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Apprentices from Ziehl-Abegg sponsor two children

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Donation for food, healthcare and education in Swaziland in southern Africa

“We will permanently sponsor two children in Africa” says Jennifer Zürn (22) as she signs the World Vision sponsorship certificate together with Marlen Geißler (20). The apprentices and trainees from the Künzelsau-based fan and motor manufacturer commit themselves to bear the costs for the children’s food, education and healthcare.

During a seminar of the Youth and Trainees council (JAV) the apprentices came up with the idea. As the JAV is the council for apprentices in the company, Jennifer Zürn and Marlen Geißler are the young counterparts of work council members. “Regarding social commitment, there is something missing,” they mentioned in the seminar. Motivated and full of ideas they returned to the company and discussed with the other young employees. The response was highly positive, leaving them only with the question, how to do it. “In the JAV we considered projects that make sense and that suit us,” Zürn explains. In the end, the committee decided to support the World Vision child sponsorship programme.

“We wanted to select something permanent,” Geißler explains. Therefore, the partnership with World Vision suited them well. At the same time, the JAV members informed themselves about how transparently and economically the organisation works. The apprentices agreed to donate 30 euros per month for each child. In return, the children get food, healthcare and school education. “And of course we can send a little birthday present or some money for exercise books for the whole class,” Geißler says. Concerning additional gifts, World Vision recommends sending things that benefit the entire community. “We can also donate money for a chicken that will be shared in the whole family,” explains Zürn who sponsors a child in private as well.

Among other reasons, the young Ziehl-Abegg employees chose Swaziland because English is one of its official languages besides Swazi. “Maybe in the future, we could invite a child to Ziehl-Abegg in Germany for a work placement or for even more,” the JAV representatives add. In order to earn money for the project, the apprentices will set up fund-raising projects at future company celebrations. “For instance, we will organise a lottery or sell drinks,” Geißler says. The foundation for funding the project was set when the apprentices sold company shirts with the old design which they had received from the company.