Education for Housing Swap – Empowering children from deprived neighbourhoods

Education for Housing Swap – Empowering children from deprived neighbourhoods

Children from deprived neighbourhoods” usually have poor educational opportunities. This is where the innovative peer-to-peer programme of “Tausche Bildung für Wohnen” from Duisburg comes in. The social enterprise works with youth education mentors who explicitly move to the respective neighbourhoods and swap educational mentoring for free housing.

More than half the world’s population lives in cities, often as a melting pot of different cultures in a dense area. This does not always work well. Many cities struggle with challenging neighbourhoods where the unemployment and crime rate is high, and where educational opportunities for children and youth are poor. It is precisely in socially deprived areas that schools are neglected even though the children in these areas would require the highest level of care.

This is where the award-winning social enterprise Tausche Bildung für Wohnen (“Swap Education for Housing”) from Duisburg comes in. Its educational innovation is now being transferred to other cities.

The success of “Tausche Bildung für Wohnen” is based on an innovative scheme to swap free housing for youth mentorship

The social enterprise addresses young people who want to make a purpose-driven gap year or who plan to study in Duisburg. The offer: Move in the middle of a deprived neighborhood and engage as a peer-to-peer mentor for the children and youth in the area. As a volunteers you live with the other mentors in a shared flat for free. In return you take care of the educational and personal development of the children in the neighbourhood and offer them a second home in the so-called Tauschbars, the home of the social enterprise. Here the children are allowed to develop through holistic learning support and attractive holiday and leisure activities. Within the framework of cooperation with schools, the mentors also support individual children at school.

The programme is so powerful because of its peer to peer approach at eye level. As the volunteers themselves live in the neighborhood, it is easier much easier for them to build trust and help the children to regain self-confidence. Moreover, by liaising with people who move in from outside, the children see that the world does not end where their neighbourhood ends and that there exist further opportunities outside.

The mentors themselves benefit from an experience they cannot make elsewhere. Through intensive qualification they also gain valuable skills for their daily work, individual development and further career prospects.

With its “Swap Education for Housing” concept, the social enterprise steps in where politics or the public administration find it difficult to succeed. As multipliers and ambassadors for a society in which people respect each other, learn from each other and live out a peaceful environment and togetherness, the educational sponsors actively help to shape their environment and bring about positive social change through many small steps.

«By swapping rent-free housing for an educational mentorship for the kids within a deprived neighborhood, Tausche Bildung für Wohnen creates a triple win situation for the children, the mentors and the neighborhoods – and hence a longterm positive perspective for the region.»

The concept, which has been tested and developed over many years in the Duisburg district of Marxlohe, is now being transferred to other cities. This is an important milestone to make the founders dream come true: to establish a social franchise model which allows to replicate the scheme wherever it helps to empower children from deprived neighbourhoods.

How Tausche Bildung für Wohnen works, shows this video (in German):

Swap Education for Housing’s contribution to the 17 Global Goals

Quality Education

Improved educational opportunities for children and youth from deprived neighbourhoods

Reduced inequalities

Reduction of inequality between wealthy and deprived neighbourhoods

Sustainable cities and communities

Improving the quality of live of deprived neighbourhoods through inclusive education and improved social cohesion.

Project Assessment

You can view the complete project evaluation here:


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