An employee of WERGO working on a “Safety Machine” in the Textile & Design department An employee of WERGO working on a “Safety Machine” in the Textile & Design department

Founded in 1990 under the name of WIB e.V., the WIB – Weissenseer Integrationsbetriebe GmbH and its subsidiaries, WERGO GmbH and WIB Integ GmbH, jointly operate various social projects, integration firms and a workshop for persons with disabilities. In the meantime, the group of companies has more than 140 employees at nine locations in Berlin (Weissensee, Prenzlauer Berg and Adlershof). Trained staff with very different types of qualifications and experiences actively supports seriously disabled persons and people with mental illness. The Freudenberg Foundation is a co-partner of WIB GmbH.

What are the goals?

The ultimate goal is to achieve the social and vocational integration of persons with mental illness, addiction, hearing disability and other (serious) disabilities through appropriate care, supervision, counseling, employment and work in the associated projects and firms.

What does WIB – Weissenseer Integrationsbetriebe GmbH do?

  • WIB promotes the social integration of disabled persons and socially disadvantaged persons by offering counseling, supervision, employment and work in the association of projects and firms,
  • helps these people gain social participation, vocational rehabilitation and integration through its multi-professional teams,
  • acts as an intermediary between the different focal points of life of the persons concerned, i.e. illness, the world of treatment and supervision, work and family,
  • works together with different companies, e.g. Freudenberg Seals and Vibration Control Technology (FDS).

Two employees of WIB Integ working in the laundry Two employees of WIB Integ working in the laundry

Within the scope of the social-psychiatric association, WIB offers

  • social and psychological counseling in a contact and counseling center
  • supervision of supported housing projects
  • support in sheltered employment projects
  • integrated psychotherapy

Within the scope of integration counseling, WIB provides two expert services (IFD Ost and IFD for persons with a hearing impairment) to offer the following assistance:

  • finding employment in the general labor market
  • provide counseling and support at the place of work
  • provide counseling and support to the employer
  • offer the necessary training and prevention that is needed when working together with persons with a hearing impairment

An employee of WERGO weeding wild herbs in a lavender flowerbed in Tassopark An employee of WERGO weeding wild herbs in a lavender flowerbed in Tassopark

Jointly with WERGO GmbH (sheltered workshop for persons with disabilities), WIB offers

  • vocational training and rehabilitation
  • participation through employment and work (in different kinds of fields, e.g. domestic work, cafeteria, textile and design, gardening/landscaping),
  • support in making the transition to the general labor market,
  • services for commercial and private customers.

Together with WIB Integ GmbH (integration firm), WIB offers

  • vocational rehabilitation and integration by providing employment with social-security insurance in the firms Waschhaus (laundry service) and Industrieservice (industrial services),
  • services for commercial and private customers,
  • rehabilitative employment within the scope of additional-income jobs for employees with primarily mental disorders.

Who is financing WIB – Weissenseer Integrationsbetriebe GmbH?

WIB mainly is financed through public funds provided by the state of Berlin for the assistance of persons with disabilities in accordance with legal provisions.

  • The state of Berlin (funds for integration assistance and equalization fees, allocations from the District Office Pankow, clinics responsible for hospital treatment orders),
  • institutions for vocational rehabilitation,
  • income earned through commercial activities,
  • Freudenberg Foundation, Weinheim.

Which partners are supporting WIB – Weissenseer Integrationsbetriebe GmbH?

  • Freudenberg Foundation, Weinheim
  • Freudenberg Spezialdichtungsprodukte GmbH & Co. KG, Berlin
  • Berlin Senate Department for Health and Social Services
  • district office Pankow, social department, health, school and sports
  • Local social-welfare institutions
  • Vocational rehabilitation institutions, e.g. old-age pension insurance companies and employment agencies
  • Job Center Pankow, Job Center Lichtenberg
  • State Office for Health and Social Services, Integration Department
  • Paritätischer Wohlfahrtsverband
  • European Social Fund
  • Albatros gGmbH
  • U.S.E. gGmbH
  • LWB – Lichtenberger Werkstatt für Behinderte gGmbH
  • Pinel GmbH

Why is the Freudenberg Foundation supporting WIB – Weissenseer Integrationsbetriebe GmbH?

The Freudenberg Foundation is supporting WIB as part of its efforts to promote and maintain employment and additional-income opportunities for persons with mental illness. Since WIB operates integration firms as well as a sheltered workshop for persons with disabilities, it can offer social participation through work and social interaction. The Freudenberg Foundation, in turn, can gain first-hand knowledge not only of the prerequisites for but also of the opportunities connected to the employment of persons with mental illness and additional income.


WIB – Weißenseer Integrationsbetriebe GmbH
Andreas Schimmer, Manager
Tassostr. 17
D-13086 Berlin
Phone 0049-(0)30-479911-0
Fax 0049-(0)30-479911-32

Change Story

Mr. S.

Mr. S. is a young man who works for additional income regularly and reliably in the “washhouse and more”. Moreover, he has dreams for his future. It started during early adolescence, almost puberty, with a depressive illness that wasn’t diagnosed as such. Since then, the illness has been part of his life. Mr. S. completed Realschule and began an apprenticeship as a construction draftsman. He couldn’t finish his training, however, because he fell ill again. He found a job as a construction worker and completed an apprenticeship as a carpenter. Again the depression caught up with him. This succession of alternating fits of depression and phases of work went on for several years. Then Mr. S. made a new decision for himself: he would leave his familiar surroundings and come to terms with his illness.

Mr. S. moved to Berlin, where, for the first time, he experienced the assistance and support of a social institution. He registered at the Job Center, tried to lead a normal life, made use of various types of assistance and noticed how much he benefited from the existence of institutions open to his needs. Nonetheless, he was afraid of informing the Job Center of his illness. Within the scope of a qualification program, he got a job in a restoration firm, fell ill again, took a job as a waiter. Yet, once again, his illness caught up with him. Through his therapy in Berlin, he found out about a contact and counseling center for persons with mental illnesses. There he learned about WIB e.V. And that is how he came to the washhouse, where he first worked for a trial period. In the meantime, he has been working there more than two years for 12 hours a week on average. In the washhouse he found what he needed for his life, what was right for him at the time: a repetitive structure that doesn’t overtax him and provides stability. In the beginning of 2009, he went through an acute crisis when his girlfriend and he broke up, but his therapy and the support he found at WIB e.V. helped him overcome it. In the course of time, Mr. S. learned to make plans without rushing things. He started a further training course as a fitness counselor and dietician on his own. Since he only works a few hours a week in the washhouse, he can do something for his professional future without overtaxing himself. He has the time and strength to learn something new. This gives him hope. Although he knows that a downturn can come along at any time, he also knows that he won’t fall so far anymore – because he still has the washhouse.

In the meantime, Mr. S. has learned that he may be eligible for a retraining program for a Sports and Fitness Assistant offered by the Employment Agency. He has already taken some of the tests and is hoping for a positive outcome. It is his dream that he will one day be able to work in both areas – the washhouse and sports.