Hardcore Help Foundation News
Relief for Philippines
we created a special fund for the Philippines, a disaster relief fund to aid victims of the typhoon. We'll make sure that one hundred percent of your contributions directly go to victims of the disaster. For donations go here: http://www.hardcore-help.com/relief-for-philippines/
Only weeks ago the Philippines was hit by a desastrous earthquake and now the strongest typhoon ever recorded in the Philippines. Roads, bridges and infrastructure in general are totally destroyed or badly damaged and in many places there is no electricity at all or for only 2 to 3 hours per day. Communication is therefore a major problem. Initial aid from our cooperation NGO Boholhilfe e.V. funds is ongoing. Our contacts in Bohol are reliable persons known to Boholhilfe e.V. personally. They have everything necessary organized and are progressing as funds come in. Donations can be transferd without delay at minimal cost or free of charge. No payments nor relief goods are distributed through intermediaries in the Philippines. Our help is implemented by people we can trust and is given directly to those who have lost their loved ones, homes and existence in the aftermath of the earthquake and typhoon. Family food rations and large canisters of water will be bought in bulk at wholesale prices in Cebu or wherever available. The food is in easy to open tins and packets as well as the all important rice and other dry products. The rations will be packed in large (not plastic) bags which provide food for a family for several days. (Fresh produce is not suitable for distribution due to the hot climate). We hope to distribute at least a provisional rain protection for the homeless as the tropical storm season continues. Fuel will be provided for the transport vehicles to reach the worst hit locations. The merch and clothes donations will be shipped in "Balikbayan" door to door boxes and distributed among the needy in the disaster areas.We are considering extending the help to the coastal regions of Cebu which were devastated by the typhoon but at the moment are concentrating on Bohol where aid and rebuilding are required after a two fold disaster. We thank everyone for your donations.
Help for the homeless
Winter is coming soon. At the end of the year we are planning an extra effort again. Like last year we will visit several homeless centers and night shelters in our area. Bring them winter stuff
and goodies in little shoe boxes. A delivery at a big refugee center which has opened end of September few minutes from our warehouse is also planned. We could use winter clothes, handgloves,
scarfs, hats, caps, socks, toothbrushes, dextrose, condoms and hygiene articles. If you could help us with this action please get in touch by mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Ps: Baby/children clothes for Kenya are also welcome.
Meeting with Legoland Germany
Last week we had a meeting with Legoland Germany. We got some donated items from them, lost property out of the park which they normally throw away after a while. Stuff like hats, caps, handgloves, scarfs, clothes etc. Something will we give to kids in Kenya or homeless people and refugees in our area. We are working on future plans as we speak. We would like to thank Marion, Benny and Legoland for their warm hospitality and for all your efforts. We had a great day.
New trip to Kenya planned
Early december we are planning to go back to Kenya. We will be doing a Lifestraw waterfilter distribution again and wheelchairs and clothes deliveries in the slums Nakuru. Another medical clinic is also planned that week.
In the next weeks we will move into a new warehouse. We need space. The new one is inside an old fabric with enough space for the online shop. Our next plan is to print our own merch in 2014 and we are planning to ship a container to Kenya.
We are here to stay!
In late July we got to know about African refugees in Hamburg by reading an article about their situation written in a German newspaper (“Die Zeit”, http://www.zeit.de/2013/30/fluechtlinge-libyen-st-pauli ) and decided to pay them a visit. On August 18th we drove up there with a trunk full of donated clothes and another one full of food. After handing over our donations we spend a lot of time with the refugees, just talking, sitting together and working on crafts. Also, pastor Martin Paulekun was able to give us a more detailed perspective on the current situation of 80 African “guests”, as they are called, who are living in his church for about two months now.
Each one of them has his own reason (conflicts among tribes, prosecution, poverty, etc.) why he had to leave his homeland in Africa (mainly Ghana) and tried to build up a new life with a solid job in Libya. During the war confusions and NATO air raids they have lost everything and became a target of attacks and torture. A lot of people from other African states were killed or forced to leave the country. The refugees we have met were forced to enter a small boat and found themselves in a totally crowded camp on the Italian island of Lampedusa three days later. None of them was allowed to leave the camp. After a while of absolutely intolerable conditions the Italian government closed down the camp. Illegal transit visas were given to the inmates and they were told to leave the country. An odyssey throughout Europe started and brought some of them to Hamburg were they lived unsheltered in public parks. After regulatory authorities delivered fines to them they went to the St. Pauli church and asked for help. Both pastors immediately decided to open their church. Since two months now they try to manage the “embassy of hope” with their 80 African guests. Political meetings take place to find an acceptable solution which is not easy. The city government refers to the “Dublin-convention” which means that the application for asylum can only be requested in the country you entered Europe. That would be Italy. Nobody wants to go back to Italy where they are not welcome either. A lot of political work still needs to be done.
