Beijing, China (August 07, 2009) /ChinaNewswire.com/ — Wirtgen China, the Chinese arm of the German-headquartered Wirtgen Group, has been actively supporting the kindergarten in Tiantai Town, Qionglai, Sichuan which was a victim of the May 12, 2008 earthquake. Right after the earthquake disaster happened in Sichuan, on May 12, 2008, many Wirtgen China employees spontaneously donated in cash to express their wish to help the people there.
At the same time, the managing director of Wirtgen China, Ulrich Reichert, and the deputy managing director, Thomas Hagspiel, decided that something should be done in the name of the company. As a result they made a joint donation of CNY500,000.
A delegation from Wirtgen China including Anny Zhang, from marketing cold recycling technologies, and Shirley Zhu, the assistant to the managing director, sought local contacts and visited the kindergarten in Tiantai.
A spokesman for Wirtgen said that they selected Tiantai when there were so many children in different places who needed help, because although this area also suffered from the earthquake. It was not as well-known as places that are mentioned again and again in the media and was therefore not so eye-catching. He added that in his understanding this place was, to an extent, forgotten. So Wirtgen's idea was that they should offer help not as "more flowers on the brocade" but as "fuel for snowy weather". Rather than give to places that could get help from other sources, they preferred to give aid where aid was lacking.
The reason for selecting a kindergarten was similar. Primary schools are included in China's nine-year compulsory education system, so the standard primary school buildings in this location had obviously fared much better. Helping with the kindergarten building became the first priority for Wirtgen. Wirtgen decided that rather than just making a donation it was preferable to have the whole process under their control as much as possible, since they wanted to be sure where and how the money was used, who they had helped, and when the kids could benefit from this project. Advice from Gisela Wirtgen in Germany, who has extensive experience of charity projects confirmed this approach. The action group "Kinder in Not" (KiN) "Children in need" was founded in 1983 at the initiative of Gisela Wirtgen, wife of Wirtgen Group founder Rainhard Wirtgen. The objective of KIN is to help under-privileged children in the Third World, without charge or profit. This is achieved through projects, which are always based on the concept of "Help through self-help". The action group is independent of all political or religious organisations and carries out its work regardless of the political or religious situation in the developing countries concerned.
KiN currently maintains or supports a total of 21 projects in the Philippines, India, Chile, Argentina and Brazil. The basis for this work is provided by several thousand sponsorships of children, schools and projects provided by individuals, families, schools, clubs, businesses etc., as well as individual donations for the various activities.
The founder and president of the KiN action group, Gisela Wirtgen, has been awarded the Order of Merit of the State of Rheinland-Pfalz as well as the German Federal Order of Merit for her work. These prestigious awards are also an expression of thanks to all the unpaid helpers who have supported her in her endeavours to provide humanitarian aid over a period of many years. Top sportsman Georg Hackl (three times Olympic Champion and World Champion, Sportsman of the Year 1998) is a committed international ambassador for our action group.
After two visits and many telephone calls and email discussions, a contract was finalized in March 2009. The communication and coordination was done among three parties: Wirtgen China (as the donor) the Women's Federation of Qionglai, Sichuan Province (as the Money Receiver, officially assigned and accepted in both China and internationally) and the Education Bureau of Qionglai, Sichuan (as the Project Owner). The kindergarten, which was set up in 1981, has 64 pupils. The principal of the kindergarten, as well as the town's primary school, is Li Ziguo.