On 29 May 2023, we met at the sports centre in Tüssling for this year’s Annual General Meeting. In addition to giving accounts and approving the actions of the Board, the team presented the 2022 Annual Report and gave a presentation regarding the current situation in Kenya.

“Our supporters’ great solidarity and commitment once again impresses us,” says first chairperson Verena Donislreiter. The organisation recorded a total of €46,299.96 in donations, membership and sponsorship contributions in 2022, passing the half a million euro mark in total since the organisation was founded nine years ago. Verena explains: “The year 2022 was characterised by the war in Ukraine, which shook us all to the core and was accompanied by sharp price increases, and yet we continued to receive loyal and generous support. This support was particularly important for us in 2022, because not only are the price increases also hugely noticeable in Kenya, but the effects of the climate crisis are also becoming increasingly apparent.”

The success of the Rescue Centre shows that our joint efforts are paying off. The Rescue Centre is a first point of contact and a home for vulnerable children, especially girls, who are at risk of genital mutilation or early forced marriage. The house has only been in use for a few years now and, in addition to completing the construction work, it was necessary to introduce the organisational structures, plan ongoing operations and then take in and care for the first children. There are currently 24 children at the centre, including 14 girls. Up to 45 children will be able to stay there over the next few years. During the school holidays, there are already significantly more children in the house. Children who attend boarding schools during the school year fill the house with even more life during the holidays. Especially during the Christmas holidays all beds are occupied.

The children are cared for by local staff who look after them with great dedication and love. Jonathan Scherr emphasises: “This shouldn’t be taken for granted and requires a great deal of commitment and perseverance from our local partner organisation YISOG, whose members work day in, day out to protect and care for vulnerable children. We are deeply impressed by this commitment!”

In addition to focussing the organisation’s work on the Rescue Centre, we also support vulnerable children in the surrounding areas in southern Kenya. If families are unable to cover the costs of their children’s school attendance, the organisation makes a contribution to financing school uniforms, school fees, travel costs or learning materials. In total, 85 children are supported on a one-off or regular basis, depending on their needs, so that they can go to school. The Ambatana team also showed creativity last year with various fundraising campaigns and market stalls. Team spirit is important – and the team is looking forward to celebrating its 10th anniversary together next year!

The 2022 Annual Report (in German) is available here.