The terrible effects of the flood disaster in Rhineland-Palatinate and North Rhine-Westphalia with its many victims and the destruction of its infrastructure have deeply moved Prof. Klaus Fischer. The owner of the Group of Companies immediately knew that he wanted to help and support the reconstruction efforts. It was particularly important to Prof. Fischer for the support to reach those affected directly. A facility was found that was hit particularly hard by the floods on 14 July: The integrative St. Hildegard daycare facility in Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler, Rhineland-Palatinate. Prof. Klaus Fischer is supporting its reconstruction with a donation of 100,000 euro.
“The children and their relatives lost a crucial part of their lives from one day to the next through the extensive damage to this daycare facility. With this donation I’d like to contribute to allowing those affected to find their way back to everyday life as soon as possible”, Prof. Fischer says. The daycare facility is situated directly on the Ahr river and was flooded within a matter of hours due to the high water. Dirty water and debris swept through all of the rooms, reaching levels of up to 2.30 metres. A large, washed-up tree blocked the entrance to the facility after the flood, meaning that therapeutic areas such as the facilities in the occupational therapy room could no longer be used. All of the equipment, including wheelchairs and specialist beds, stacked up on a pile of refuse.
“Once the water had receded and we were able to assess the impact it was clear that there was nothing left”, says Carina Kacavenda, Deputy Director of the Caritas daycare facility. “But thanks to the donation by Prof. Fischer and his company we are now able to hope for the first time that we can restart again after the flood”. The St. Hildegard daycare facility offered spaces for a total of 58 children, who have now been housed in provisional accommodation in a neighbouring area for the coming months.
Prof. Fischer presented the 100,000-euro donation to Mareike Schmid, who organised the donation project within the fischer Group of Companies. Mareike Schmid established contact in the flooded area several weeks ago and is involved in many other volunteering projects, including ‘Kranke Kinder Tübingen e.V.’ (Tübingen association for sick children). The 27-year-old has already visited the Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler region several times in person and is in close communication with the facility management and local Caritas representatives. This ensures that the donation is used exclusively for the reconstruction of the daycare facility.
Mareike Schmid visited the flooded area once again late last week, where she notified the representatives of the daycare facility of the donation and helped with reconstruction efforts for several days. “We would never have expected a donation of this magnitude for the reconstruction. It allows us to look to the future once more. We are immensely grateful to Prof. Klaus Fischer”, states Richard Stahl, Managing Director of the Rhein-Mosel-Ahr Caritas Association.
Mareike Schmid will continue to accompany the project over the coming months on behalf of the fischer Group of Companies.