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Greeting from Christian Neuber on the 10th anniversary of our foundation

​When I decided ten years ago, in 2011, to found the foundation “Kinder fördern - Zukunft stiften”, I had no idea what Herculean work I was getting involved in. We started very small, built up our reading promotion program "LeseAlarm" with little means, supported the development of the "Youth Non-Fiction Prize" and the groundbreaking scientific work of Prof. Dr. Jürgen Belgrade on the subject of “promoting reading through reading aloud”. All projects that are manageable in terms of time and finances.

Then, in 2005, I sold my shares in the publishing house and used part of the proceeds from the sale to increase the financial means for the foundation's work.

The aim of our foundation work has always been to give something back to those with whom I had earned my money in my entrepreneurial activity as a publisher of children's magazines and children's books: the children. And then Jaco, a friend from South Africa, got in touch and made it clear to me that the children from Africa shouldn't be forgotten about the purpose of the foundation and that we could best start in Paternoster/South Africa.

That was the beginning of the "Paternoster Volunteer Project". In this project, students from the teacher training colleges in Weingarten, Freiburg and Heidelberg, the Baden-Württemberg Cooperative State University and students from the University of Stellenbosch/South Africa accompany children in paternosters in academic programs lasting several months. They help them in school and outside of school so that they don't lose touch and they are given an education that allows them to stay in their home country and finance their own living there. A concept that knows at least two winners: On the one hand, the children in Africa who receive extraordinary interpersonal and sustainable support from young people. On the other hand, these young people themselves: the now more than 100 students from Germany who, in the final phase of their studies on another continent and in a foreign culture, can gain practical experience in the social and educational field, which will only be to their advantage in their future professional practice can suffice.

This is how our foundation developed from a small, tranquil reading support program into an ambitious academic support project. And finally the time came when politics and industry recognized and promoted our extraordinarily pragmatic and highly efficient approach. The Ministry of Education, Research and Science from Baden-Württemberg, the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Porsche AG, to name just a few, became important partners and sponsors. And that in turn meant that the projects became more and more complex and extensive.

In the meantime, students no longer just go to South Africa for a few months because of our idea, no, we have now extended the project to Namibia. There we apply everything that has proven to be successful in South Africa and are now giving many children in Aussenkehr/Namibia the chance to plan a promising future.

Since we have been appointed as a training partner by the Baden-Württemberg Cooperative State University, which is a great honor for us, we are now able to offer an internationally oriented course of study. We have created a training program in which particularly talented children from Africa are offered an apprenticeship in Schwäbisch Hall, including accommodation and meals. This offers them the opportunity to learn a trade which they can then practice after their return to their home country and thus finance their livelihood.

We are currently in the process of building a small, modern and well-equipped library in Aussenkehr/Namibia in cooperation with the University of Windhoek.


We are therefore particularly pleased that the “LeseAlarm” mentioned at the beginning is becoming ever larger thanks to the great voluntary initiative of Anja Engel and is now also attracting attention throughout Germany.

So, within the last ten years, the delicate little plant of a small foundation has grown into a complex, highly efficient and cost-conscious foundation system that achieves a great deal with little staff.

I would like to thank all those who worked so hard. First and foremost Maike Reinhardt as project manager. Then the advisory board members Dagmar Freitag, Johannes Hauenstein, Dr. Fritz Wehrle and Prof. Arnold van Zyl, the board in Paternoster, the supporters of the universities and ministries, the Wolfgang & Gudrun Eichler Foundation from Karlsruhe and the numerous supporters from the citizenship and industry who regularly support our work.

It fills me with pride what we have achieved here within ten years and I look forward to being able to celebrate this with you!

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