In contrast to the inhumane situation of refugees from Syria in Berlin the network of support in Hamburg is constantly growing within the community and far beyond that. Still everybody is very welcome to help out, donate, spread the word and support the project in Hamburg and where ever refugees are stuck in a difficult situation. Nobody is illegal!
(23.08.13 Dagmar Ritz)
Showcase with Dog Eat Dog
Friday 13 September we are doing a showcase with Dog Eat Dog in Lüdenscheid Germany. A showcase to support our housing project for homeless youth in Bochum. More info to this event here: http://www.facebook.com/events/581603001883295/601382209905374/?notif_t=like
Presale tickets via our online shop. Direktlink: https://supr.com/hhf-shop/wp-admin/post.php?post=1160&action=edit
Benefit Album Volume 2
50 bands on a double cd. Release date 29 July 2013. Pre-order is now up in our online shop: http://www.hardcore-help.com/hhf-shop-1/
We are back from our second trip to Kenya this year!
In early June the three of us, two wheelchairs and a bunch of donated material travelled to Nakuru, Kenya for the second time this year. We were very happy to finally come back and once again completed a tight schedule within only one week.
Right after arriving in the city we got to know our amazing new local partner Haley Williams, who presented her ideas to us and we organized the procedure of our stay. After working in a Kenyan hospital Haley founded her own NGO, the Nathan Hall Williams Center (NHWC) in 2009 which is based in Nakuru. “It is a community effort dedicated to improving the health, educational, and social status of people with disabilities in Kenya and other developing countries. To advance this message, NHWC offers numerous outreach projects, educational services, and healthcare clinics in a region that previously offered little help to people with disabilities and their families.” (origin and more information at http://nhwctr.org/Karibu). Furthermore Haley runs a pharmacy, works with the Kenyan Ministry of Health and introduced us to the local structure of healthcare which all of us want to support with our projects.
We directly decided to drive out to the rural area of Barut where a familiy is living that takes part in one of NHWS's disability support groups. Their daughter Millicent has cerebral palsy and is unable to speak. The teenage girl and also her family were beyond excitement to receive a wheelchair that finally enables mobility and autonomy. What a touching moment!
On Thursday we visited Nakuru Hills Special School (NHSS) which is a public boarding school for people with mental and physical disabilities of ages 6-25 years. Founded in 1978, the school is situated on a five acre piece of land, about three kilometers from Nakuru's town center. With an enrollment of 185 students, the school is made up of fourteen classrooms, three dormitories, a dining/ceremony hall, kitchen, and administration block. NHSS also provides various vocational training programs in the fields of craft making, sewing, carpentry, animal husbandry, and agriculture. The school's mission is to provide a caring and purposeful environment for conducive learning and offer equal opportunities for all regardless of their disability. Staff members presented several crafty materials to us and we were able to meet most of the pupils during their lunch break. The school is desperately looking for people to take care of the pupils and their needs on site.
Afterwards we headed to Gioto for another sponsored medical clinic near the dumpsite in cooperation with the NHWC and the ministry of health. All community members were invited to come with health complaints and illnesses for free examination and treatment. It also provided HIV counseling, nutritional counseling by the district's Dietitian, family planning and antenatal services. To support the structure local health worker are taking part in the accomplishment of the clinics.
About 200 clients were treated during the day.
On Friday we bought a large quantity of sanitary products (soap, tissues, toothbrushes and toothpaste) and milk and drove up to the women's prison for another medical clinic in cooperation with the NHWC. All female inmates and their children were treated and received counseling. After a talk about proper hygiene they were grateful to get their donations. In addition to that a large amount of donated children clothes and shoes were given to the chief of the section as promised during our last visit. She will split them among the children. Afterwards we were allowed to visit the men's prison and discussed the installation of two 5000 liter water harvesting tanks (instead of one big tank) on the prison area with the representatives. The plan is to save costs and also involve them in setting up the construction that is needed for the installation. Haley will take care of the delivery of the tanks as soon as the construction is completed. Furthermore we will finance the enforcement of a medical clinic in the men's section very soon. That will need a lot more strategy since there are about 2000 male inmates imprisoned but we are confident to find a solution.
We were confronted with the question why we would support a national institution like a prison which seems to cause a lack of understanding and rejection. First of all it is not our intention to support the prison as an institution itself but to upgrade the circumstances of living of the inmates. Their situation cannot be compared to conditions in for example German prisons related to space, privacy, nutrition, healthcare and access to water in any way. There are about 200 men staying in each barrack without any furniture or partition walls. Due to a lack of space the inmates are woken up after two hours of sleep, then it is time for the next group to sleep. Standing inside those barracks is absolutely a shocking experience. We know that we are not in the position the change the justice system. Most inmates are actually imprisoned innocently, because of minor criminal acts or could not come up with the money to pay the fee or legal assistance. But we do have the power to run those projects and have an impact on their daily lives.
