Illustration: A crane that brings hope
© Kati Szilagyi

A crane that brings hope

  • TEXT ANTONIA SCHAEFER
  • ILLUSTRATION KATI SZILAGYI
  • INTERVIEW ANTONIA SCHAEFER

Lufthansa Group employees run nonprofit projects all over the world that they personally initiate and are responsible for overseeing. In 2019, the help alliance organization turns 20. A good reason to celebrate!

Illustration Jugendfreizeitzentrum
© Kati Szilagyi

1

Brazil 

One of the most recent help alliance projects is the youth leisure center Instituto Juventude Criativa in Sao Laurenco, Brazil. Combining sports with education, the project provides English lessons and helps young people with homework, then offers sports. Regular school attendance is compulsory for all participants.


 

Illustration Bällebecken
© Kati Szilagyi

2

Vietnam

The Saigon Children’s Charity helps mentally and physically impaired children in Vietnam, enabling them to participate in society. It prepared a syllabus for disabled children that is now used in some 40 schools across the country. Thousands of children now benefit from improved teaching methods.

Illustration Kinder mit Stift
© Kati Szilagyi

3

South africa

The iThemba Pre-School Project in South Africa, which takes its name from the Zulu word for hope, iThemba, offers children hope for a better future. The project is located in Capricorn township, one of Cape Town’s poorest suburbs, where youngsters learn to read, write and function socially in a group. The learning concept was such a success, it led to the building of an elementary school for 700 children.


 

4

Germany

In Flörsheim near Frankfurt, help alliance supports a project run by the Stern des Südens e.V. society, which provides regular German lessons for 60 immigrant children. The concept relies on music and play to help the children overcome inhibitions and feelings of aggression, enabling them to pick up the language almost effortlessly.

Illustration malende Kinder
© Kati Szilagyi

 

The help alliance organization supports more than 30 aid projects worldwide. helpalliance.org

America
Chignahuapan, MEX
Sao Laurenco, BRA
Sao Paulo, BRA
Guarabira, BRA

Europe
Hamburg, DEU
Düsseldorf, DEU
Köln, DEU
Flörsheim, DEU

Africa
Saint-Louis, SEN
Prampram, GHA
Lomé, TOG
Djougou, BEN
Obizi, NGR
Addis Abeba, ETH
Mubuga, RWA
Nairobi, KEN
Mombasa, KEN
Ukunda, KEN
Kapstadt, RSA
Johannesburg, RSA

Asia
Azraq, JOR
New Delhi, IND
Khandwa, IND
Dehradun, IND
Pondicherry, IND
Solukhumbu, NEP
Ho-Chi-Minh-Stadt, VIE (2)
Pattaya, THA
Borobudur, INA


 

Interview: “All donations go to the ­projects”

Andrea Pernkopf, Director of Lufthansa help alliance, on the amazing volunteer work done by Lufthansa employees.

Ms. Pernkopf, help alliance celebrates its 20th anni­versary in 2019. What makes the organization different from a traditional charity?

The amazing efforts of our employees, because they initiated the project back in 1999. Even today, people of every occupation across the Lufthansa Group are responsible for the help alliance projects. The very same flight attendants or pilots greeting passengers on board could also be running a local project somewhere. The Lufthansa Group covers our administration costs so that every donated euro goes straight into the project work.

You have held sales, marketing and other management positions within the Lufthansa Group since 1991. What drew you to the top position at help alliance?

Due to my admiration for the volunteer work so many of my colleagues are involved in, I have felt connected to the charity for a long time. I’m very pleased to be contributing my expertise to help offer underprivileged people new prospects in life.

Running an aid project while holding down a regular job sounds like a lot of work …

… It’s a huge commitment, and involves everything from initiating a project to regular, personal involvement on site. Our employees form the interface to the partner organization, which knows the local people’s needs, and ensures that the money arrives where it’s required. This only works when everyone involved is passionately devoted to the cause. Currently, we are able to support some 30 staff projects across the world.

What will the future of help alliance look like?

We want to help even more young people gain access to education and eventually be able to support themselves. For this, we need more donations, many, many more donations. We want passengers to share our employees’ enthusiasm for their projects by perhaps donating foreign currencies on board or buying products from a help alliance project in Nepal. Spices, for instance.