Press release -
Burkina Faso: Gerlach continues their humanitarian project
The construction of an orphanage in Diabo, Burkina Faso began in 2018. This was the start of making Eduard Gerlach GmbH's favourite humanitarian project come true in partnership with the organisation Starke Kinder e.V. [Strong kids e.V.] to help children in one of the most impoverished lands in the world. It took 65,000 Euros to build a fully equipped orphanage for 30 children aged up to 3 years in Burkina Faso. On the occasion of its 150-year jubilee, Gerlach asked for donations instead of gifts. Half of the sum was collected in this way. The company donated the remainder. The construction was done despite extremely difficult circumstances at the site. In the previous year, the first children were already able to move in. The orphanage, which is managed by the Sisters of Notre Dames des Apôtres (NDA -Sisters of Our Beloved Lady of the Apostles), was visited by Initiator Frank Weske from the organisation Starke Kinder e.V. in Hüllhorst, near Lübbecke. He not only reported positive developments, but also brought along a gift for the charity donors. Eduard Gerlach GmbH's managing directors from Lübbecke, Jobst-Peter and Timor Gerlach-von Waldthausen, meanwhile provided assurance that they will continue to help fund the orphanage in the years to come.
The orphanage has been open for over a year already. The precarious safety situation makes it impossible for the organisation and Eduard Gerlach GmbH to participate. Over the past year alone, over 500 attacks were carried out in the north-eastern part of the country. At the start of this year, Frank Weske was able to inspect the local status quo.
Saved from wild animals
After the completion of the buildings, the first toddler moved in in January 2019, and the second on the 15th of March. After donating 65,000 Euros for construction, Eduard Gerlach GmbH also provided the funds for the first months of operations. The 10th of April 2019 was marked by the arrival of Moses, whose history shows the entire drama of the living conditions of these young children.
Still a newborn, he was wrapped in an old cloth after birth and abandoned in the bush. A young man found the small bundle. The police brought the child to a hospital, and then to the orphanage Maison Gerlach. This is where he was given his name. Moses was saved not from drowning, but from the risk of being eaten by wild animals. He is meanwhile doing well. Today, he lives with nine other children in the orphanage. The newest two were accepted in November 2019.
A humanitarian project must not stop
With the growing number of children, the order has been recruiting more caregivers. They now have four child minders to look after the toddlers up to three years of age. The orphanage is currently designed to house 30 children, and is being further beautified. Among other things, the courtyard has been paved, the walls painted, and plants flourish, creating a positive atmosphere. The children are lovingly looked after by the nuns.
The caregivers have monthly expenses for power and water. The children need food, clothes, educational materials and toys for healthy development. For this reason, the managers, Jobst-Peter and Timor Gerlach-v. Waldthausen, have decided to permanently cover the ongoing personnel and maintenance costs on an annual basis. The company also accepts sponsorships for the children.
Back in Germany, Initiator Frank Weske brought a small but heartfelt thank-you to Lübbecke: the Maison Gerlach in oil and paint. The local artist had previously helped at the actual orphanage, and carefully decorated the interior walls.
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