Mother-Child Center Bassum looks back on 30 eventful years on its birthday

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Of: Fabian Pieper

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Mayor Christian Porsch gave a Bassum umbrella to the board of the mother-child centre. A sign that everyone can feel well protected. He congratulated (from left) board members Anne Schumacher, Katarina Wetzel, Brigitta Wortmann, Henrike Gerling-Jacobs and Charlotte Nielsen. © Berthold B. Kollschen

The mother and child center in Bassum is celebrating a birthday. The board looks back on 30 eventful years. 30 years, during which the plant has held its own in Bassum despite some adversity. And those responsible have big plans for the future. They want to expand the kindergarten.

Bassum – A 30th birthday isn’t really an anniversary, but it’s still a reason to celebrate. Those responsible at the mother-child center (Mükize) Bassum must have thought something like that. But perhaps the birthday itself is not the reason to celebrate, but the fact that Mükize has held on in Bassum for the past 30 years despite some adversity. And it has big plans for the future.

But first a look into the past. However, it began 31 years ago. Due to the corona, Mükize was unable to celebrate his milestone birthday last year. That will now simply be dealt with, explains Brigitta Wortmann, chairman of the board of the registered association, and managing director Katarina Wetzel. “Mükize was created in 1991 as an initiative by women who felt isolated,” says Wetzel.

Efforts to find were successful

The founding efforts were embedded in a nationwide initiative to promote similar institutions, which Waltraud Schoppe, Green Party politician and former member of the Bundestag from Albringhausen, was particularly committed to. And they were successful: the founding event took place in August 1991, and Mükize Bassum has been registered in the association’s register since 14 October 1991.

This was the beginning of eventful years – in the truest sense of the word. “We moved a lot,” recalls Brigitta Wortmann with a laugh, who was sometimes desperately looking for a suitable place to live. Mükize on Kirchstraße had the first rooms. A few years later it moved to Bremer Straße. At the turn of the millennium, the plant had to be operated out of a residential building in Osterbinde for about a year. It has been in its current location since 2001, opposite the town hall on Alte Poststraße.

The association’s work is based on voluntary work

And this despite the fact that the association’s work has been based exclusively on voluntary work since it was founded. Although Wortmann describes this as a “plus point,” he also stated with the growing supply, “It couldn’t go on like this.” Wetzel adds, “Few volunteers, high costs. We were closing.”

The board visited similar institutions that were already professionally set up. In 2016, efforts to run the plant professionally gained momentum. In 2019, Katarina Wetzel took over the management: “I try to do my best with the support of the board.”

For them, it means, above all, obtaining financing for financing. In addition to Wetzel, six employees currently work at Mükize. In addition, the trained economist maintains collaborations with other social institutions from Bassum: the family center in the same building, the elderly counselling, the youth center as well as schools and kindergartens. “I think it’s important that social institutions are networked,” says Wetzel.

Online deals still exist today

Speaking of the network: Unlike many other institutions, Mükize Bassum has coped quite well with the consequences of the corona pandemic, as Brigitta Wortmann explains: “We fell on our feet,” says the trained media educator who drew on her expertise and the offer quickly moved to the Internet: ” We launched online courses from scratch.” Some of them have lasted to this day, such as the Friday workshops: Every Friday, Mükize uploads a practical video with e.g. , crafting guides and cooking recipes on his website (www .muekize-bassum.de) high.

In addition to media, healthy nutrition and integration are important pillars of the facility. The latter is especially important for Katarina Wetzel, who herself came to Germany from Slovakia: “We live integration,” she says, describing herself as an example that “Germany is open to everyone”.

Inspire visions and expansion wishes

Wetzel and Wortmann also have other visions: “We want to expand,” says the latter, “we don’t have enough space.” Both would like to expand the kindergarten, which is in its third year and currently has a group. And also due to the constantly growing range of events, Mükize lacks space. In addition, both want to expand the range of services and are looking for ways to hire more staff through the funds they receive. A vision that, as Brigitta Wortmann puts it, “inspires”.

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