The projects we support
are our windows onto the world.

The projects we support
are our windows onto the world.

What We Support

Project Insights

The goal of our public relations work is to make our current activities and exemplary projects more visible. That’s why the people and initiatives that we support take center stage, both in our print publications and on our website. Lighthouse projects both large and small are given a special place.

Here, we provide short updates that reveal current happenings among our projects. In addition, we present in-depth reports and interviews that create a vivid picture of the initiatives that our foundation is privileged to enable and support.

To make this possible, our public relations team visits many of the projects together with the responsible project managers and gets to know the organizations and people on location.

We hope that these reports, in text and image, help to orient engaged individuals regarding possible support from the Software AG Foundation (SAGST) – and encourage them to tread new paths.

“Gemeinsame Mitte”: Hands-on Learning and Neighbourhood Encounters

Three girls work on tasks at the table
Photo: Huckepack e. V. / J. Günzel

Huckepack e. V. is located in the middle of Striesen, the most populous district in Dresden, the state capital of Saxony. Originating from a parents’ initiative, this independent youth welfare organisation has been running the Montessori children’s house for about three decades. Here 100 girls and boys, eight of whom have special educational needs, are currently cared for all day in four mixed-age groups. Freie Montessorischule Dresden has been growing steadily since it was founded in 1995 by the same sponsoring association and currently has more than 500 pupils. Today, in addition to a primary school with after-school care, it also comprises a secondary school, a vocational school and a vocational grammar school specialising in economics as well as health and social work. “This gives us the great fortune to support the developmental path of youth from infancy to young adulthood”, says Managing Director Harry Vahle about the background of the two reform pedagogical institutions.

Their common goal is to provide all children and young people with support according to their personal developmental stage and to give them the freedom to discover, experiment and try things out. According to the guiding principles of the Italian doctor and philosopher Maria Montessori, this is achieved via a prepared environment that offers a variety of stimuli from which an individual learning path can be chosen, taking into account time and rhythm. Another focus is on project-oriented work in inter-year groups. In addition, inclusion, participation and diversity have been part of the association’s self-concept from the very beginning, and it considers cultivating extracurricular partnerships and co-operations at the regional, national and international level of great importance.

The increased demand for school places and the newly added educational qualifications have pushed the main location to its limits, requiring the vocational grammar school to be hived off. A three-storey, accessible extension is currently being built to bring all the school’s branches under a single roof and to be able to accommodate more classes. Starting in 2023, this “Gemeinsame Mitte” (German for “Common Centre”) will have around 3,500 m² of space for specialised lessons, a library and its own kitchen complete with canteen and cafeteria. The latter will be run by a student company and also be used by residents from the neighbourhood. The new auditorium will have more than 200 seats and offer space for a variety of projects that complement the lessons, such as theatre and musical performances, exhibitions, concerts and festivals. Consciously opening up to the community not only promotes encounters and exchanges between people with and without disabilities but also reinforces the social fabric of the school and neighbourhood in the long term.

Financial support for the project is provided by the Software AG Foundation in Darmstadt, among others. The Foundation’s project manager, Jana Weische, emphasises: “The Dresden-based sponsoring association Huckepack e. V. sees school as a place of social learning, a place where society, individuality and family life intertwine. Everyday interactions here exemplify tolerance, integration, and an understanding of democracy and environmental awareness. Moreover, the new opportunities will also be passed on to the outside world in the future.”

For more than 25 years, the Software AG Foundation (SAGST) has enabled the work of the Gerhard Kienle Chair of Medical Theory, Integrative and Anthroposophic Medicine at Witten/Herdecke University (UW/H). Another five-year funding period will begin in 2023. External projects such as the online platform PlantaMedia®, financed with funds from the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL), underline the innovative power of the chair.

The 26th Kassel Youth Symposium of Waldorf Schools will take place from 8 to 11 December. It aims to encourage people to view current key challenges not simply as a burden but as a starting point for a sustainable relationship with ourselves and our environment.

A pledge for the orchards in Eberstadt, a protected area for lizards in Bauschheim or a multimedia exhibition in the Reinheimer Teich nature conservation barn: this year, “Echo hilft!” is supporting five projects in southern Hesse that are committed to environmental protection and nature conservation. SAGST is donating 5,000 euros to each project.

The social therapy centre in Eggersdorf near Graz, Austria, offers living and working places for people with severe disabilities. With the support of SAGST, it was recently able to expand the scope of its “day structure”.