Alles Gute zum 60. Geburtstag an die Lebenshilfe!

Alles Gute zum 60. Geburtstag an die Lebenshilfe!

Inclusion Europe’s Past President Maureen Piggot with Inclusion International’s Past President Klaus Lachwitz,
Lebenshilfe’s federal chairwoman Ulla Schmidt and its federal manager Jeanne Nicklas-Faust – Photo credit: © Bernd Lammel

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“Lebenshilfe stands for openness, diversity and partnership, for a culture of cooperation and respect.” This is what the German president Frank-Walter Steinmeier said at the anniversary event of Inclusion Europe’s member Lebenshilfe: The organisation is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year.

Founded in 1958 by Dutch teacher Tom Mutters together with parents and professionals to make sure that “children can grow up with their families and in the community, and not in segregated institutional settings”, Lebenshilfe has grown to comprise 16 regional and 502 local committees with more than 125.000 members in 2018.

“Participation instead of segregation”

“Tree stand and confessional” – the winning art object

The anniversary event in Berlin, which was attended by Inclusion Europe’s Past President Maureen Piggot, saw Lebenshilfe awarding the winners of their sculpture competition “Ganz plastisch”. Out of 420 submissions 6 had been determined to best represent Lebenshilfe’s motto “Participation instead of segregation” . The first winner was Maximilian Weiger who works in an inclusive arts workshop in his free time. According to the jury, his object “Tree stand and confessional” questions “segregation and discrimination and encourages taking a critical perspective”.

“The competitors have shown us how the diverse ways in which participation and segregation can manifest themselves”, Lebenshilfe’s federal chairwoman Ulla Schmidt pointed out during the award ceremony. The former minister of health and parliamentarian reaffirmed Lebenshilfe’s commitment to “continue advocating for inclusion and participation of people with disabilities.”

“Alles Gute zum Geburtstag” from everyone at Inclusion Europe to Lebenshilfe. We are looking forward to continue working together to make “Participation instead of segregation” a reality in Germany and Europe.

Easy-to-read version

Click on a word which is in bold to read what it means.


“We wish a happy 60th birthday
to Lebenshilfe Germany!”

Lebenshilfe is a member of Inclusion Europe
in Germany.
This year is their 60th birthday.
They have celebrated their birthday
with an event.

The president of Germany is called
Frank-Walter Steinmeier.
He was at the event
to celebrate the birthday of Lebenshilfe.

He had very nice words to say
about Lebenshilfe and its work.

Lebenshilfe was created 60 years ago.
Tom Mutters was a Dutch teacher.
Tom Mutters created Lebenshilfe
together with families of children with disabilities
and people who knew a lot about disability.

Their goal was to be sure
that children with disabilities
could grow up with their families
and not in institutions.

Lebenshilfe has grown very much.
It has many centres across Germany.

Maureen Pigott is the
former president of Inclusion Europe.
She took part in the celebration
for the birthday of Lebenshilfe.

At this event, Lebenshilfe gave an award
for a competition.

6 awards were given to the 6 works of art
that best speak for Lebenshilfe’s slogan.
Lebenshilfe’s slogan is “Participation instead of segregation”.

The first winner was Maximilian Weiger.
He is an artist who works
in an inclusive arts workshop.

His work of art for Lebenshilfe
is called “Tree stand and confessional”.

A tree stand is a chair in a tree where a hunter sits.
It helps the hunter to get a good overview of the forest
and the animals.

A confessional is a big wooden box in a church.

The priest sits in the middle
and people sit behind a curtain or a window.

They can talk to the priest,
but the priest cannot see them.

People use the confessional
when they want to talk to a priest
about bad things they have done.

A jury decided to award the work of Maximilan Weiger
because it makes you think
of segregation and
how unfair discrimination is.

Ulla Schmidt works for Lebenshilfe.

She was also an important member of the government of Germany
some years ago.

She said that Maximilian
really deserves the prize.

She said that the works of all the participants in the competition
show very well
what segregation is
and what inclusion is.

She said that Lebenshilfe is working really hard
for the inclusion of people with disabilities.

We at Inclusion Europe want to wish
a very happy birthday to everybody at Lebenshilfe.

We are looking forward to continuing our work together,
for the inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities
in Germany and all over Europe.