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Johannes Hoerning


At the end of the rainbow is a TOY bench

Johannes Hoerning

"For my TOY cap project this year I’ve spent a week at the Kinder- und Jugendhospiz Regenbogenland, where families with kids who suffer from terminal illness are able to spend part of their remaining time together. It’s one of only 14 such institutions in Germany in which the expected loss of a child or young adult is accompanied by therapists, social workers, and volunteers who together try to create an atmosphere of joy and solidarity. On my first day, we started with a singing session in the garden, before eating together and welcoming two “Hospital Clowns” from Cologne. In the afternoon I supported the admin team with preparations for the Open Day and other urgent tasks. During my time here I was able to experience how a family copes with the expected loss of their child, and how particularly difficult it is to deal with the grieving process of the siblings. In the middle of the Hospiz is a small indoor garden where hand-painted stones are laid down for every child that has passed. It’s a very moving gesture and one that connects this place to how we remember Yves. Together with the team, I decided to acquire a wooden bench for their new garden and to paint it in rainbow colours. I invited the six-year-old twins Sam and Damian, whose older sister is one of the patients here, to paint it together with me. We put on our TOY shirts and got all messy with the six colours of the rainbow. This bench is now the Rainbow TOY Bench on which siblings and family members can take a rest and send their thoughts to their loved ones and to Yves in whose name I’m here at the Hospiz."

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