Cologne/Abensberg in August 2020 – In the first half of 2020, the projects of Main dans la Main - Kirchmann Foundation for Africa, which IR.on has supported for many years, were also affected by the coronavirus pandemic. While the pandemic has not yet reached the same dimensions as in other regions of the world in many African countries, it is nevertheless a great danger.
Main dans la Main is currently actively pursuing four projects – two in Serekeni, Burkina Faso, and one school project each in Atar, Mauritania, and Sina Gali, Nigeria. The maternity ward set up by the foundation at the hospital of the Franciscan Order in Sabou, Burkina Faso, continues to be supported on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). In 2019, there were about 900 births, 24 of them by caesarean section – a nice success.
In Serekeni, in western Burkina Faso, the foundation is currently preparing two projects: a campaign to educate the population about the connection between hygiene and health as well as a pilot project on waste disposal in cooperation with the French association Kynarou (kynarou.fr). The aim is to establish a waste disposal concept for small and medium-sized municipalities in the region, that can also be transferred to other regions of the African continent. The final negotiations with renowned sponsors are currently underway.
The school in Atar, Mauritania, is currently closed due to the coronavirus pandemic and the daily school meals cannot be provided. Final-year students will be allowed to return to class in September, and we hope to return to regular schooling on 1 November. In general, the local population seems to be less afraid of the virus than of new poverty. A ray of hope in the crisis: the final-year students who want to become tailors have a lot to do and make masks for the population.
The school in Sina Gali, Nigeria, is currently also closed. By contrast, the solar-powered well financed by the foundation – the only one within a radius of more than 20 km – is all the more frequented. The next step will be to organize more teaching staff for the approximately 680 children in addition to the 2 (!) teachers currently working there, in order to enable constructive school operation.
The foundation represented by Felicitas and Hanns-Peter Kirchmann hopes to be able to actively push ahead the projects on site again soon. More information about the foundation and the possibility to support it by donations can be found at www.stiftung-kirchmann.de.
About the foundation
“Main dans la Main - Stiftung Kirchmann für Afrika” was founded about 10 years ago by Felicitas and Hanns-Peter Kirchmann and has set itself the task of supporting development projects in Africa – mainly West Africa. The focus here is on health and education. IR.on AG has supported Main dans la Main for many years and is represented on the foundation’s board by Fabian Kirchmann.