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Schalke hilft!

Schalke hilft! Direct help for people from Gelsenkirchen and the Ruhr

Quick, unbureaucratic and direct help for people from Gelsenkirchen, the Ruhr and the neighbouring regions – this is the aim of Schalke hilft!, the foundation of the S04 founded in 2008. The royal blue foundation is the expression of the social responsibility of the club whose home is the region that has been stroken hard by the structural change in the last 50 years. After the 2nd World War, Gelsenkirchen was one of the most important centres of coal and steel industry. But through changes in the energy sector, it came to a overproduction crisis in coal mining and to the first pit closures in the 1960s. Until today, Gelsenkirchen and the whole region are struggling with the consequences of the structural change, as official figures clearly show. Only in 2013, the average rate of unemployment of the city of Gelsenkirchen was at 14.4 per cent. Four out of ten children in the region grow up in poor families or live on the breadline. One of the most frequent factors of this poverty is a lack of education. Almost half of the affected people did not graduate. 42 per cent of the housholds in Gelsenkirchen only show a low educational index. So, the city is 15 per cent behind the average of the rest of North Rhine-Westphalia. As a club founded by miners, the FC Schalke 04 sees itself in a special responsibility. With Schalke hilft! the club wants to give back something to the people who have supported it for the last 110 years and who have made it to what it is today: one of the largest football clubs in the world, an internationally acknowledged and known club and an important employer in the city. For this reason, Schalke hilft! supports numerous projects in Gelsenkirchen and the region. A focus of the foundation is in the area of talent boost and education. Schalke hilft! perceives its projects as help to self-help and wants to show perspectives to the youths of the region, to give them back their belief in themselves, to contribute to social integration, to motivate, to boost talents and to be a guidepost, as unemployment does not have to be an inevitable fate. As the foundation concerns a lot about the homeland, Schalke hilft! only supports projects in Gelsenkirchen and the rest of the Ruhr.