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Gütersloh, 19/05/2008

"Fairness for all"

Bertelsmann Stiftung participates in national initiative for immigrant children

Mehrere Schüler, einer trägt ein T-Shirt mit dem Motto

Together with the country’s nonprofit foundations, Germany’s Minister for Integration Maria Böhmer launched a national network of “educational sponsors” on May 19, 2008. The network is designed to support existing mentoring programs for disadvantaged children with an immigrant background and increase awareness of the concept of educational sponsors. The Bertelsmann Stiftung has joined the initiative as part of the activities surrounding the 2008 Carl Bertelsmann Prize. “I’m very pleased that the Bertelsmann Stiftung is supporting the national network of educational sponsors and contributing its expertise,” Böhmer said.

The international research being carried out for the 2008 Carl Bertelsmann Prize shows how positive the influence a mentor has on a child’s development can be. Programs that provide youngsters from immigrant families with individual mentoring are a key element in the overall initiatives in place in those countries that successfully integrate children and adolescents into their educational systems. Efforts to integrate immigrant children can only be effective if individualized programs to promote young people are anchored in kindergartens and schools over the long term and if there is close cooperation among initiatives on all educational levels.

“Children from immigrant families can only experience educational success if they are not stigmatized and not expected to perform poorly from the start,” says Johannes Meier, member of the Bertelsmann Stiftung Executive Board. “Mentors can help develop the diversity and potential that youngsters inherently have.”  

The 2008 Carl Bertelsmann Prize wants to highlight international programs that have been effective in promoting children from immigrant families. Projects from 10 countries are being examined in which integration of second-generation immigrants has been particularly successful. Since every child is important and deserves a chance to develop to its full potential, this year’s Carl Bertelsmann Prize – the 20th time it has been awarded – is dedicated to the topic “Integration through education – Fairness for all.”

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