"Re-creation" trips to the seaside with gravely sick children and their siblings

On a small island not far from Hamburg, in a holiday home, the Björn Schulz Stiftung welcomes sick children and their brothers and sisters.It has a single ambition: to help them regain their strength, recover the joy of living together.

Social and Employment

Isle of Sylt (Schleswig-Holstein), Germany

Sandra Gerlach

15 000 € to the Selection Committee at 2009/12/01

Project leader

Björn Schulz Stiftung

"What a pleasure to discover this project and to meet its initiator!A gravely ill child is always a painful sight.Yet with them, I learned that the most important thing in this situation is to make the most of the time spent together.It is deeply reassuring to know that the Björn Schulz Stiftung offers an infrastructure for advice, therapy and accompaniment, which accounts for the pressing needs of all the members of the family."

Sandra Gerlach

Many years ago, the Schulz family was struck by a dramatic event: the death of a child, Björn, after a grave illness.When this happened, they realized how badly the public health system is organized to offer adequate support in such situations.Not only are the parents devastated but the siblings too, plus the anxiety and suffering of the little patient ... and then, all the questions and the many repercussions of the situation on the individuals.Jürgen Schulz therefore decided to create a foundation which he named after his son.Its role would be to provide therapeutic treatment of the young patients, and also accompany the families in every possible way.

In Berlin, in 2002, the Björn Schulz Stiftung inaugurated the "Sonnenhof" hospital, where sick children and adolescents receive the care they need, where the families are welcome as long as the stay lasts.The foundation also trains volunteers who visit the families at home.

A home without barriers

The second mainstay of the Björn Schulz Stiftung project is the "recreation" home installed on the Isle of Sylt off Kiel and Hamburg, right next to a next small fishing village.In this haven of peace, children in remission, still gravely ill or fully cured, are welcomed with their brothers and sisters to overcome the traumas they have suffered, to relax, to rediscover each other through fun, altogether.By age brackets, supervised by socio-educators, they throw themselves into the joys of nature, entertain each other, burst out laughing ... they share everything that constitutes the everyday life of a warm atmosphere designed for children.A doctor is also present for the very sick children.In addition, some visits are dedicated to those who have just lost a brother or sister: thanks to a professional accompaniment, they gradually learn to give words to their bereavement.And the parents take advantage of this to recover their own strengths.

The Veolia Foundation, approached by the Björn Schulz Stiftung, decided to help it carry out a number of refurbishing projects.To make all the areas accessible to reduced mobility children, enable them to reach the water in a wheelchair designed for sand, install wind protection and ensure that even bedridden children enjoy the open air in the garden adjoining the house.These arrangements will even further enhance these living moments, in a home that offers around 1200 overnight stays every year.