Happy Together in Diversity
The Ark Children’s Charity and WACKER: A 16-Year Partnership
Munich, Jul 01, 2022
Since its founding in 2006, WACKER has been a partner the Munich Ark can rely on. And despite the pandemic, the charity for children and adolescents can count on continued support. The Ark helps children and adolescents from socially disadvantaged families in the city’s Moosach district. The charity received its 16th WACKER donation of €100,000 this summer, taking the total donated to over €1.6 million.
Due to the coronavirus, The Ark Summer Festival was canceled for the second time. WACKER usually presented the annual donation during the festivities. At the end of June, it was possible for the colorful activities to take place again. Head of HR, Stephan Roth, was at the Summer Festival to officially hand over the donation. “As a father, I know how important it is for every child to have a place where they always feel welcome, a haven they are happy to return to,” he said. “We strive to be a reliable partner of The Ark and as such have made a 16th donation of €100,000, taking the total donated (including special donations) to over €1.6 million,” he continued.
Two children asked Stephan Roth some questions in an interview at the Summer Festival. “If you were a child, what would you most like to do at The Ark?” they asked. “The Ark gives you many opportunities to learn and you can do your homework here. As a company traditionally committed to the education of children and young people, we welcome this focus at WACKER. If I were here as a child, I would like to use the opportunities to learn and do creative projects,” explained Stephan Roth. “Of course, as a child I would also very much like to be here and celebrate together with you.”
“As a friend of The Ark in Munich, what advice would you give to the children and young people, as to what you celebrate personally in life and how you celebrate it?” asked the children. “It makes me happy to see how you enjoy your diversity. As such, The Ark’s Summer Festival, for me, is a successful occasion to celebrate,” replied Stephan Roth. “My advice to you is to keep the warmth of The Ark in your hearts and carry it with you on your life’s journey. Travel with an open heart and good expectations.”
Pandemic Makes Social Differences Clear
The pandemic has not only clearly brought social differences to light, but the consequences thereof are also becoming ever more visible. Many children and adolescents have very large gaps in their education and display very conspicuous behavior right up to aggression. The propensity to violence has increased – even for children aged only six to seven. The lethargy of adolescents is of particular concern to The Ark’s team. Many of the adolescents are lacking in drive and motivation.
“Corona has presented many families, whose children come to The Ark in Munich-Moosach, with great challenges. Some parents have lost their jobs, been placed on short-time work arrangements, could not really support their children with homeschooling and faced almost unsolvable conflicts every day due to their small amount of living space,” said Larissa Rauter, head of The Ark in Munich-Moosach.
In the meantime, the increased inflation means many disadvantaged families are struggling to get by. In 2022 more children and adolescents took advantage of the offer of free, warm food. Some children come to eat, do their homework, play and then eat again. More and more adolescents are asking for food to take home and there is no letup due to the high inflation. The situation continues to escalate and predominantly affects those who have no financial leeway to absorb the increasing prices for food, energy and petrol.
WACKER Helpers Keep on Going
The WACKER helper group often visited The Ark before the pandemic and occasionally helped out – like with the cake buffet at the annual Summer Festival. They were delighted it was able to take place again after a break due to the coronavirus.
The Ark’s partnership with WACKER dates back to 2006, when the city of Munich erected a container for The Ark in Moosach, which was later replaced with a bright, modern building.
Employees often donate privately to The Ark, for example through collections at anniversaries and other occasions. Employees also collect in-kind donations of items on The Ark’s list: https://www.kinderprojekt-arche.de/helfen-sie/sachspende. That way, all who want to help can do so – every small gesture brings a smile to a child’s face.