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Updated: Nov 9, 2023

By Mark Young

President, Rational Games, Inc.

May I please take the occasion of our last blog of 2022 to introduce our latest grantee, the Train of Hope in Dortmund, Germany (TOH)?

Housed in cheerful if modest rooms in the centre of a vibrant downtown neighbourhood with 75% of the population from a “migration” background, 21% unemployed and 25% under 18, this welcome centre for refugees from all places has already won multiple awards and attracted not only our attention.

Founded in September 2015 in the first wave of refugees from Syria, TOH is to my knowledge the only full-service welcome centre for “newcomers” in Germany, offering a comprehensive program of advice on dealing with German bureaucracy, a German language cafe, after-school tutoring, music, soccer, support groups for girls and women and more.

More importantly for Rational Games, TOH is a firm believer in the power of games and play to bring people together, with a rich menu of games on offer.  Through our project with them, this will be established and expanded.

Three things convinced us that this grantee was a good match for us:

  1. Their approach to the difference between negotiation and advocacy is a question we wrestle with in our seminars. Interests are always negotiable, but what about values?  This organization stands clearly for the values of diversity, tolerance, and hospitality, and yet seeks to negotiate a better life for its clients in a not always hospitable environment.

  2. Strong focus on youth. TOH is committed to the idea of turning its “clients”, especially younger ones, into volunteers, who then are invited to give back by donating time and effort to those who come after them.  We like that idea.

  3. An organization with heart. At the centre of the TOH offices is a large table where every day a (refugee) cook prepares generous home-cooked meals for all who are present or who come by from the neighbourhood. What a way to live the value of hospitality.

If you want to join us in supporting this truly impressive organization, have a look at their very professional website, complete with the “Donate” button, and board the train of hope!

Merry Christmas to all.


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