At last: A few days ago our partner organisation YISOG and we held our groundbreaking ceremony for the Rescue Centre in Kenya! We have now taken the first step – but the next major challenges already await us.

After detailed prior planning in Germany with the help of Munich architect Wolfgang Lüder, who advises our team on a voluntary basis, our chairperson Verena Donislreiter travelled to Kenya in January to discuss the final details for the start of construction. She was accompanied by the two journeymen Linus Mohr from Mühldorf and Noah Hoffmann from the Karlsruhe area. The skilled tradesmen will provide professional support for six and three months, respectively, and act as links between the partners YISOG in Kenya and Ambatana in Germany.

What is important to us as an organisation: The construction is a Kenyan project. “Its realisation and preservation are in Kenyan hands,” Verena Donislreiter emphasises. “We rather consider ourselves initiators with an advisory role.” The building materials were chosen with environmental protection in mind; the goal is to keep the carbon footprint as small as possible and to realise resource-efficient construction. “That is why we chose a natural stone from a nearby quarry only around 50 km from the building site as the building material,” Linus Mohr reports. “We will therefore require less concrete and mortar, which in turn entail high levels of CO2 emissions.”

Previously, Linus Mohr worked on projects in Uganda, Palestine and Lebanon and is a lucky find for us and YISOG. “We are excited to have him and his experience on board,” Verena Donislreiter explains.

The cut of the spade marks the end of a long planning phase for us. Construction can start. Less than four years after our organisation was founded, this major milestone was made possible by two large donations: After applying for a grant we received 80,000 euros from the Hamburg foundation FUTURA. More than 12,000 euros were also donated in memory of the recently deceased Johannes Haider from Kraiburg, a major supporter of Ambatana.

The building will provide a safe, supportive home for 40 orphans and girls facing forced marriage and circumcision. However, it is not sufficient to cover the construction. In order to finance ongoing maintenance it is necessary to find sponsors for the individual children on the one hand and to ensure the greatest possible self-sufficiency on the other. Our first goal will therefore be to establish a small farming business and sell products in a shop. We are currently working on further plans with YISOG, always with sustainability and environmental protection in mind.

In order to cover construction costs and interior furnishing, we are holding a big dance show with international dancers and dance schools from the area at the Stadtsaal Neuötting town hall on 24 March 2018. The event World of Dance will cover a unique programme from salsa, acrobatic dance, tango, oriental dance and much more. Tickets are available via Inn-Salzach-Ticket and any connected ticket agencies for example at Claudias Allerlei in Tüßling or at the Altötting Raiffeisenbank.