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“Do good, and talk about it.” I’m taking this motto to heart, because today I’m writing about a cause that is close to my heart. It’s a project that supports vulnerable young people — children and teenagers in Georgia. The Daimler initiative ProCent is participating in this project.
I know that many people are familiar with Jürgen Klinsmann, either as a soccer player or as the trainer of the “world champions of hearts.” Jürgen and I come from the same region, and we’ve been friends for a long time. When we were growing up, our circle of friends always met on Monday evenings for a game on the amateur soccer field in Geislingen, a small city near Stuttgart in Southern Germany. The bond that still connects us today is based not only on our shared love of soccer but also on our determination to go through the world with open eyes and tackle the problems that we see.
Commitment beyond national borders
In 1995 Jürgen Klinsmann founded AGAPEDIA foundation, which runs a children’s center for kids between the ages of six and twelve in the city of Esslingen in the German state of Baden-Württemberg. The work that AGAPEDIA is doing doesn’t end at the state borders; it also supports social projects for children and needy families in Eastern Europe. One of these projects benefits a children’s and youth center in the city of Tbilisi in Georgia.
Unfortunately, many children and teenagers in Georgia are affected by insecure social circumstances, financial need, and unemployment. Some of them have lost one or both parents, many of them are traumatized, have nothing to eat, and can only survive by begging. What all of them have in common is their desperate circumstances. This is where AGAPEDIA provides support, but it’s not alone in its efforts. A few months ago the Daimler special assistance fund ProCent began to support the expansion of a center for traumatized children and teenagers in Tbilisi. How did this come about?
I’ve been following the progress of our Group-wide ProCent initiative from the very beginning, and I think it’s great. Everything that ProCent has implemented and achieved in the past seven years deserves the highest respect. The individual monthly donation of the cent amount of one’s paycheck might not seem like very much, but all the donations together add up to an impressive total. And that’s what makes us Daimler employees special: our team spirit. Together we can achieve great things. Many of my colleagues have told me they’re impressed by how simple and unbureaucratic it is to support ProCent. But hearsay wasn’t enough for me.
It’s time to get involved!
I decided that it was time for me to do more than donate my monthly cent contributions, get involved, and organize benefit concerts. I wanted to nominate a project myself. As a result, the children and teenagers in Tbilisi can look forward to the expansion of the center’s support services.
The building itself, which was badly in need of renovation, has been partly renovated and furnished since 2018 in order to create the usable space that the children urgently need. Now that the center has a functioning kitchen, as many as forty children come every day to cook a hot meal for themselves under supervision. Through this activity the children and teenagers receive instruction about healthy eating, hygiene, and interpersonal relations. They also receive individual consulting that helps them deal with their various problems.
In the next phase, all the power cables and water pipes must be renewed. In addition, as many as six temporary accommodation units for orphans will be set up inside the building until a long-term solution for them can be found. On the center’s extensive grounds, three workshops will be set up little by little, initially for art therapy and later on for vocational preparation as well. Creative work helps the children and teenagers to overcome their traumas and strengthens their self-confidence.
Both Jürgen Klinsmann and I are very grateful for the support the center has received from ProCent. Thank you very much, dear colleagues!
Help is needed everywhere! Next year a new project will be set up jointly by Jürgen Klinsmann’s foundation AGAPEDIA and the town of Geislingen. A “Children’s paradise” for boys and girls between the ages of six and twelve will be created in the existing center. Our group of friends has already provided massive help in the initial phase of the renovation project. There’s certainly a lot to do. I may just get moving again and nominate a second project for support from ProCent.
About ProCent: A small contribution with a big effect!
For every cent that a Daimler employee contributes, the company will contribute another cent. Providing help simply, quickly, and with a minimum of bureaucracy — that’s the idea behind ProCent. Ever since this initiative was founded in 2011, more than 1,000 projects have been funded and supported with a total amount of well over €7 million.
ProCent is part of the Daimler WeCare initiative. As a globally operating group, we are doing our part to promote social and societal development all over the world. Our motto is “With our employees, at our locations, worldwide.” We support and promote projects run by nonprofit organizations. Respect, tolerance, freedom, and the diversity of society are the values that guide Daimler’s varied social activities all over the world. You can find more information about Daimler WeCare here.