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Since 2002 Inner Wheel District 86 has supported the “Blue Bus“, a youth centre on wheels, located in Märkisch-Oderland County close to the Polish border. This region suffers from a constantly decreasing population and an extraordinary high unemployment rate.
The idea to have the "Blue Bus“ as a District project was introduced by the former District Chairman 2002/03 Veronika Bleyl. Since then it has been the charity project of all succeeded chairmen of being supported financially by most all Inner Wheel Clubs of District 86.
The "Blue Bus“ is a 14m (45 feet) long bendy bus that functions as a mobile youth center. In this structurally underdeveloped region of former Eastern Germany it provides sustainable and reliable care for children and teenagers after school. The "Blue Bus“ stops 5 days a week at 5 villages and offers in each village for 6 hours a broad variance of services.
Approximately 120 children per week are benefiting from the “Blue Bus“. Furthermore, since 2016 children of a nearby home for refugees have been integrated.
The team of the “Blue Bus” consists of social workers, interns and several volunteers. Services range from supporting homework, courses in music and arts, various sports and further group activities.
In this county with a poorly developed infrastructure, the „Blue Bus“ is the only offer of support and supervised leisure for children and teenagers after school. It provides a value based education with a Christian background.
Since the beginning of the project, every year in September a group of interested Inner Wheel friends of D86 has traveled to Seelow, the home-base of the “Blue Bus“ in order to get an impression of the activities of the project and to reinforce to the personal relationship to the team and the kids.
Also in 2018, a group of 24 Inner Wheel friends from 12 Inner Wheel Clubs of our district visited the bus.
After many years of service the “Blue Bus“ needed to be replaced. With the support of many Inner Wheel friends of D86, a new bus could be purchased in 2016 and was able to go into operation in the spring of 2018.
We are proud having supported this sustainable project teaching children ethical values and principals will enable them to become valuable members of our society. The “Blue Bus” keeps on rolling many years.
Anette Haas - D86