May 17th, 2015

AVP’s managing director Sergej Aruin shows Stepan and his mother Maria Berenzon the construction site of the new day care center.

Next spring, 74 children will find a place in the new building. The responsible organization is AVP. The foundation stone for the first day care center in Düsseldorf, which offers Russian language support, has been laid. 74 children, ages zero through five, will be taken care of starting in spring 2016 at Tannenhof. There will be four groups, in two of which Russian will be the second language next to German.

“Many cities in the area already have such establishments – Cologne even has two” says visitor Maria Berenzon, who moved to Düsseldorf from Russia nine years ago. 8% of Düsseldorf’s citizens consider Russian their native language. The organization that is responsible for the day care center is Akzeptanz, Vertrauen, Perspektive (AVP) (acceptance, trust, perspective), which promotes the integration of Russian-speaking children and adolescents. “We have always dreamed of our own day care center. And I am overwhelmed because this dream is being realized” says AVP’s managing director, certified social worker Sergej Aruin.

The Day Care Center is Being Built on the Former Territory of the Soccer Club Tannenhof

During the laying of the foundation stone Thomas Geisel revealed: “Our governess is Russian and she teaches our youngest daughter Teresa to speak Russian”. The Chief Mayor himself impressed the audience with several Russian phrases. “I learned Russian as a student, 30 years ago, curiously in the United States and from a former CIA agent who had had to listen to the Soviet Union’s radio messages”. The Dortmunder business Derwald builds the establishment in Vennhausen, using wooden frames as well as large glass façades and elements of Russian constructivism of the 1920s for the one-story modules.

The 900m² complex will be built on the former territory of FC Tannenhof. Ever since the soccer club moved to Vennhauser Allee, the green space has been used as a dog walking ground. The head of District Administration has further ideas.

Bilingual Education Helps Children in Their Development

Maria Berenzon raised her son bilingually, too. Twice a week the 7-year-old attends Russian classes in the educational center Alpha in Friedrichstadt, which is also supervised by AVP. “It was an advantage for his development. He has become much more flexible and perceives other cultures more easily. During the assessment for elementary school the teacher was surprised that he had only been studying German for two years – because his German was so good!”

The head of District Administration Wilhelm van Leyen suggests offering an Italian group, too. “After all, many Italian families live in the area.” He also suggests the creation of a youth center. “I have seen the plans, an expansion is possible.”



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