High Five – Five Ways to Make a Change
With High Five, we want to create a functional network that helps children and adolescents from all social classes obtain the same opportunities in five different areas. These areas are culture, health, education, outdoor activities and family support.
We feel responsible for supporting young people in our region and enable them to have a better future. We want to make our contribution to a better community, and we hope to achieve this by introducing High Five.
2.5 million children in Germany live in relative poverty. The income of a “relatively poor” family allows for covering essential needs such as food and clothes. In Germany, we are lucky because there is practically no absolute child poverty, which means that no child must live on the street and suffer hunger and ask for food. Relative poverty, on the other hand, often results in children not having the same opportunities concerning the areas mentioned above. We as a team asked our self how we can support these people.
During our brainstorming, a major issue we became aware of was that many clubs and other institutions in our area complain about sinking numbers of members and lack of new blood. To solve this problem, many clubs offer cheap memberships and free trial courses, but often without the desired outcome. But why is that?
We conducted a survey in our school and one of the questions we asked students was:
How many free or price-reduced free-time activities do you know in your area?
As can be seen in this chart, most of the students we asked did not know more than three free offers in their area. Our survey showed us what exactly the problem is. Many children do not know enough about the offers that already exist in their region.
It is not until this problem is solved that everyone can have the same opportunities. With High Five, we want to create a platform on which this information is bundled so that everyone has the chance to benefit from it.
But how exactly will that work? Picture the following scenario: Mike is a 15-year-old boy whose parents have a low income. Mike has two problems. The first one is that he is bad at economics, but he does not know where to obtain affordable tutoring. Also, there is his huge desire to play American Football, but he thinks that the membership fee of the local club will be too expensive.
At school, he witnesses a presentation of the High Five team. In the end, he is told how to access the High Five website, and one of the High Five members recommends him to check the outdoor activities and education sections. Back home, Mike explores the website and finds two interesting offers.
The first one is from a retired teacher who offers free tutoring in economics. The second one is a price-reduced membership with the Pforzheim Wilddogs, the local American Football club.
What exactly did High Five do here? Well, High Five is the connection between the children that search for offers and the clubs, institutions etc. that make these offers and search for new members. Now Mike is happy because he can finally play American Football, the teacher is happy because she can pass on her knowledge and the American Wilddogs have the chance to spot new talents and can recruit new members.
To benefit from being close to the target group, the project should be located directly in schools. Our principal Mr Hoffmann supported us in our plans and allowed us to establish High Five for a trial period. Furthermore, we are in contact with other schools and institutions that showed an interest in supporting us.
Our goal is to create the same opportunities for all children and adolescents no matter which social background they have.
If you have any questions or would like to know more about our idea, please feel free to contact us to receive further information.
High Five Group Fritz-Erler-School
Photo: (c) ZEW / Theresa Heep