Children for Tomorrow
“While travelling throughout my tennis career and in conversations with doctors, I learned and saw first-hand how many children grow up in a daily life marked by wars, violence, exile and loss of family. We often see images of the physical injuries – not visible, however, are the mental wounds and traumatization. These wounds are often the root cause of new aggressiveness; the victims of today are often the perpetrators of tomorrow and continue the cycle of violence. In 1998 I established my foundation CHILDREN FOR TOMORROW to raise awareness to the needs of these children, help them therapeutically and assist in their development.”
Founder and Chairperson
Children for Tomorrow
CHILDREN FOR TOMORROW is a non-profit organization that was founded in 1998 by Stefanie Graf with the goal of helping children and families who are victims of war, persecution and violence. The Foundation offers children help in processing traumatic experiences of violence and “psychological rebuilding”.
Since 2011, CHILDREN FOR TOMORROW has had their own headquarters on the grounds of University Hospital Hamburg-Eppendorf, which serves both as outpatient clinic and coordination for all projects worldwide.
Funding is used in cooperation with hospitals in Uganda, Eritrea and Kosovo to provide child psychology on site. In addition to the local project work, CHILDREN FOR TOMORROW provides funds for an outpatient clinic for refugee children at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf.
According to UNHCR there are currently almost 44 million people on the run worldwide – the majority of refugees come from Afghanistan, Iraq and Somalia. Almost half of all the refugees are children and adolescents. Most have experienced violence or the loss of their parents or relatives and often suffer in consequence from post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, insomnia and nightmares.
CHILDREN FOR TOMORROW uses their financial resources for the healing of these traumas. The Foundation provides psychotherapeutic treatments to the children and also offers psycho-social services in addition to therapies. All Foundation projects are designed to work long term. CHILDREN FOR TOMORROW aims to promote the psychological reconstruction of these children, because the mental health of a child is a fundamental building block for their development and the peaceful coexistence of a society.
A majority of the non-governmental organizations (NGO) active in Kosovo after the war, left a few years ago. CHILDREN FOR TOMORROW, however, is still present with numerous projects in Gjakova. It is an integral part of psycho-social and cultural life in the region.The aim of the project is to support children by various psychosocial and psychotherapeutic offerings. Furthermore, opportunities are created for multi-ethnic meetings and models are developed for constructive conflict resolution in a post-war society
As a result of the 20-year war, there are over 2.5 million children living in northern Uganda who have never experienced peace, approximately 25,000 of them were forcibly recruited as soldiers. Many
children have become orphans and show severe physical and psychological symptoms.CHILDREN FOR TOMORROW has been involved in Uganda since 2009. An outpatient clinic was opened in Gulu in northern Ugandan, where psychiatrists and psychologists offer individual and group psychotherapeutic help to war traumatized child soldiers. The clinic provides the basis of the project, from which programs are also offered in the camps for internally displaced people.
The Horn of Africa has been living for almost forty years in war, instability, internal unrest and environmental degradation resulting in displacement, famine and violence. In particular, the civil war in Sudan and the border war between Ethiopia and Eritrea have led to difficult conditions under which most are suffering, especially the children.In the capital city of Asmara, the proportion of children in the shanty towns between 0 and 6 years of age is 20%. In 2008 with the cooperation of the Eritrean Ministry of Education, we opened a kindergarten
on the outskirts of the slums for 300 children. Another kindergarten is planned for Massawa. With this project, CHILDREN FOR TOMORROW participates in the reconstruction of the country.
Germany is one of the five largest host countries of refugee with almost 650,000 refugees. Most of the children in our refugee clinic come from Afghanistan, Iraq, Serbia, Iran and Syria.
The refugees often risk their lives and suffer long exhausting journeys to escape the war, violence and death in their home country. In our clinic, the children often experience the first treatment for their traumas and symptoms. The goal is to provide children stabilization of their mental health and guidance in the exile country.