Christmas donation 2017 giving children hope and security

Children are born without hate or prejudices. They have no idea what racism means and do not pigeonhole people as 'good' or 'bad'. At the same time, they far too often fall victim to war, misrule, or violence. Like every year, the traditional Memmert Christmas donation will therefore go to aid organisations which help children and adolescents in war and crisis regions as well as young patients with serious illnesses.

A home for needy children in Venezuela

Falling oil prices and political unrest have cast many people in Venezuela into bitter poverty. There is a shortage of basic foodstuffs and medicines. Hungry children have become a fact of life in the oil-rich country. They no longer attend school or find themselves fainting with hunger during lessons. In 2016, the infant mortality rate increased by 30 %, while the maternal mortality rate rose by as much as 65 %. Many parents see charitable organisations as the only way of ensuring their children's survival. But so far, only a few organisations like SOS Children's Villages are looking after the needs of children and adolescents. To alleviate the plight of these needy and almost forgotten children, we have decided – with the Christmas donation 2017 – to support aid projects in Maracay, some 120 km to the west of the capital Caracas. There has been an SOS Children's Village here since 2000, which has provided a loving home to 108 children whose parents have died or are unable to offer them the basics of life. Adolescents are given education and accommodation at an SOS youth institution, while the SOS social centre in Maracay offers help for self-help, medical care, childcare, and meals so children can remain with their families.

Families of seriously ill children find respite at Munich children's hospice

'Don't fill your life with days, fill your days with life.' This is the consoling message which greets visitors to the website of the Stiftung Ambulantes Kinderhospiz München – AKM (Foundation for the Munich Outpatient Hospice for Children). Since 2004, the organisation has been supporting families with seriously ill children all over Bavaria with crisis intervention services and both family and grief counselling. Funding is also provided for measures which are not covered by health insurance funds, such as therapy with dogs or horses. The team is made up of full-time physicians, therapists, midwives, nurses, and social workers as well as 150 volunteers. Only 16 % of the annual costs of 6,500 euros per family are covered by health insurance funds. The Stiftung Ambulantes Kinderhospiz München – AKM pays for everything else and has to rely therefore on donations of at least one million euros per year. Just like last year, it really means a lot to Memmert to support this important work.

Doctors Without Borders really do ignore borders

More regions worldwide – as opposed to fewer, sadly – are finding themselves without adequate medical provision. At the same time, however, the work done by Doctors Without Borders is becoming increasingly dangerous as they head to the heart of war and crisis regions to offer assistance. Long-term deployments in Yemen, Syria, and South Sudan and for the Rohingya people in Bangladesh and Myanmar are facilitating millions of medical interventions, which need to be funded by donations. Memmert has been supporting this wonderful work for two years in a row now – with a generous financial donation.

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