The Christian-Liebig-Foundation e.V. is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. In this interview, founder Beatrice von Keyserlingk talks about how this voluntary project changed her life.
Clean drinking water is often taken for granted in Germany and other industrialised nations. When we are thirsty, we buy bottles of carbonated water and can even choose from different flavours. Or we can simply turn on the tap and enjoy top-quality drinking water. Unfortunately, it is easy to forget that clean drinking water is a luxury not available to many people in poorer countries. The coronavirus pandemic has once again highlighted how precarious hygiene can be in these regions. And so the Christian Liebig Foundation has decided to focus on building wells at its primary schools in Malawi.
Emergency aid in the coronavirus pandemic
Malawi is one of the least developed countries in the world. The summer heat is hard to endure. People have to walk several kilometres to their nearest source of water, and even then the water is rarely drinkable. “Malawi has not been spared from the coronavirus pandemic, adding to the many challenges it already faces. Infection numbers are rising and the true figure is probably many times higher,” says Beatrice von Keyserlingk, who set up the foundation, explaining her concerns. “This is why we are currently working to build wells at our primary schools. We are honouring the vision of Christian Liebig – the former Focus foreign correspondent who gave the foundation its name – to provide ‘foreign aid at eye level’. To offer families crucial sanitary facilities. But also to think in the long term: clean drinking water will always be a basic need that should not be denied to anybody.”
A generous donation of over €20,000 from Christian Liebig’s mother, Sieglinde, enabled the first four wells to be built. There are plans to build five more. If you can spare even a small amount of money, it will be a great help. Simply complete the online form to donate to the well fund and create a healthy future for families in Malawi.
Foreign aid at eye level
For 17 years now, the Christian Liebig Foundation has been dedicated to improving educational opportunities for children in Malawi. Founded by Beatrice von Keyserlingk, it concentrates on foreign aid at eye level that actually reaches the people who need it. Over the years, the foundation has enabled more than 23,000 children to attend (primary) school. The goal is to help people help themselves, and all donations are used to fund educational measures such as building schools, setting up residential homes for female students, providing scholarships for professional training and supporting particularly talented school graduates.
Hubert Burda Media has supported the foundation from the very start. When Focus co-founder Uli Baur passed away, he requested that guests at his funeral service donate money to help renovate a home for girls. Together with the Burda executive board, they managed to raise €47,000. Thanks to their generosity, the Christian Liebig Foundation and Hubert Burda Media were able to offer the girls a safer place to complete their education.