When in summer the football fever was rife, the whole world was looking at Africa. However, for Björn Ostertag and Momcilo Ruzic, both with Fracht-Ops in Frankfurt (FRA SC/A1), something was decidedly absent in the many pictures of African children playing soccer. They were playing barefoot on the dusty earth. As a result, there originated the idea of collecting money for the Cargo Human Care (CHC)-supported Mothers' Mercy Home in Nairobi, in order to buy the correct soccer gear for the children and then give it to them on site. The project “Football shoes – kick-off into a better future“ was born.
Ostertag and Ruzic informed CHC-Director Fokko Doyen, Head of Fleet of Lufthansa Cargo, and settled the formalities of the collecting of donations with all the pertinent sectors. As of September, employees and customers were able to fill football-shaped savings tins with their donations in the Lufthansa Cargo Center and in the Cargo City South. After one month, the proud sum of 913.17 Euros had been gathered. To promote their local economy, the football boots were to be purchased in Nairobi. But, this wasn't at all so easy. The procurement on site presented a number of challenges, because only a few shops had such a high number of shoes in their inventory. Nevertheless, in the end, the purchase was crowned with success and both Cargo Lufthanseaten set out with 35 pair of soccer shoes in suitable sizes in the direction of the Mothers' Mercy Home in Kiambu.
The orphanage which houses nearly 100 children lies about one hour outside of Nairobi. However, beside the shoes, both Cargo Lufthanseaten had other generous donations in kind in their luggage as well: A Handling employee had convinced 1. FSV 05 Mainz of this project, so that the soccer club donated 30 complete sets of gear with jerseys, trousers, tops, and caps – and of course a ball: everything together was valued at over several thousand Euros! A present of which the boys and also the girls in the orphanage were absolutely thrilled.” It was great to see the shining eyes of the children at the handing-over ceremony of the presents", relates Ruzic. Both managers from Frankfurt spent the whole day in the Mothers’ Mercy Home, played with the orphan children, marveled at the adjacent fields where vegetables are cultivated for their own consumption and had lunch together in the big hall. Spontaneously, a small soccer tournament was organized in which the new shoes and jerseys were immediately put to use.
Now, though an impulse has been given, the aid must go on, because Björn Ostertag was a bit irritated about the state of the football pitch: „This cannot be compared to a proper kid's soccer field.“ The group leader of the freight operations already has the idea for yet another project next year in his head: Together with several colleagues, a decent, playable football pitch for the children should be built on site. The collecting of donations for this has already begun: By the selling of the football savings tins from the fund-raising activities this year, there is already a start capital. It can go on …
Cargo Human Care inc. you can support with a donation on the account 16060600, bank code number 50852553. You will find further information on the homepage www.cargohumancare.de