Felicitas Samtleben-Spleiß decorated with the Bundesverdienstmedaille: „This is a tribute to all volunteers working with humedica“

by Ruth Bücker, 2009/12/02

The Bundesverdienstorden (Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany) – this sounds grand and very significant – and in fact it is. In November, Felicitas Samtleben-Spleiß, who has volunteered with humedica several times, received this medal for her selfless commitment to people in urgent need of help.

Iraq, Sudan, Niger, Kongo and Somalia: it is in these countries that the trained nurse and midwife has served as a volunteer with humedica in the past six years. Lately, she went to Nepal in 2007 as part of a humedica medical team, when monsoon rainfall lasting for weeks had caused heavy floods in the south of the country.

Wether during famines or epidemics, in politically tense situations after a war, in the aftermath of typhoons or earthquakes: in many situations, Felicitas Samtleben-Spleiß, who was born in Baden-Württemberg, put her own safety at risk to help others. At the award ceremony of the Bundesverdienstorden that took place in Augsburg, district administrator Martin Sailer expressed his admiration for her commitment:

The Bundesverdienstorden of Germany is presented for special contributions. Foto: humedica

“For the service of charity you always put your own safety at risk. Even when there were difficult situations and though your work always involved a high personal risk, you carried out your voluntary activity in order to give new hope to people who often were not able to help themselves anymore.”

The Bundesverdienstorden is the highest honour that is awarded by the Federal Republic of Germany for service to the common good. The award is presented for political, socio-economical and intellectual achievements as well as for contributions in the fields of social and charitable work.

As it is the case with Felicitas Samtleben-Spleiß, the award is presented for contributions that are made over a longer period with considerable personal commitment. The award of the order is supposed to draw the public’s attention to contributions of that kind, which the Federal President of Germany regards as particularly significant for the community.

Wolfgang Groß attended the award ceremony in Augsburg and congratulated Frau Samtleben-Spieß with all his heart. Foto: humedica

Expressing that she felt very honoured, the committed Christian accepted the Bundesverdienstorden that is supposed to demonstrate recognition and gratitude for her commitment. Apart from her work with humedica, the award was also presented to her for her commitment as chairlady of the church council of St. Nicholas in Stadtbergen and for her commitment for the Gesellschaft für christlich-jüdische Zusammenarbeit Augsburg und Schwaben e.V. (Association for Christian-Jewish Cooperation Augsburg and Swabia).

Wolfgang Groß, executive manager of humedica, congratulated Mrs. Samtleben-Spleiß on the award and emphasized that he was very pleased for her since he and all the humedica staff were proud of their volunteers and since such voluntary service were often too little appreciated by the public.

The recipient of the Order of Merit is well aware of the risks and efforts accepted by the volunteers. She regards herself as a representative of all volunteers and said that “this is a tribute to all volunteers working with humedica.” As humedica staff, we can only agree with her words and say Thank you to Mrs. Samtleben-Spleiß and all other volunteers.

District administrator Martin Sailer (second on the left) handed over the medal to Mrs. Samtleben-Spleiß. Numerous congratulators, among them Wolfgang Groß (first on the left) and his daughter Rebecca (second on the right). Foto: humedica

Felicitas Samtleben-Spleiß writes down her impressions gained during her work in poems that you can find here (in German).

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