BackgroundThe Freudenberg Foundation was established in 1984 by members of the Freudenberg family who bequeathed to the foundation a part of their holdings in the Freudenberg Company, which is owned exclusively by family members.
MissionTo promote science, education, humanities and peaceful co-existence in society.
Geographic focusGermany, Israel, Hungary, South-East Europe, Bulgaria and Romania
Programme areasThe Freudenberg Stiftung regards itself as an operating foundation which draws up, implements, develops, and disseminates projects of its own. Its work and grantmaking focus on the following areas:
• Integrative society
• Youth between school and working life
• Democratic culture
• Work for mentally ill persons
Supports the integration of children and young people from immigrant families. Projects are designed in such a way that the families as a whole are assisted and that, in particular, the parents become active and participate over an extended period of time. The aim is to help children and young people with an immigrant background completely develop their potential in the course of their education. Secondly, projects work towards systematically including the special qualifications of immigrants at school, jobs, in the community and media, so that the strengths of a culturally heterogeneous society become more visible and usable. Thirdly, the foundation aims to strengthen the integrative power of communities and local civil society through model projects in city districts, so that children and young people from immigrant families will experience a sense of belonging, recognition and hope for the future at their places of learning and living.
Youth Between School and Working Life
The foundation is active in the area of vocational training and vocational integration of underprivileged young persons. The foundation supports projects that improve vocational orientation and counseling at school, teach young people how they can take more initiative and have more entrepreneurial spirit, expand job opportunities for young people and encourage local authorities and civil society to take more, also joint, responsibility, so that young people can find the most suitable schooling and vocational training.
This program area involves two aspects: on the one hand, it is concerned with response strategies whenever democratic culture is threatened, e.g. by right-wing extremism or religious extremism; on the other hand, it focuses on having children learn democratic culture in kindergarten, school and their general surroundings. The foundation initiates and supports initiatives that aim to strengthen democracy as a form of life and help develop the skills necessary for this, be it in kindergarten, school or the community.
Work for Mentally Ill Persons
Supports the reintegration of mentally ill persons into the labour market and promotes model examples of jobs where mentally ill people can earn additional income. A prize is awarded for trend-setting business ideas and company organisation models every year.
A special characteristic of the Freudenberg Foundation is that it provides support to the selected towns over an extended period of time.