The team around Lissy Eichert (left) and Father Karl-Hermann Lenz (third from left) were happy about the donation and the meeting with Catherine von Fürstenberg-Dussmann and Dr. Wolfgang Häfele.
Pater Karl-Hermann Lenz of the Catholic Church community St. Christophorus in the north of Neukölln was happy to receive a generous donation of 40,000 Euros from the Dussmann Group. Catherine von Fürstenberg-Dussmann, chairwoman of the Dussmann Group board of trustees and Dr. Wolfgang Häfele, Dussmann Group executive board spokesman, presented the check on March 1, 2019 in the Church community hall in Nansenstraße, Berlin-Neukölln. Half of the donation is destined for the association Pallotti-Mobil e.V. and the other half for the project JACK.
Pallotti-Mobil e.V. is a non-profit association initiated by the Pallottine Community Berlin which belongs to the St. Christophorus community. Situated in the middle of a socially disadvantaged neighborhood, the association aims to integrate people who are marginalized and in need into the work environment and to help them to participate in the community and society. In 2014, this involved the initiation of the project JACK, an educational facility for women who are refugees and especially vulnerable. Many come from Africa. Here, they can take part in a wide scope of a free education including literacy course, German lessons and training of computer and artistic skills. There are also courses to strengthen personal skills. “We started JACK six years ago when we were no longer able to stand by while so many refugees in Berlin find themselves put on hold with nothing to occupy their time” reports Lissy Eichert who is a member of the associations board.
Social responsibility at the Dussmann Group is a tradition and a priority. Catherine von Fürstenberg-Dussmann believes that “as a company, we have a responsibility. Helping people who need it should be a matter of course”. She is aware that linguistic skills and knowledge are the key to the world, to new friendships and to integration in a new country. In 2015, the company started an internal refugee project; the program promotes the recruitment of refugees to all of the company divisions. Dr. Wolfgang Häfele adds “The work of Pallotti-Mobil is an outstanding example of the way we can make a contribution.” Häfele has personal connections to the Pallottine community himself: he was a student at the Pallottine boarding school St. Josef Hersberg in Immenstaad on the Bodensee lake where he took his high school exams in 1980.
The Dussmann Group has often taken part in projects in Neukölln, for example in the child care facility at Campus Rütli, the youth center Kiosk Reuterplatz and the children’s club Sternschnuppe.