Bad Arolsen – Waldecksches Diakonissenhaus Sophienheim
On the initiative of Princess Helene, a home for 10-12 rural children, mainly orphans, was established in the year 1864. From these early beginnings, the Sophienheim, named after the daughter of Princess Helene who had died an early death, was founded in 1872.
As early as 1876, Pastor Bodelschwingh from Bethel sent Deaconess Mathilde Kötter to Bad Arolsen. She headed the institution with great spirit, while it was expanding during the initial years. Besides the reformatory/orphanage, a needlework school was established as well as an association of sisters with 8 deaconesses.
On July 1, 1887, the Sophienheim was rededicated into Waldecksches Diakonissenhaus Sophienheim (WDS).
Today, the WDS still considers itself a diaconal institution of and for the people of Northern Hessia. This is where the roots are and this is where the work is done with and for fellow human beings, guided by the Christian faith.
Today, the WDS operates a youth center with a broad pedagogical range, outpatient and inpatient geriatric care as well as the only school for geriatric care in the district of Waldeck-Frankenberg.