Why did you get involved in this social project?
I want to make a difference with the skills and knowledge I have acquired, to do something good. We live in an affluent society. The products I develop can be described as luxurious. The project in Tanzania is different. Here it is a matter of very rudimentary and tangible things: the construction of weather-protected, humane living spaces, organising the water and electricity supply etc. , in other words, the very basic necessities of life that we take for granted. With simple means and a little creativity you can achieve a fundamental improvement in the quality of life for many people. I find that very enriching.
But why an own project?
Most development aid projects lack transparency. One does not know what exactly happens to the donated money and what is it used for or how it is used, that is, whose goals are actually being pursued? This project is different. I know the two initiators Hanno and Udo well, and their trustworthiness is absolute. With them I have the certainty that every cent really benefits the people and especially the children there. I also get to help shape the paths and goals, which is important to me.
Why social engagement in Africa/Tanzania?
When I joined, these parameters were already in place. The project could have and would have been in many other places in the world.
Why not something more regional or closer to home?
Of course there is suffering and injustice everywhere in the world, also here with us. But the problems in the developing countries are incomparably different, the conditions much more serious and inhumane than here. The consequences are already being felt here in Europe, for example. in the form of the refugee crises from the Mediterranean. Our social system bears a considerable share of the responsibility for the situation that prevails in these countries, so I also see it as a kind of moral duty to get involved there as far as I can.
What has been your best/most memorable experience so far in connection with the two projects in Tanzania?
I witnessed a severely traumatized child being taken off the streets and placed in the care of the orphanage. The girl, about 10 years old, was sent by her blind grandmother to beg in the city. Her condition was pitiful, the expression on her face apathetic, her gaze absent. Since she didn’t speak, they assumed she was mute. But the very next day she was playing with her new siblings, chatting and smiling. For me, that was an unforgettable smile – this girl was given a new life.