For many years now our tradition has been to welcome the New Year with family and friends in the mountains. It always feels good to be back in the snow and strap on the snowboards again. Luckily we all returned home unharmed after a great week!
For me, January means getting back to being more health conscious. After a busy end to the year – including my first trip to India and the hectic holidays filled with too much food and German cookies – focus returns to my morning stretching and strength training. I’m especially looking forward to redeeming Andre’s Christmas gift next week, a voucher for Pilates!
With deep concern I see the many conflicts in the world and the increasing refugee numbers and would like to continue to draw attention to the refugee children who suffer from the psychological consequences of war and flight and the help we provide to them at Children for Tomorrow. We can no longer meet the growing requests for therapy and the outlook for 2015 is overwhelming: The German Federal Office for Migration and Refugees expects about 230,000 new asylum applications – about twice as many refugees as in 2013!
For the coming year it is my hope that my foundation will again have strong partnerships to help us raise awareness: A high point from last year was the TV report on ZDF “Mona Lisa” on some of our patients including Shafiq who talked about his experience of being on the run from Afghanistan and his wishes for the future. As a result, thanks to the broadcast, Shafiq just before Christmas received an internship and now has a brighter outlook on the future. Another highlight for us was using social media with the Google series “FilmHack” hosted on YouTube. It featured six short films each drawing attention to the fate of individual refugees. (More on this in our newsletter at http://www.children-for-tomorrow.com/newsletter.html)
Together with our partners and sponsors, “Children for Tomorrow” hopes to give young refugees with mental trauma a way back to a healthy future. There have been many great success stories this past year and many more that hopefully we can soon share with you.
The difficult circumstances of our refugee children continually remind me how grateful we must be that our families are healthy and our children are able to grow up safely. Being aware of how valuable time is, I’m more and more conscious of the precious moments with my family and look forward to all that lies before us in 2015.