We are the Ramm family, mother, father and three children.
Carl is the middle child. He was born with Down syndrome in 1995.
We lived in Turkey at that time, our life was turbulent. In 2000 we moved back to Germany, here the children spent their school years. All three attended different schools, according to their personal interests and abilities. We helped and supported them.
But what comes after school? The big leap into independence, vocational training or university. For our eldest and our youngest, the matter was clear: they couldn’t leave the nest at home fast enough.
And Carl? Straight into employment, the workshop, that didn’t fit. He, too, should have the opportunity to find his bearings and try things out, to learn with his peers and to cope with everyday life. We couldn’t find anything suitable in Germany. So we searched further and found what we were looking for in the south of England. “The Mount”, a great orientation, learning and living project. Three years of time for Carl, three years in a community with support and a sense of belonging. Three years with the chance to develop and try out in the best way possible. Looking back, a complete success for all of us.
We asked ourselves: Why isn’t there such a great project in Germany? So one question became a matter of the heart: firstly, the establishment of the Anne Ramm Foundation in 2015 and secondly, the idea of the college. A place with the goal of offering young people with support needs a protected space for orientation in living and working.
One stage on the way to establishing the college is the Lern-WG, our first residential project. Twelve young adults live together in an apartment building. Some with, some without support needs. Self-determined learning.
The foundation sees itself as a companion for young people on their way to an adult life. Door to door with eight other tenants. What sounds like a daring experiment at first is actually the best training for independence. It is geared to the individual needs of each person as well as the needs of the group. And in the middle of Berlin life.
The special features of the Lern-WG compared to other forms of housing
- 12 young people with and without assistance live together door to door
- They support and benefit from each other
- Integration assistance is provided by qualified personnel, who also bear the responsibility
- Necessary care service is integrated on request
- Living in the Lern-WG is limited in time
- The learning goals are independence, competence in everyday life and in the community.