By fostering young people’s personal and social development, we help them escape or reduce the impact of an underprivileged background and pave the way to better lives for themselves and their families. Germany, too, is plagued by social ills and inequality, and Gelsenkirchen is a case in point. Over two out of five children and teens under the age of 15 live on social welfare. Young people from financially and/or socially vulnerable families not only face a higher risk of developmental disabilities but also suffer from social exclusion, dysfunctional family lives and a lack of cultural identity. All of this can hamper their overall development and active participation in society.
German football player Manuel Neuer responded to their plight by setting up the Kids Foundation in his name in 2010. Ever since Manuel Neuer Kids Foundation opened MANUS in 2014, the child and youth center has been a refuge for Gelsenkirchen’s children and young people. Here, 6–18 year olds enjoy targeted socio-educational support, regular meals as well as a variety of learning opportunities. In 2020, the Foundation established another MANUS in Bottrop.