The familial situations of children frequently expose them to psychic and mental stress. Their parents—under priviliged or at the margins of society—are incapable of giving them the attention and support so needed for healthy development. The problems are specific and include unduly long work days, long-term unemployment, mobbing by others in their age group, inadequate living conditions, and neglect extending to clothes and nourishment. But there is more. Children are also burdened with conflicts between parents, addiction within the family, or the death of a loved one. Children and families need aid in the form of political policies and measures, but they also need more than that. They need psychological and emotional aid as well. But how?
The Courage Initiative Foundation provides children and their parents or guardians with space to breath whenever their situations in life become problematic. Disadvantaged children or families struck by fate are sent on a one-of-a-kind trip to the Allgäu where they can climb, hike, ski, and think about other things in the freshness of the Allgäu air and where the days end in the repose of story telling each and every evening.
Experiencing nature, taking in the fresh air, and the other facets of the program provide an outlet designed to reduce stress for children, parents, and guardians alike. Children experience a reality other than their oppressive day-to-day lives in an atmosphere where they can try new things and discover the belief in their own potential—seeing and experiencing themselves as the valuable individuals that they are. This insight is a building block of fundamental import for taking control of one’s life and shaping a better future in a competent and responsible manner. Without the Skischule Ostrachtal and the pur group, these trips would not be possible. We extend our heart-felt thanks to Hubert Holzheu for that and have in him a strong partner on our side.