On 10/03/2016, running enthusiasts from across the entire property sector will come together to run a course through Munich’s Westpark as part of the 6th EXPOLAUF, with all sponsorship proceeds going to the HORIZONT e.V. association. We spoke to Jutta Speidel, the organization’s founder:
Ms. Speidel, what is the philosophy behind HORIZONT e.V.? What is your personal connection with the organization?
The project was conceived as a result of my unwillingness to simply accept a particular situation as just “the way it is”–specifically homelessness among children and their mothers in Munich. I started HORIZONT as an initiative to get these women and children – the majority of whom have experienced terrible hardships which have left them traumatized and without any sense of self-worth – off the streets. It’s all about finding a safe place for these individuals – some breathing space. From there, we begin to build them back up and give them prospects for the future. Essentially, my work at HORIZONT serves to create a ray of hope for these desperate women and children. This is what keeps driving us on to always give our all, so that the children and their mothers will eventually go on to stand on their own two feet.
I founded HORIZONT after my work happened to lead me to a Munich homeless shelter, where I was shocked to find children. It was a life changing experience. That was 20 years ago now, and since then we have fought and achieved a lot, but we are not showing any signs of letting up yet. We are currently building a second HORIZONT house, for example. As Lead Chair, I am just as active in the organization as I have always been, developing our visions and driving new projects forward with my team.
In 2015 you fired the starter pistol for EXPOLAUF for the third time, raising a total of EUR 6000 in donations for HORIZONT e.V. How did this long-standing partnership with EXPOLAUF come about?
EXPOLAUF is a truly wonderful thing. It sees participants turning out after an exhausting day at the trade fair to use the little energy they have left for a good cause. This is something that we have in common with all the runners – we too give our all in order to achieve our goals. Naturally, our work depends on working alongside our partners, but we are not an umbrella association like so many larger charities. This means we are always delighted when people become aware of us through events like this and decide to support us. And when that turns into such a positive, long-standing partnership as this one has, it really is a great sign for our work.
There are plenty of keen runners on the starting line again this year, ready to do some good. Has it already been decided which HORIZONT e.V. project the money collected from the run will go towards?
The donations will be put toward two projects this year: Our chief focus is to renovate facilities in our 24 apartments. They are fully furnished, but over the years they have become a little less than brand new, and they lack additional storage space. The second, vital goal is – as ever – to be able to continue to offer art therapy sessions to our young and older residents alike. Art therapy is really important to us, as it helps those concerned to express their traumatic experiences and work through them with the on-site therapist. The donations will allow us to kit out our therapy rooms and workshops with vitally needed equipment.
EXPOLAUF and EXPOBIKE – the sports angle of EXPO REAL
Cycling for a good cause: Four questions about EXPOBIKE to Thomas Meyer
More information on EXPOLAUF
More information on HORIZONT e.V.