En De Укр

Letter from the Founder

 

Understanding and reconciliation were important to me from the very beginning. As a native of Poland I soon learnt to love and value Germany as my second home. My positive experience of this country aroused in me the desire to help Germany and Poland to develop a closer relationship with each other. After 10 years of voluntary work for Poland I decided that my country no longer needed help but was in the position to provide aid to others. It was time for a joint project. The best way to get to know people is to work together with them for a good cause. In 1995 we developed a project which aimed to support the transformation process in the four countries on Poland’s eastern border. By chance, just after the millennium this project turned into an aid program for children.

This initially triggered in Ukraine. During one of our seminars for eastern European journalists in Warsaw a young man from Kyiv told me about the street kids in his home town. He had grown up in this world. Two months later we went in Kyiv together to see these kids. The cruel fate of these children left me deeply moved. I will never forget what I saw there. I promised the children a house where they could live together. That was the birth of “Our Kids” in 2001.

In the years which followed I witnessed everything you can imagine, unbelievably generous aid and unspeakably mean obstacles. It was a hard battle but in the end I obtained support from Germany, Poland and Ukraine.

Today, when I travel to Poland as a German I feel first and foremost like a European. What started as a German-Polish initiative has become a successful European project. As far as the Ukrainian children are concerned a vision has become reality; it have shown that two neighbors can join together to help a third and thus create a better world for all.

I would like to extend my sincere thanks to all those who have helped to make this dream come true. I am not only grateful for your financial and political aid, but also for the patience with which you have faithfully followed this project through its many delays and setbacks.

Please continue to accompany us on our way with your advice and assistance. This help for our children is of great value and will bear fruit far into the future.


With best wishes,

Barbara-Maria Monheim