Nachbarschaftsheim Neukölln is a community centre which aims to facilitate social cohesion and discouraging negative attitudes, such as prejudices and stereotypes. The community centre offers a wide range of actives for children, families and adults. These initiatives cover almost every aspect of everyday life: education, sports, culture etc. Of particular interest, it focuses its attention on the connection between social integration and political inclusion.
The organization aims to reduce the under-representation of migrant inhabitants, fostering citizens’ political participation and civic engagement; especially in the community decision-making process. In fact, in several decentralized residents’ councils there is less than 20% migrant representation, which is much less than their share of the total population. Moreover, it would appear that, on average, migrants are 10% less likely to vote than the natives.
“Have a Say in Neukölln” is one of the projects lead by the organization. It underlines the importance of interculturality, which must be seen as an enriching element and not a barrier. The project promotes equality and inclusion through various initiatives: It offers legal training for participation rights. For example, in each school two parents are elected as parents’ representatives, and it gives advice and suggestions to them, focusing on a community level. For example, it helps migrants to become more effective at the community level, in order to become local political stakeholders. It promotes voting rights, explaining to the residents the election procedure. In addition, it aims to extend the voting rights for migrants without a German passport, at least on a local level.
In the autumn of 2016, children and young people from the centre meticulously dealt with the subject of district mayor elections in Neukölln. The result was a children's news show, in which the kids from the party foundation dealt with the election campaign in a witty and informative manner.
They also met Franziska Giffey (district mayor of Neukölln) and interviewed her as a guest. The film project was funded under the program "Culture macht stark" by the Federal Government and the VHS Neukölln under the name "talentCAMPus Neukölln".