Working with FLAKS

by Laura from Hamburg

FLAKS, or Frauen und Kinder lernen in Altona, is a very worthy organization in the Altona district of Hamburg, Germany. Its mission is to get women out of and to keep them out of poverty, as well as to connect the various nationalities in the area. It provides German and other classes to (foreign) women, while their children are being cared for in the same building, and offers all types of advice and aid to female refugees, female immigrants, and German women. This includes the Stark im Beruf (“Strong on the Job”) classes, to which EUU Social Action has donated €500 in the past. Women taking these classes learn about job qualifications, how to fill out job applications, and how to prepare a German CV. There are also a few part-time jobs in FLAKS for job training in the center.

Many women tell me they feel safe there and that their husbands and fathers have no objections to them going to a women’s center. Some are learning to sew or cook, and others are preparing for their first level of German school exams.

Personally, I help out by donating German language books to their library, and, in the past, I did some lobbying for the center to have it located in a very international part of town. I have also taken several excellent computer classes there myself. Although I’m not currently able to do more, I have thought about volunteering at the FLAKS center when I retire.

For the moment FLAKS is receiving funding from the district, state, and federal government, but that money could dry up at any time. At some point in the future, it could probably use another donation from EUU. For more information about FLAKS, see their website.