Best Buddies Germany
Best Buddies Germany was launched in 2006 and has friendships thriving in Berlin, Munich and Hamburg. It was the first country outside of the US to launch e-Buddies in a language other than English. As the e-Buddies program has no geographic boundaries, German speaking participants from all over are emailing their e-Buddies every day.
The Best Buddies Germany staff spent some time with one of their High School friendships, Julia and Hannah:
Julia and Hannah became friends after meeting through Best Buddies about a year ago. With a beaming face, hugging her friend Hannah, Julia shouts, “I love you.” Hannah smiles and says, “I love you, too.” With joy Julia claps her hands and cannot manage to stop laughing.
Even though Julia does not understand some things as quickly as Hannah, she’s very sensitive and intuitive. Hannah says, “many people think that people with intellectual disabilities do not realize if they are not been taken seriously, but they do.” She poses the question, “why do people assume that they have no feelings?”
For Julia, it is always a great experience to visit her best buddy, Hannah. Being with Hannah, Julia feels very secure since she is accepted as she is. The two girls share a deep friendship. Julia tells Hannah, “you are my best friend.”
Hannah shares, “initially I was afraid of making mistakes but it is much easier than I thought.” Hannah and Julia do normal, every day things together. The friends love to play cards and Julia is very competitive – always playing to win. They also just spend time with each other without competing; Hannah playing the harp and Julia enjoying the music. Hannah claims that she is certain that laughing is Julia’s greatest hobby. Hannah declares, “Julia is an asset to my life. She is cheerful, honest and a really great friend – a real sunshine.”