Dear members of the Workers’ Welfare Association in the Fulda District,
what came into being in Fulda in the hard years after the end of the Second World War, what was a support for homeless people and war returnees alike, is today a permanent fixture in the social coexistence of our city: I warmly congratulate the AWO Fulda District Association on its 75th anniversary!
In 1965, Erna Hosemann was awarded the Federal Cross of Merit, 1st class, for her special services to the founding of the AWO Fulda. Even today, the name of the AWO Centre for the Elderly in Bonhoefferstrasse is a reminder of this remarkable woman, who was only brought to Fulda by the war. With soup kitchens, sewing rooms and school lunches, the founder, her husband and the first volunteers of the AWO in Fulda helped to alleviate the hardship of the post-war period. Today, the AWO district association has 120 full-time employees and more than 500 volunteers in its ranks.
Even today, volunteers play a special role in the AWO’s work as an association: The annual calendar shows more than 50 different activities, and when I read it, I was particularly struck by the “district meetings”, which – indoors and outdoors – enable young and old, big and small to get together in times with and without Corona restrictions. Especially in this neighbourhood work, the cooperation between the AWO and the city of Fulda is characterised by long-standing mutual trust and fruitful cooperation. And also in childcare in our city, the AWO district association has developed into a committed and reliable player.
How up-to-date and multi-layered the work of the AWO is is impressively shown by the extensive online offers, ranging from yoga, the language café and the reading club for children to individual language support for migrants. “Offer for all” is emblazoned like a motto on the very first page of the AWO website, which, when studied further, reveals the association’s extensive social commitment: solidarity, tolerance, freedom, equality and justice are the building blocks of the AWO canon of values.
Erna Hosemann certainly held these values close to her heart. May they continue to be the guiding principles for all socially committed citizens in the city and district of Fulda.
I would like to thank all the full-time and voluntary staff of the AWO for their tireless work and hope that you will be able to celebrate the 75th anniversary in a dignified manner despite all the limitations of these times!
Dr. Heiko Wingenfeld
Lord Mayor of Fulda