Since 20 years, Frank Deuschle is working as a development engineer at Mercedes-Benz in Sindelfingen. As part of his job he ensures the seamless communication between the various electronic vehicle systems. In his free time, he supports development aid in Kenia’s capital Nairobi through Daimler ProCent.
Mr. Deuschle, Sindelfingen and Nairobi are more than 6,000 kilometers apart. What turned your attention to Kenia?
My oldest son did his voluntary service in Nairobi. I visited him together with my wife and our other children. In Nairobi, we met many volunteers and supported them. We drove to the slums of the city, made sandwiches and played with the children, distributed schoolbooks and talked to the teachers about the situation in the slums.
Sixty percent of the population of Nairobi lives in the city’s approximately two hundred slums. How did you experience the local situation?
The circumstances in the slums are catastrophic and Corona has further worsened this situation. Blocks of flats, tin huts, streets full of potholes, no sewage system and far too many people in far too small spaces. Nevertheless, I immediately noticed the warmth and care of the helpers there. They always listen to the people and their problems. It is an enrichment to work with them. That is why I still keep in touch with them to this day, so that I can provide help from Germany as well.
What does your aid actually look like?
The Daimler initiative “ProCent” enables Daimler employees to monthly donate the cents of their salary. The company supports this commitment and doubles every cent donated. The revenue goes to charitable projects employees can proposed. I really liked the initiative from the very beginning. So, I submitted an application for the non-profit organization "UWEZO Uplift Foundation", which I have supported several times in Nairobi.
What have the aid funds achieved?
The roads in the slums are rough and through all the potholes more than bumpy. Thanks to the support of ProCent, UWEZO was able to purchase an off-road vehicle. Now the helpers can drive safely and easily into the slums and transport relief supplies such as food and clothing.
What is your personal motivation to volunteer for Nairobi?
It has always been very important to me to make a contribution so that other people get a fair chance and a perspective for their lives.
To me, volunteering means...
"...making the world a little better."
My motivation for volunteering is...
"...what I get in return for my commitment. I help the children in Nairobi and in return they give me a smile, but most of all an incredible amount of gratitude and appreciation. That is something you cannot buy."
Through my commitment I have learned...
"...to be repeatedly grateful that my family and I are doing so well. We should much more appreciate the prosperity and the opportunities we have - this often gets lost in everyday life."