There are countless initiatives for sewing corona masks, but not many run against such a special background as that of Annemarie Achterberg from Bergheim: in favor of the aid organization “Ethopia Arise”.
Aneemarie Achterberg from Edertal-Bergheim received 900 euros in donations by sewing corona masks for a good cause. The proceeds go to the “Ethopia Arise” aid organization run by Klaus Betz, a native of Bergheim. The money was used to buy food packages for families in Addis Ababa
Bergheim – In August 2019, the children’s choir of the aid organization “Ethiopia Arise” stayed in her parents’ house with supervisors and the founder of the organization Klaus Betz . The idea of sewing masks for donations for the benefit of this project also originated in the same building. “Our tenants asked me about a self-made Corona face mask for their mother,” remembers Annemarie Achterberg at the beginning. At the time, masks were not available in stores. Achterberg had hardly sewn masks for their tenants when neighbors asked.
Then came the mask requirement . “Inquiries came from everywhere,” says the nurse and hobby seamstress, who also provided her colleagues and their relatives with face masks. The chief doctor in her clinic got corona masks for his family and later for the secretaries. Small companies ordered mouthguards for their employees. Annemarie Achterberg decided to accept the “orders” and thus collect donations for a good cause.
After 150 self-sewn corona masks, everything was missing
But after 150 sewn corona masks everything was missing. A neighbor donated material, a friend from Bavaria sent material to Edertal-Bergheim .
Many searched Grandma’s sewing baskets for elastic. “You couldn’t get elastic cord at all,” says the hardworking hobby seamstress. Without further ado, old bedclothes and shirts that were no longer worn were turned into masks.
Annemarie Achterberg noticed that men prefer monochrome, dark fabrics for the corona masks from Edertal-Bergheim , whereas women prefer colorful, floral or with different motifs. The fabrics for the children were also bright and colorful.
With the great demand for corona masks from Edertal-Bergheim, it was almost too much
In total, Achterberg received almost 900 euros in donations in this way. She soon decided that she would donate the money to the organization “Ethiopia Arise” . “I know Klaus Betz personally and I know that the money will arrive on site”. But today she honestly admits:
“At times the demand was so great that it almost became too much for me”. Nevertheless, she is very grateful for the numerous donations and is happy that the money was used to buy food parcels for families.
Corona robs many mothers of work in Ethiopia
Klaus Betz reports from Addis Ababa about the corona situation and how it has changed everyday life there. With the corona lock down , the schools were closed and the children’s home of “Ethiopia Arise” is currently not allowed to look after the more than 150 protégés. “We are suffering from the crisis here in Ethiopia and many mothers have lost their jobs as day laborers,” Betz wrote in an email. “For four months we have been concentrating on food parcels so that the children and families have enough to eat.”
A grocery package with basic groceries costs around 20 euros, which the organization has to raise per month and family. However, that is not enough for many mothers, since the rents are high and Klaus Betz and his aid organization had to intervene to prevent them from being thrown out of their apartments. “We have already distributed well over seven tons of food to 140 families in need,” explains Betz.
Donations from Edertal-Bergheim are enough for 45 heavy food packages
The “Masks for Ethiopia Arise” campaign raised around 900 euros, of which 45 heavy food parcels could be bought. Klaus Betz is particularly pleased about this, because around three to five people live in an average family, which is usually cared for by a single mother. The creative action by Annemarie Achterberg touched Klaus Betz, who was born in Böhne, very much. Because the food and hygiene articles cannot be paid for by the sponsorships, through which the aid organization is mostly financed.