employees of the administration, facilities and institutions e.g. by means of translation services in counselling sessions.
A further concern is the creation of access to our colleges and universities. An exemplary model has been developed here in Lübeck, initiated by the Technical University Lübeck: the program is called Lübeck Integration Courses, or "LINKplus" for short. A three-step preparation program integrates refugees into one of the curricula of the Technical University Lübeck. The concept utilizes already existing options and supplements them with educational content from the trade and professional schools. With this pragmatic approach, the university makes a valuable contribution for the professional and social integration of refugees into our society.