German-Russian day care center Tannenhof’s foundation stone laying

Last weekend, the focus of attention during the opening of AVP’s (Akzeptanz, Vertrauen, Perspektive e.V. = acceptance, trust, perspective) bilingual day care center was the laying of the foundation stone. Chief mayor Thomas Geisel attracted attention with his distinctive linguistic talent – this time not English, but Russian!

In the sunny and warm spring afternoon a wide range of citizens with Russian roots found their way to Vennhausen to participate in the celebration. For Sergej Aruin, AVP’s managing director, a dream came true. The foundation stone was laid and in spring 2016 the first children will move into the day care center Tannenhof.

“Our organization has worked in Düsseldorf for as long as thirteen years and ever since I dreamt of building a day care center”, the obviously touched founder of the association explains. This dream is tangible now. Soon children will be supported in the development of their basic skills here. Multilingualism, especially German and Russian, will be the main priority. Furthermore, the specialists working here, who are no public service employees, will familiarize children with the topics of health, ecology and good foods. “This is the best day of my life” says Aruin.

Russian Language Qualification from the CIA

The municipal day care center Tannenhof will of course be open for all children. Nevertheless, the planned day care center takes into account the approximately 40.000 Russian-speaking inhabitants of Düsseldorf. “Düsseldorf is our home and we want to show our gratitude to the people who have given us warmth” Aruin summarizes the main idea. For Chief Mayor Thomas Geisel the laying of the foundation stone was a special event, as well. He calls the laying of foundation stones one of his favorite pastimes. “However, the opening of a German-Russian establishment is a special treat for me”, says Geisel.

The Chief Mayor’s speech was living proof of his linguistic talent. With several eloquent phrases in the native language of Düsseldorf’s new inhabitants, he surprised many of the Russians present. He told the visitors that he had learned Russian a good thirty years before during his education in the United States from a CIA agent. He received benevolent smiles and the applause of more than 100 people in the audience.

A Good Day for Düsseldorf

Being a father to five children he knows how important such institutions are. Therefore, it is no surprise that at the end of his speech he declared “I am looking forward to the enrolment of the first children!” Deputy Mayor Burckhard Hintzsche was just as enthusiastic: “As the head of the Youth Department I am pleased to see the city’s progress for our little ones.”

In his opinion the quality in the construction of such establishments is more important than quantity. The first German-Russian day care center’s planning is promising. “Today is a good day for the city of Düsseldorf and for district nine” says the head of department.

With architect Thomas Pape of the Derwald consortium and AVP’s managing director Sergej Aruin, Chief Mayor Thomas Geisel buried a copper capsule that was symbolically filled with photographs, Euros, Roubles and more. Geisel finds that “with a responsible body such as AVP, the project stands under a good star” and adds that “we are a city of diversity”.

Living Space for 74 Children

For Thomas Pape this is a role model project. “It is fun to build for children” he believes. In his view, the project will be a living sketch for 74 children ages 0 to 5. The rooms that are being built will provide a place of movement for the children. Here, they will be able to run and play hide and seek. Pape says that “it will be a living space, not a storage room.”



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