On Saturday we headed to Rhonda which is another very poor rural area of Nakuru. We started to deliver the other half of donated clothes to families. There was a well working cooperation with the community health workers of the unit who did find out before which families are most needy ones. They will continue spreading the donations by themselves since it takes a lot of time to walk through the area. The last donation was given to Marion and her family. The teenage girl has been disabled since an accident and wasn't able to walk. She received the second wheelchair and was also very happy and excited.
Then we visited the kids of Fanisi Boarding School outside of Nakuru and brought them the donated footballs and the small goals. We did look forward to it since the school had holidays in January. Our friend Ross Floyd is coordinating the boarding school program which works by pairing a donor with a child in need. He also runs his NGO Action Not Words. It “currently has 39 children from Gioto Garbage Slum enrolled at Fanisi Academy. There, they receive not only an excellent education, but sleep under a safe roof and eat four meals a day- something they can only dream of at the slum. In this environment, the children are not only able in the best position to fulfill their true academic potential, but are also able to fully enjoy their childhood.” (origin and more information at http://www.actionsnotwordskenya.com).
We spend the rest of the day playing soccer, lots of games and dancing with those awesome kids. If you are interested in sponsoring a child there, feel free to contact Ross.
On Sunday we drove to Hells Gate National Park near Lake Naivasha with Ross and Agnes. It was a beautiful day to ride by bike next to zebras and giraffes and to hike through the Hells Gate canyon.
Before heading back to the airport on Monday we visited the community center of another NGO called “Raise the Roof” in Barut. The construction works on the building was finished but unfortunately a tropical storm did blow off the entire roof. They actually need financial help to cover the costs of fixing the damages. In Febraury the Barut Youth Development and Sports Centre opened its doors to the first students. “They consist of some of the neediest teens in the area, and will now train them in agri-business and fashion & design. This is the first time that students of this age, without formal education have been offered the opportunity to learn a skill to support their desire to break the cycle of poverty.” (origin and more information at http://www.raisetheroofkenya.com).
We were very happy to work on projects together with a bunch of truly amazing and people and want to thank them for all their help! Asante sana! It was another inspiring trip with many eye-openers and awesome moments. We hope to come back at the end of the year when each of us is able to come up with the travel expenses since we are all covering our own costs.
(June 16th, 2013 Dagmar Ritz)
New Online Store
New webstore is online. Go check it out at http://shop.hardcore-help.com/
Our new shop is currently only available in Germany. If you would like to place an order and have it delivered outside Germany, then please use the old shop. Within the next weeks the new shop will be available worldwide.
The Next Step
In den letzten zwei Jahren hat sich die HHF rasant von einem kleinen Nebenprojekt einer Einzelperson zu einer ernstzunehmenden Organisation mit breitem Einsatzspektrum entwickelt. Viele Menschen haben seitdem die Aktiviäten der HHF unterstützt, weiter vorangebracht und ein positives Feedback gegeben. Es entstehen zusätzlich ständig weitere Ideen, Möglichkeiten und Handlungsbereiche, die realisiert und unterstützt werden. Das Führen eines Online-Shops, die Organisation von Benefiz-Shows, die Verwaltung von Spenden und die Betreuung der bereits bestehenden Projekte sind zusammengefasst eine sehr aufwändige und zeitintensive Tätigkeit. Rico hat versucht, alle Bereiche als Verantwortlicher und Gründer selbst zu koordinieren und die Grenze des Machbaren erreicht.
Bereits frühzeitig hat die Bochumer “Flotte e.V.” Rico ermöglicht, seine Idee zu verwirklichen und durch die Rahmenbedingungen des Vereins das Projekt HHF umzusetzen. Die Rolle, die der Verein dabei als gemeinnütziger Träger spielt, erklärt Michaela Tomaschewski stellvertretend für den Vorstand folgendermaßen:
“Die Flotte e.V. agiert als eingetragener gemeinnütziger Verein in zwei Richtungen. Zum einen als freier Träger der Jugend- und Altenhilfe, zum anderen als Rahmen für die Umsetzung von sozialen Projekten, worunter auch die HHF fällt. Der Bereich der Jugend- und Altenhilfe (Better Future etc.) fällt unter die Hilfen zur Erziehung und ist in den Leistungen sozialrechtlich im SGB VIII geregelt. Das bedeutet, dass diese Leistungen z.B. durch das Jugendamt finanziert werden. Denn so, wie euer Arzt und seine Mitarbeiter ihr Geld von der Krankenkasse bekommen, so funktioniert das im Sektor der Sozialhilfe auch, nur eben mit einem anderen Kostenträger. Von diesem Geld wird dann alles bezahlt, um für den Hilfesuchenden die beste Lösung anzubieten.”
