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Migration and Home Affairs
  • Germany
Target Audience
  • Youth/pupils/students
  • Educators/academics
  • Local community organisations/NGOs
key themes association
  • Sports
  • Vulnerable youth and youth engagement in P/CVE
  • 2021


RheinFlanke gGmbH was founded in Cologne in 2006, to fight discrimination and racism and to provide equal opportunities to children, teenagers and adolescents lacking access to education and opportunities to participate fully in society. Currently, it provides mobile youth work in nine locations throughout Germany. Using its local and international networks, it reaches out to more than 3 000 children, teenagers and adolescents per week.

RheinFlanke established a wide range of sport-based youth work programmes and activities. It addresses socially disadvantaged children, teenagers and young adults (female and male) aged 10 to 27, affected by diminished opportunities in terms of education and social integration.

As a means to build trust and to enhance engagement, RheinFlanke accesses potential participants through openaccess gathering places, mostly in inner cities. It encourages young people to participate in a variety of sports activities, including football, dancing and gymnastics. In this context, sport is used to create safe spaces for children and adolescents, allowing them to identify and develop their potential and talent, have fun and clear their minds, and further, to gain access to diverse support and assistance options for their prospective (professional) futures.

RheinFlanke is highly experienced in inclusive and participatory youth work. Through a large network of partners, existing concepts and good practice models are transferred, influencing and shaping sociocultural developments as well as political debates in Germany and Europe. In 2015 RheinFlanke implemented the HOPE project, funded by Phineo-Skala initiative, with the goal of integrating refugees into German society.

RheinFlanke engages in strong and active collaboration with donors such as the KastanienHof foundation, streetfootballworld, the Lukas Podolski foundation, the PHINEO SKala-initiative and the IHK foundation. In addition, RheinFlanke was awarded the DFB Integration Prize in 2008, the Dirk-Nowitzki Foundation prize in 2014 and the PHINEO Wirkt-Siegel in 2015. RheinFlanke's work has also been recognised by the Robert Bosch Foundation for future engagement. A range of celebrities openly support and speak on behalf of the RheinFlanke, including Germany’s former national footballer Lukas Podolski as well as professional footballer Neven Subotic (Borussia Dortmund).


RheinFlanke believes that young people, regardless of their background, deserve a fair chance to thrive. Young people have the opportunity to interact with and shape their environment, developing their own individual perspective on life.


RheinFlanke aims to improve the prospect for disadvantaged young people, regardless of their backgrounds, through sports, mentoring and training programmes which enable participants to set out independently on the path to a fulfilling future. RheinFlanke's programmes seek to instil self determination and independence in young people through their engagement with sport, training and education, positively impacting young people, their families and society as a whole.

Type of Organisation: NGO

Project description

'Spiel dich frei!' is an innovative combination of sports, political education, theatre plays and music, aiming to prevent the radicalisation of young people in schools and open youth work.

The goal is to stimulate young people to reflect on their cultural identity and their role in German society. Theoretical inputs on extremism and the promotion of democracy are combined with a practical engagement in sports and the arts. This interdisciplinary approach allows young people to become involved at an emotional, cognitive and physical level.

The project is organised and run by streetfootballworld, RheinFlanke, Liberal-Islamischer Bund and CrossArts Cologne.


Contact details


RheinFlanke gGmbH
Koelhoffstraße 2a
50676 Cologne

streetfootballworld gGmbH
Waldenserstr. 2-4
10551 Berlin

Contact person: Pia Strohmeyer, Project Manager
Telephone: (+49) 221 398 04189 / (+49) 172 737 2985
Pia [dot] Strohmeyeratrheinflanke [dot] de (Email) | Website

Contact person: Laura Ginzel, Project Coordinator
Telephone: (+49) 307 800 6240
ginzelatstreetfootballworld [dot] org (Email) | Website

Read the full practice

Spiel dich frei!