“We help Africa”: successful completion of Germany-wide charity campaign celebrated at the town hall of Kaufbeuren

by Sven Ramones,  2010/10/05

In the framework of a festive event at the dignified rooms of the old town hall of Kaufbeuren, the charity campaign “Kaufbeuren helps Africa” officially came to an end. Numerous guests had been invited and among them also was humedica CEO Wolfgang Groß who was handed over a donation cheque for humedica projects in Benin.

Since October 2009 the name “We help Africa” has represented initiatives of 32 German towns with the objective of giving at least 32 needy children in African countries the opportunity of having a surgery for free. In order to reach this objective, readiness to help has been combined with sports enthusiasm. Each of the participating German cities was linked to one of the 32 national football teams playing at the World Cup 2010. Furthermore, each city was supported by a famous person from the field of sports, culture or politics who acted as patron.

Under the motto “We help Africa”, the participating cities organised diverse events and campaigns in order to collect donations for achieving the project’s objectives. The participants furthermore took advantage of the increased media presence of “We help Africa” in order to draw attention to the numerous existing initiatives and relief projects which are being run in Africa by almost all 32 cities – mostly without people being aware of them.

Dedicated commitment for Africa: (from the left) City Coordinator Rudolf Schnippe and Lord Mayor Stefan Bosse. Photo: humedica/Ruth Bücker

At the beginning of the event, Stefan Bosse, Lord Mayor of the Town of Kaufbeuren and patron of the event, welcomed the invited guests, initiators, patrons, policy and media representatives, as well as representatives of donors and of the relief organisation Mercy Ships and Wolfgang Groß from humedica. Guest of honour at the conclusion celebration was Prof Dr Delphin Mehinto of the University Hospital of Cotonou in Benin.

Afterwards, Rudolf Schnippe, the coordinator in charge of the town project Kaufbeuren, held a summarising speech about the success of the campaign and pointed out the overwhelming total donation amount of 900,000 euros which had been collected in the form of yields and takings during the individual campaigns of all 32 German cities. This sum was used to help needy people in African countries, who otherwise would not have been able to afford necessary surgeries.

By means of short, informative presentations, CEO of Mercy Ships Udo Kronester and Dr Ernst Horling of the hospital Klinikum Ostallgäu-Kaufbeuren who spoke on behalf of Prof Dr Heinrich Stiegler, provided an overview of the work which could be realised thanks to the donations.

They gratefully received donations for their projects in Africa: (from the left) CEO of Mercy Ships Udo Kronester, humedica CEO Wolfgang Groß, head of Mercy Ship’s PR department Doris Rypke, Prof Dr Delphin Mehinto. Photo: humedica/Ruth Bücker

In Benin, 60 dialysis patients could benefit from the donations and during a so-called shunt surgery they were inserted important catheters. Further 11 patients were operated on their eyes or had tumour or cleft lips and palate surgeries, which meant a definite improvement of their quality of life.

In his speech of thanks to all sponsors involved, Prof Dr Delphin Mehinto also pointed out the supporting role played by humedica. In the framework of a humedica mission Prof Dr Heinrich Stiegler, Chief Physician of the hospital Kaufbeuren, had already offered his expertise and support in Benin last year. In cooperation with humedica, humanitarian projects in the country could be promoted – including also the above mentioned shunt surgeries and procurement of medications.

During the concluding hand-over ceremony, a cheque of 19,000 euros collected in the framework of the city project Kaufbeuren was divided up between various charitable institutions and schools of the town to be used for their projects in Africa. humedica CEO Wolfgang Groß received a donation cheque of 1000 euros, as well as further 4000 euros for continuing the shunt surgery project in Benin.

The evening was accentuated by musical performances of a gospel choir and of Deborah and Ramona Holzmann, the singers of the ambitious German newcomer band Sternblut.

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