Um dem sehr großen Potential und der starken Eigendynamik der HHF und ihrer Unterstützer gerecht zu werden und um die einzelnen Aktivitäten besser planen, koordinieren und durchführen zu können, hat Rico beschlossen, die HHF zu seiner hauptamtlichen Tätigkeit zu machen. Dieser Schritt wird maßgeblich durch die Zusammenarbeit mit der Flotte e.V. ermöglicht und fördert eine weitere kompetente Professionalisierung. Dabei werden die Gehaltszahlungen aus den Mitteln des Kostenträgers des Vereins finanziert. Alle Spendengelder der HHF werden somit auch weiterhin zu 100% direkt in die Hilfsprojekte investiert, was auch in Zukunft auf der offiziellen Website dokumentiert wird. Michaela Tomaschewski begründet die Entscheidung so:
“Der Vorstand der Flotte e.V. hat beschlossen, Rico aufgrund seines wahnsinnigen Herzblutes in dieser Sache und der erfolgreichen Umsetzung einen Arbeitsvertrag anzubieten, denn wohl kaum einer hat in den letzten zwei Jahren mehr bewiesen, was man mit Engagement und Willen erreichen kann und dieser leider oft oberflächlichen Szene wieder neuen Input gegeben. Die HHF und alles was in diesem Rahmen passiert, wird auch weiterhin so laufen wie bisher! Die Spenden und Gelder werden genau dem zu Gute kommen, wie es nach außen kommuniziert wird. Nur mit dem Unterschied, dass Rico jetzt noch mehr Zeit investieren kann diese wichtige Arbeit und Message umzusetzen. Gleichzeitig nimmt er unsere Kids, die wir betreuen mit in seine Arbeit rein, um denen zu zeigen, was mit richtiger und ehrlicher Motivation zu schaffen ist. Für weitere Auskünfte und Informationen steht der Vorstand der Flotte e.V. gerne zu Verfügung.”
(Michaela und Dagmar, 01.04.2013)
Within the past two years the HHF has rapidly developed from a small project to a serious organisation with a wide range of use. Many people did support their activities, pushed them forward and gave positive feedback. In addition to that numerous new ideas, possibilities and options come up that are carried out and get supported. It takes a lot of personal effort to run an online-shop, set up benefit shows, manage donations and take care of the actual projects. As the founder of the HHF and the man being responsible for almost everything, Rico has tried to coordinate all those things by himself and has now reached the limit of what is possible.
Since the early days of the project the HHF is part of a registered social association based in the German city of Bochum called “Flotte e.V.” They approved Rico's voluntary social commitment and did provide their business conditions to make the HHF possible. The “Flotte e.V.” is a non profit association working in the section of youth welfare and the elderly. Various types of the German social security system cover all of their costs. The management of the association recently decided to offer Rico a regular fulltime job because they are very impressed by his personal effort and the progress of the HHF. This basically means that Rico will get payed a regular salary by “Flotte e.V.” and is now able to work fulltime for the HHF. It is a huge improvement to all concerns of the foundation. A new online-shop with much more stuff will be set up soon, there will be much more time to take care of old and new projects. also stay tuned for a lot more news.
Nothing will change relating to general donations! All donations are still 100 % certainly used for several actual projects only! Footage and reports of all activities will be published on the HHF website as usual. If you have any questions about this feel free to ask us.
Big donation from Planet Sport Cologne
Saturday we received a big donation with shoes from Planet Sports in Cologne. Earlier this month they had an effort, customers had the chance to donate their shoes. The result was 12 big boxes, most of them are in good shape or almost new. We will not sell them, but give them out to people at homeless centers in our area and in Kenya to people who can't afford any shoes. Big thanks to everybody who provided their shoes and to Planet Sports.
We are looking for bands to submit a track to our new benefit album. If interested please contact email@example.com
In April we are setting up 3 medical camps in the slums Gioto, Rhonda and Barut in Nakuru Kenya, in cooperation with "Nathan Hall Williams Center". Camps will have doctors, nurses, HIV team and volunteers who'll do check-ups to people who have no access to medical treatment.
Upcoming collaboration with BoySetsFire
BoySetsFire is gonna donate a song to our upcoming benefit compilation. And we are gonna do a collaboration shirt together
Update from Fanisi. Last week all the kids at the boarding school got new mattresses. They were so happy to be getting new ones. On saturday they had a parents visiting day and rented two mini busses and brought all of the families from Gioto to the school.
If you want to read older news go to our archive http://www.hardcore-help.com/archive/