MECA’s Stipendien Projekt
One of the initiatives our foundation supports is the scholarship project of the Middle East Children’s Alliance (MECA). In addition to supporting pre-schools, kindergartens, libraries and other educational programs in the West Bank and Gaza, MECA provides financial assistance to young Palestinian university students. Their scholarship funds enable talented and ambitious high school graduates to obtain degrees and the skills to make important contributions to their communities and their country. Until now MECA scholarships are granted for undergraduate studies only, as there are more funding opportunities at the graduate level, provided by foundations and universities. As MECA takes no administrative fees for grants and donations, all the money we contribute goes directly to the students in need. By sending the funds directly to the universities, MECA can guarantee that donations end up where they are intended to go.
This is the ninth consecutive year that MECA has supported students at Palestinian universities with a steady increase in the scholarships it provided across the years. In the academic year 2013-2014 MECA awarded scholarships to 145 students at 10 universities in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The students hail from Palestinian villages, refugee camps, towns, and cities and their fields of study are as diverse as their dreams for the future. Scholarships are provided by three special funds established by MECA donors—the Elly Jaensch Memorial Scholarship Fund, the Tree of Life Scholarship Fund, and the Friends of Deir Ibz'ia Scholarship Fund—plus dozens of other supporters who designate their contributions for MECA’s Ramzy Halaby Education Fund for studies at US universities. The money contributed by the Berglar foundation goes to students studying at Palestinian universities. As the economic situation in both the West Bank and Gaza Strip deteriorates, our support for university students is urgently needed. These young people are Palestine's next generation of teachers, dentists, nurses, engineers, translators, and much more.
Pro-Namibian Children e.V.
In 2014, for the first time the Berglar Foundation supports the German society Pro Namibian Children e.V. (PNC) in Namibia. Since 2005, PNC has been conducting two educational projects for children and juveniles in the south of the southwest African country: the Omomas Care Center (OCC) and the basic agriculture and domestic work apprenticeship at the Anna Maasdorp Secondary School (AMS). The OCC is affiliated with the St. Patrick’s Primary School in Omomas near Kalkrand. 85 orphans and waifs between 6 and 16 years of age receive the public elementary education at OCC. The AMS is located at Duineveld, like the OCC 200 km south of the Namibian capital Windhoek. Via a practical program up to 25 young people get the opportunity for an agricultural education at AMS. 18 participants can be accommodated in the dormitory on site and six join the group as external students.
The admission of a child to OCC depends upon the ministries of social affairs and education in Namibia. These institutions evaluate the social conditions a child lives in and thus seek to grant priority to candidates truly in need. Candidates eligible for the AMS-project are unemployed juveniles who have reached the secondary phase in school. The young people experience an extensive support through tutors, agricultural teachers and voluntary assistants. This comprises care, accommodation, homework assistance and safe transport. Young, interested adults from abroad have the opportunity for a voluntary internship with PNC, thus becoming testimonials and supporter of a sustainable formative process in Namibia.
Headed by Brother Jürgen Neitzert, a local Franciscan OFM, Pro Humanitate has been engaging in youth work and social integration in Cologne since 1996. In Vingst, an economically disadvantaged area of the city, two social workers run a residential community for ten unaccompanied minors between the age of 15 and 18 years. These refugees go to local schools and take language courses during holidays. They also take part in the spare time offers of the local youth centre, which is also run by Pro Humanitate.
In this youth centre in Vingst-Höhenberg (75% foreigners) several courses, homework support, dancing, sports as well as educational trips are being offered to juveniles with migration background. Despite the fact that the youth centre caters for young migrants from Turkey, Kurdistan and Bulgaria also refugees can make use of the services.
In Porz-Zündorf 400 refugees mainly from Syria and Iraq are sheltered in a gym. The camp itself is managed by the city of Cologne and the Red Cross. Children, beginning at the age of four years, receive childcare in close-by rented facilities.
Pro Humanitate e.V.
Foxes Community & Wildlife Conservation Trust
Foxes NGO, as it is more commonly known, is a registered Non-Government Organisation in Tanzania formed in 2005 with the goal of giving shelter, support, food, and school needs to children marginalised by HIV/AIDS in the Mufindi district of the Southern Highlands. The charity provides childcare, education, and healthcare services to the surrounding 16 villages focussing on reduction of the number of orphaned and vulnerable children.
Using an integrated, holistic approach to development, program services are delivered to address social, cultural, structural, and environmental factors that negatively impact local populations.
The heart of the organization is the Children’s Village focused on providing custody, care and a home for orphaned and vulnerable children. Opportunities for the development of the young through an on-site pre-primary education program, primary and secondary school sponsorships, and further education sponsorships for select students are also provided. To ensure the ongoing health of the children and local communities, the charity operates a paediatric and dental clinic, funds the building of health dispensaries and care and treatment clinics in the region, and offers a broad community outreach program that covers everything from home doctors’ visits to milk formula for babies.
The long-time emphasis of the foundation endowments has been placed on the support of the catholic Sisters of Mary of Banneux order. Founded in 1964 by Monsignor Aloysius Philip Schwartz, the order has been establishing and operating programs of shelter and education over the past 50 years for children and young adults in major cities of developing and least developed countries in Asia and Latin America. Since the beginnings of their work in South Korea, the Sisters of Mary have been expanding within the following years their sphere of action on the Philippines, Mexico, Guatemala, Brazil and most recently Honduras. 13 facilities are being maintained in the aforementioned six countries, where the sister’s order accomplishes its service to the people. That comprises: formal education and occupational training, accommodation and medical care for underprivileged children and juveniles, particularly orphaned and abandoned ones. Further, shelter and relief for homeless and indigent, mentally or physically handicapped people as well as for unwed mothers is bestowed.
The Sisters of Mary are financing their work for currently about 20.700 people by donations. These are solicited by oversea fundraising offices in Germany, Switzerland, Austria, the USA, the Netherlands, France, Belgium and Great Britain. In addition, the sisters receive donations from local supporters as well as state subsidies in the case of South Korea. All contributions are received by the headquarters of the Sisters of Mary in the Philippine province of Cavite in order to allocate them to the charitable programs of the order. The financial dedication of the Berglar foundation has been adding for over ten years to the sisters’ commitment to enabling children and young adults to explore their path from distress to a life of confidence. Through annual reporting by the sisters of Mary and on-site visits of foundation members, we gained the overall lasting conviction of authenticity in the orders’ beneficent work.