The youth-farm Birkach in Stuttgart was founded in 1975 for children living in high-rise buildings in Asemwald to make play activities in natural surroundings possible. By taking care of ponies, goats, donkeys, rabbits and geese children playfully learn how to take on responsibility. While doing handicrafts, cooking or building huts in wood workshops they discover their manual skills and creativity. Activities and projects like the annual summer party, theatre and circus workshops, trips, horse-riding and Kajak-trips all give a sense of community and develop social skills.

Every year around 8,500 children and adolescents between the age of 6 and 16 visit the “Jufa” – an average of about 34 children a day. They are taken care of by two full-time social workers, a pedagogical student trainee and a civil service helper.

Of a very high importance for this project is the farmhouse that has become considerably run down since its provisional erection in the 1970s. To start with the formerly built rooms are too small to accommodate the steadily growing number of children. The current recreation room only facilitates 20 people, however, a room for at least 50 people is required. Moreover, kitchen, heating system, sanitary rooms and the helper’s office are in a very poorcondition.

The association Jugendfarm Birkach e.V. has therefore initiated the planning of a new farmhouse in 2009, which is incorporated in a revitalisation-plan: The new farmhouse functionally replaces the old farmhouse which will be reorganised into a workshop for children. The office blocks are still in use but they will become storage rooms at a later date. A suitable infrastructure will be established for the rising demand for youth work and the cooperation with schools. Additionally, it is planned to further develop the experience and education modules that have come to life in the last few years: touching and experiencing as a learning method, therapeutic horse riding, working groups in schools, excursions and project days.

We help bear the costs of unpaid lots.

The majority of costs are covered by investment grants of the city of Stuttgart, donations, self funding and initiative work. Our part is to take on some of the additional costs such as climbing wall, climbing frame with a slide, cupboards, book cases, tables and chairs.

For further information please contact Jugendfarm Birkach: www.jugendfarm-birkach.de