New soccer field opened in Cape Town with support of the Würth Foundation
iThemba Labantu Community Centre for children and adolescents in Philippi (Cape Town, South Africa) now has its very own soccer field—Philipp Lahm Sportsground. The inauguration ceremony took place on 16 February 2019 in presence of German soccer player Philipp Lahm. On the initiative of Carmen Würth, the project and the non-profit organization Themba Labantu – Hoffnung für die Menschen e.V. (Hope for the people) based in Munich, Germany, are supported by the Würth Foundation.
“One of the major problems in the world is poverty. It leads to hopelessness; in particular in connection with a high unemployment rate, crime and hunger and without a social network, which is particularly important for children and adolescents,“ says Carmen Würth. Therefore, it is a matter of the heart for her to support a project that gets children and adolescents out of hopelessness, brings them together and gives them a chance for a better future.
At iThemba Labantu Community Centre, 400 children and adolescents can learn and play in a protected space in the township otherwise dominated by violence and neglect. Otto Kohlstock of Berlin Mission manages iThemba Labantu Community Centre in Philippi and is happy about the inauguration of the soccer field: “Above all, the field makes the eyes of the children and adolescents of our community beam with happiness. It gives them the chance to spend their time after school with a meaningful leisure activity, forget their everyday problems while playing and promote team spirit within the group.”
Ulrich Roth, member of the board of the Würth Foundation, adds this to Otto Kohlstock’s words: “With the new sports ground we can get children and adolescents off the street. We know that the soccer field is available only to a small group of children and adolescents affected by poverty. Still, we hope that this sports ground will be a model for others to follow.”
About Themba Labantu – Hoffnung für die Menschen e.V.
On a business trip almost 20 years ago, Margarete and Klaus Doppler met Reverend Otto Kohlstock and learned about iThemba Labantu Community Centre. Then, the community center was a nursing home for terminal AIDS patients. This gave rise to the idea of founding a hospice to accompany people on a dignified last journey. The Doppler family could not stop thinking about this emotional encounter linked to poverty, violence and hunger predominant in South Africa. As in all African countries, also in the South African townships education is the key to a better future. Therefore, they did not only develop a strategy for a hospice together with Reverend Otto Kohlstock but in a second step also for education. To finance the implementation of their ambitious goals, Margarete Doppler, supported by her husband Klaus and his professional contacts, founded the non-profit organization Themba Labantu – Hoffnung für die Menschen e.V., which is based in Munich, Germany. Thanks to the support of the organization, first a hospice was built, which was then followed by a pre-school and several afternoon activities (art and music workshops, theater, singing and sports groups). During a conference of the Würth Group in South Africa, Reverend Kohlstock and Margarete Doppler met Carmen Würth. Already during their first encounter, Carmen Würth knew that she wanted to support the organization. Supported by the Würth Group, a training workshop for car mechanics and a solar workshop were equipped. Besides other diverse promotions, e.g. for the construction of a soup kitchen to provide a healthy diet for children and adolescents, the generous support by the Würth Foundation in the construction of Philipp Lahm Sportsground is another milestone in the cooperation.
About the Würth Foundation
Prof. Dr. h. c. mult. Reinhold and Carmen Würth founded the Würth Foundation in 1987. It is a foundation of civil law having legal capacity, based in Künzelsau, Germany, and promotes charitable purposes. The Würth Foundation promotes projects in the fields of art and culture, research and science as well as education and training—mainly in the Hohenlohe region, where the Würth Group’s headquarters are located. Also social integration projects for refugees and migrants are supported.
The projects of the Würth Foundation are supported by the German Würth Group, in particular by Adolf Würth GmbH & Co. KG.