News: Aktionsgruppe „Kinder in Not“ e.V.


Typhoons are not uncommon in the Philippines. The fifth largest island nation must cope with an average of twenty of these tropical cyclones every year. In most cases these storms tend to hit the northern islands. However, just before Christmas 2021, things were to be different. Super Typhoon Rai hit the island of Cebu on the evening of December 16th with winds of up to 240 kilometres per hour. The combination of heavy rains, raging waves and storms claimed the lives of 400 people and destroyed 1.7 million homes. Father Heinz Kulüke, a long-time project partner of our Aktionsgruppe “Kinder in Not” e.V., wrote: “In my 25 years in the Philippines, I have never experienced a typhoon of this magnitude and such devastation in Cebu.”

The small preschool Tapul, whose maintenance has been financed by our association for many years, was unable to withstand the typhoon and was completely destroyed. Fortunately, after more than two years of corona-related school closure, the children in the Philippines were not allowed to study together before August 2022 anyway. The home-schooling programme, which had been well established since the outbreak of the pandemic, was thus extended for the preschool students because of the destruction of the school.

In this way it was ensured that the girls and boys did not lose touch with the state-mandated learning workload. For our association, however, it was self-evident that this should only remain a temporary solution. There were many reasons against rebuilding the school in the same place. Finally, a building site within walking-distance for the existing students was found, which will also give girls and boys from another dump site the opportunity to get there. After negotiations, the municipality made this plot available for use free of charge for 20 years.

Finally, a few days ago, the new pre-school in Tapul was opened. The base for a successful school education for 80 girls and boys has been laid. However, the project is not limited to the pure educational aspect. For example, through hygiene training, the children learn how to care for themselves properly. Washing their hands and brushing their teeth ensure that their health is maintained in the long term. Involving the parents in the educational work ensures the continued success of these measures in improving the quality of education and life. The daily hot meals are also an important short- and medium-term offering of the new preschool. Not only does this mean improved school performance for the mostly malnourished and/or undernourished girls and boys, but it also ensures a better quality of life for the children. The creation of a school-garden is one of the next steps and will support the self-sufficiency of the facility, as well as become a place of learning and sustainable nutritional education for the children.

To be able to maintain such a holistic offer of help the Aktionsgruppe “Kinder in Not” e.V. depends on donations. On our website you find information on the various ways on how to donate and support.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank the Jürgen Wirtgen Stiftung and the Stefan Wirtgen Stiftung for covering all our association’s administrative costs.

Gisela Wirtgen + Team of Aktionsgruppe “Kinder in Not“ e.V.