What is behind the Steffen Helbing Stiftung GmbH?
To begin with, I would like to briefly introduce ourselves. My name is Steffen Helbing and I am deaf and a wheelchair user myself.
My wife Gerlinde Helbing is also deaf.
For more than 16 years I have been involved politically and voluntarily for the participation and concerns of deaf and deaf-blind people throughout Germany, Europe and worldwide.
I have already been able to implement numerous projects and achieve a lot. Some barriers have already been broken down. That makes me very happy.
Nevertheless, even in those years, many doors were closed directly in front of me. Private, social and political participation of deaf people is still full of barriers.
Access is difficult and there is often a lack of sign language interpreters to ensure communication. Smooth communication is the first step for a functioning cooperation.
Therefor, deaf people need interpreters for German and German sign language.
The financing of these is often unclear, so that deaf people are unfortunately far too often excluded from conversations.
In October last year I stayed for several weeks in a pagoda tent in front of the Bundestag (House of Representatives).
I also went on a hunger strike. During all this time, my dear wife Gerlinde Helbing was always at my side and supported me with all her strength.
I never lost sight of my goals and more and more I got donations from the deaf community. They saw me as their hero and fighter for their rights.
With all my heart I put all my strength into an inclusive society. For me, equality in all areas is my declared goal.
This my dream that I want to turn into reality.
The donations paid for the rent for the pagoda tent on site, as well as the costs for gas, electricity and a stove.
We don't want to put this money from the deaf community into our own pockets.
It is intended to benefit all deaf and deaf-blind people. For this reason we would like to set up our own GmbH:
The Steffen Helbing Stiftung GmbH.
It is dedicated to deaf, deaf-blind, hard of hearing, CI wearers and deaf people. The obligatory goal is to enable private, social and political participation.
If the costs are not absorbed or only partially absorbed, the GmbH will compensate for cost equalization.
Furthermore, donations are to be collected through various events, such as benefit evenings, galas or other events of any kind, in order to be able to finance further projects.
Fortunately, I can rely on a large network of supporters of this good cause. Applications are already made at various agencies to obtain donations.
Although Germany ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities more than ten years ago, deaf people still often encounter barriers when it comes to participation and access to society.
The Steffen Helbing Stiftung GmbH is intended to enable and promote access and participation in culture, sport, leisure, health, nature experiences, further education and many other areas.
To name just one example: Vocational training is often only financed by a public body after good justification and if so, then only once.
If a young adult decides to complete a second course after completing a first course, such as a degree, sign language interpreters will no longer be funded for this on the grounds that one can work in the first course that has been completed.
If the assumption of costs for sign language interpreters is not clear, the GmbH takes action after carefully examining all conditions.
If there is no funding, the GmbH provides support, after reviewing all relevant criteria. If help is needed, help will be given.
In the future, the financial resources are to be spent on good causes that enable the deaf and deaf-blind people to have an inclusive society.
The goal is an inclusive society in which deaf and deaf-blind people have full and equal access and equal participation in the private, social and political sphere.
In order to make the GmbH better known to the public, there is a separate plan for advertising.
This includes, among other things, the presentation of the logo at various selected events, as well as contact with the relevant press.
In the distant future it is also conceivable to build a retirement home for the target group.
Many other ideas and projects are planned and are waiting to be launched.
Gerlinde Helbing and Steffen Helbing
Stiftungskonto bei der DKB Deutsche Kreditbank AG
Foundation account with DKB Deutsche Kreditbank AG:
Steffen Helbing • IBAN: DE89 1203 0000 1013 43 05 72 • BIC: BELADEM1001