AllDi: Single Parents in Dithmarschen

Location: Dithmarschen, Germany

Vulnerable group in focus: Single parents

Coordination: Diakonisches Werk-Schleswig-Holstein, Hannes Muehlens

Did you know? 12,1% of the families in Dithmarschen are single parent families, of which 4009 are mothers and 886 are fathers.

Do you speak German? Visit the local blog of AllDi.

Micro Project Biography

In this section we would like to acquaint you with insights into our micro projects and their journey towards becoming an independent social start-up. The micro project biographies are updated every other month. If you have further questions, feel free to contact the local coordinator (see above).

Choose your issue of the AllDi biography:

 DEC 2019   FEB 2020 


Tell us about your Micro Project in three sentences

AllDi (Alleinerziehende in Dithmarschen) is an initiative for and by single parents that co-created a regional website for their peers to network and communicate with each other. Before, there was no public place or platform in which single parents could find valuable information specifically targeted at them; relevant events and activities were promoted only in a "mouth to mouth" way without structured communication channels. Now, our goal is to develop further and improve our service and to become independent from European funding.

Who are the persons behind the initiative?

At the core of the project are four single parents who meet every month to coordinate the upcoming steps. Moreover, the social service provider Diaconie of Dithmarschen is involved in the meetings. The innovative element is that the project is not just “for” single parents, but also “by” single parents. For instance, they learned about web design, fundraising and journalistic writing to be able to develop and maintain their internet platform on their own. This approach is essential to ensure that the contents actually meet the demands and expectations of single parents in the region, which would be different if an “outsider” would do the job. In addition to the development and maintenance of the website, the group furthermore organises information events (e.g. a presentation about divorcing and children) and actively promotes the project (e.g. through stands at Christmas markets) to become better known.

What are your long-term goals?

Our two long-term goals are to ensure the initiative’s long-term financial viability and to recruit additional participants. Both goals are actually interrelated because having a critical number of participants is the first prerequisite for a stable organisational setup. To reach more potential participants, we work with low-barrier project presentations in everyday situations. Moreover, we aim at cooperating with established organisations or events to approach future group members.


Which topics do you currently address in your micro project?

We are currently about to organise three thematic evenings for single parents where external referents from different institutions will provide input. To give an example, the topic of the first evening seminar will be “separation and its consequences in relation to the age of the children”. In addition to sharing knowledge and information, these events should also help us to establish our micro project location (the meeting point “Hoelp”) in the region and to attract further members for our team. Our micro project organises the event series entirely on its own, this includes for example finding speakers, promotion and all kinds of practicalities.

What are your challenges at the moment?

We aim to increase the number of micro project participants to stabilize our project. Many of our activities should support this endeavour either directly or indirectly – be it an AllDi stand that we organised at a local Christmas market in December, an information leaflet the we developed over the past months, or the lecture series that we just talked about. These are but a few activities and we are quite active when it comes to outreach efforts. At the same time, we try to develop a strategic approach to avoid that these remain isolated or uncoordinated measures.

What are your short-term goals for the next months?

We have many plans, one of them is to organise a seminar weekend with all members of our micro project and Accelerator Team. This weekend should be used for team training and to make further progress on our way towards becoming an independent and mature social startup. Organising such a weekend seminar is actually quite challenging as we had to take care not only of the place, the schedule and so on, but we also had to organise child care. Eventually we managed it, now the planning is almost finalised and we look forward to the seminar weekend!

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