and her Aschaffenburg Girls’ School,
her pupils, her colleagues, her friends, and her family
Once upon a time – more than 10 years ago – there was a Mrs
Anni Kropf, a German red-haired and lively woman, who was on
sabbatical from her teaching job. Her husband was working in
Zambia and she had accompanied him to this strange land.
During her time in Zambia she came into contact with Kasisi
Children’s Home (then called ‘orphanage’). She fell in love
with the place and the children, and decided to do something
When she returned to Germany, to the town of Aschaffenburg
in southern Germany, she organized all her colleagues,
pupils, friends, and family, to send money to the orphanage.
And ever since that time they have been doing just that.
They hold bake-sales and concerts, Christmas plays and
fun-runs, salaula auctions and fund-raiser church services.
Even PTA meetings are not safe from Anni’s Kasisi-collection
One of Anni’s colleagues, Mrs Kolkmann the art teacher, had
an especially bright idea: to combine art lessons with fund
raising. And so, from about 2002 onwards, every year Mrs
Kolkmann’s art pupils design cards that then get printed and
sold. Many many millions of Kwacha have come together from
these sales alone.
Another of Anni’s colleagues, Mr Gottschalk, one year came
visiting us at Kasisi. He was a teacher at a different
school, in a town called Graefenberg, and he too became a
friend of our Home and started organizing his pupils,
friends and family. Sadly he passed away seven years ago,
but every year on his death-day his parents continue his
good work and send a memorial donation.
More and more teachers became interested in fund-raising for
Kasisi. The early pioneers, inspired by Anni - Mrs Kanja and
Mrs Blatt, Mr Matheis and Mrs Plaice, Mrs Trunk-Kupsch and
Mr Bubenzer – had led by glowing example, some of them
beyond their school-days and into their retirement. In the
last few years many more teachers have become involved,
inspiring their pupils to donate some of their pocket money
to support individual Kasisi children. And the idea of
sponsorships took hold, of a class sponsoring a specific
orphan. By now, July 2008, nine classes are donating
regularly. All ‘Aktionen’ and activities enjoy the active
support of Headmaster Mr Koemm.
But it is not only the schools that have been ‘organised’ by
Anni. Her friends and family are donating too, either by
sponsoring an individual child or by sending regular
donations. There are the families Geissler-Braun, Bauer,
Fuchs, Nitt and Schroeder, to mention only a few. And then
there are many more occasional donors, friends or workmates
of Anni and her husband Guenter’s, who donate their birthday
money or Christmas gifts.
In this manner an enormous amount of money has come together
over the years – I think it may be about half a million Euro
by now – and we have been able to buy anything from sweeties
to fridges, balloons to furniture, exercise books to washing
machines. I don’t know what we would do without Anni and her
school. We can’t thank everyone enough and know that only
the Good Lord will reward them all suitably.
Next month, in August, Anni will come on a visit. I think
she will be very surprised at the many changes she’ll find
after her years and years of absence.
Of course, the partnership between Aschaffenburg and Kasisi
is not one-sided. Teachers and pupils, their families and
friends, learn about Zambia, a country far removed from
their day-to-day concerns. Zambian topics are being
incorporated into Aschaffenburg school’s curriculum, into
their geography, home craft, mathematics, history, and art
lessons … And I don’t know what else; the possibilities are
Last year Anni and her school were honoured by the President
of Germany in recognition of their efforts for a country and
an institution in need. She and a pupil, as representatives
of their community, had been invited to Berlin, the capital
of Germany, for a special celebration at Germany’s State
House. Many people were there, speeches were held, and tea
was served, and everyone heard about far-away Kasisi, the
children’s home in a country called Zambia.