Going to the doctor’s, keeping an appointment with the authorities, or transporting furniture – these tasks are so simple that most people take them for granted. However, they can quickly become problematic for refugees. Not everywhere has good local transport links, not all doctors’ practices and local government offices are located in a town centre, and not everyone can rely on the support of their neighbours. German charity, Caritas Wetzlar, aims to offer a solution by providing a minibus for refugees and aid workers. The Rittal Foundation is donating 10,000 euros towards the cost of the vehicle – because better mobility creates better opportunities.
In recent years, the Rittal Foundation has been actively involved in efforts to improve the situation of refugees in the Lahn-Dill region of Germany. “One of our key aims is to provide social support. We help people who are not able to do what they want or need to do by themselves,” explains Friedemann Hensgen, chair of the Rittal Foundation’s council. “Refugees have devoted enormous effort to making a new life, and we want to assist them.”
The Rittal Foundation’s donation is the first contribution towards the cost of the minibus. Caritas plans to raise the remainder of the sum by holding two large-scale benefit concerts at the Wetzlar civic centre on 31 October and 1 November. Pinocchio ’90, the self-styled “alternative theatre company”, will perform the famous musical AIDA, taking the audience to a faraway land in North East Africa. Spectators will embark on an exciting adventure that starkly contrasts with the journeys undertaken by many refugees. The clear objective behind the event and the Rittal Foundation’s donation is to help refugees as they travel the long road ahead.
The Rittal Foundation has been supporting social institutions, facilities and projects in the area since 2011. Part of the Friedhelm Loh Group, the charity promotes culture and research, and provides welfare services, education, and guidance to a variety of social groups –including migrant families, disadvantaged children and adolescents, and people with disabilities, for example. To mark the 50th anniversary of Rittal, the largest company in the Friedhelm Loh Group, owner and CEO Friedhelm Loh invested five million euros in the Foundation.
The Rittal Foundation is at the heart of the family-owned business’s charitable activities. Since Rittal’s establishment in 1961, business leaders and employees have regularly supported social projects and aid organisations, donated to natural disaster relief funds, and volunteered at schools, for example. In 2014, the Foundation’s traditional annual donation was given to instiutions that support refugees.
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Image: Hendrik Clöer (front row, left), department head at the local branch of the German Caritas Association, is pleased to receive a donation for refugee aid from Friedemann Hensgen (front row, right), chair of the Rittal Foundation’s council. Also pictured are Heinrich Arndt (2nd row, 5th from left), CEO of Caritas in Wetzlar, Manfred Wagner (3rd row, right), mayor of Wetzlar, and members of the Pinocchio ’90 theatre company.
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