Everything flows: “Panta Rhei” Integrative Residential Group

“Panta Rhei” is ancient Greek and means “everything flows, everything is in motion”. According to its website, this insight also shapes the work of the eponymous integrative child and youth welfare facility near Dresden. “Our goal is to reintegrate youth who have often fallen through every social crack back into the life of ‘normal’ society thanks to our multidisciplinary team. We stabilise them and prepare them for a new path. Ideally, they obtain a school-leaving certificate or complete vocational training, giving them the opportunity to lead a self-determined life.”

Founded in 2020, the non-profit sponsored company emerged from the Panta Rhei association. It now operates two inpatient youth welfare facilities in Arnsdorf and Glashütte near the Saxon state capital. The Software AG Foundation has already financed the renovation of the existing buildings at both locations, with the young people accommodated there also lending a helping hand. In Glashütte, for instance, in 2012, the association took over a former orphanage from the 1930s, which has since been expanded in several stages. In addition to the main house, which is home to nine young women and men, an annexe offers three places in a more open form of living. There, the young people practise leading an independent life in preparation for when they leave the institution.

Most of the youth who live here have already passed through several youth welfare centres, with quite a few having lived on the streets at least some of the time and having experimented with drugs. Consequently, the residents, who are partly referred to as “system busters” in Germany, can finally experience some reliability and stability in Glasshütte. In addition to receiving individual support to achieve school-leaving qualifications, they can also get involved in shaping their environment – not least through handicrafts and artistic activities. With the upcoming and urgently needed renovation and roof insulation, more rooms are being created on the attic storey that will be used for teaching and individual therapies, but also as creative spaces.