3. September 2019 Press releases

Press Release 40 Years Cap Anamur

Versatile in operation but always principled. For over four decades and to this day, Cap Anamur provides humanitarian aid worldwide: unconditionally and sustainably.

Mit über 300 Freunden und Unterstützern feierten wir im Rautenstrauch-Joest-Museum in Köln 40-jähriges Jubiläum.
Greeting by Chancellor Angela Merkel, guests are NRW’s Minister President, the Mayor of Cologne and even the co-founder of Cap Anamur Christel Neudeck.

“How good it is that Cap Anamur exists,” wrote German Chancellor Angela Merkel in her greeting read out by moderator Andrea Moos at the anniversary event on Saturday, August 31. Rupert and his wife Christel Neudeck founded the aid organization 40 years ago. The association celebrated this anniversary with high-ranking guests such as Minister President Armin Laschet, Cologne Mayor Henriette Reker, Cap Anamur founder Christel Neudeck, investigative journalist Günter Wallraff, Cap Anamur Chairman Dr. Werner Strahl, Cap Anamur Managing Director Bernd Göken and Dr. Nellie Bell, one of three female pediatricians from Sierra Leone. The ceremony took place at the Rautenstrauch-Joest Museum in Cologne.

Die Band Kenitra spielt im Foyer.
Musical accompaniment was provided by the school orchestra of the Rupert Neudeck Gymnasium from Nottuln and the German-Moroccan band Kenitra.

“Today we need the ‘spirit of 79’ again. People in distress and at risk of drowning in the Mediterranean need solidarity,” said Armin Laschet, Minister President of North Rhine-Westphalia. He continued: “Cap Anamur with its good name and with its projects all over the world can wake us up”. In addition, Prime Minister Armin Laschet criticized outgoing Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, who is taking an extremely hard line on refugee policy
Cologne Mayor Henriette Reker also drew parallels between the sea rescue by Cap Anamur and the current situation in the Mediterranean. Sea rescue volunteers deserve everyone’s respect, said the non-partisan mayor of Cologne, Henriette Reker. “Under no circumstances should we allow helpers to become perpetrators,” Reker said.

Grußwort von Armin Laschet (Ministerpräsident des Landes NRW)
Grußwort von Henriette Reker (Oberbürgermeisterin der Stadt Köln).

For Christel Neudeck, co-founder of the aid organization, this evening also had a particularly emotional significance. When she chartered a ship 40 years ago with her husband Rupert Neudeck, who died in May 2016, to rescue Vietnamese refugees drowning in the South China Sea, she could hardly have dreamed that her “naïve deed,” as Christel Neudeck herself put it, would 40 years later be a successful aid organization operating worldwide. In addition to the pride, however, there was also sadness that Rupert Neudeck was no longer able to experience this anniversary.

Journalist Günter Wallraff also honored the aid organization, which he has supported for years. For example, Wallraff had financed a girls’ school in Afghanistan built and sponsored by Cap Anamur. In his speech, he praised, among other things, the small administrative apparatus of the organization. Thus, only five employees work in the office in Cologne-Ehrenfeld. “Here, donations do not disappear into an overflowing administrative apparatus,” said journalist Günter Wallraff.

Moderatorin Mndrea Moos (WDR) im Gespräch mit Christel Neudeck (Gründerin von Cap Anamur)
Grußwort von Günther Wallraff (Journalist).

The chairman of Cap Anamur, Dr. Werner Strahl, praised the courage and dedication of the employees who work in Cap Anamur projects around the world. Currently, the association operates projects in ten different countries.

Projektberichte von Bernd Göken (Geschäftsführer Cap Anamur).
Bernd Göken, managing director of Cap Anamur recounted everyday life in the Nuba Mountains in vivid detail.

Some of them were briefly presented by Bernd Göken, managing director of the aid organization. Among other things, he gave an impressive account of how staff in the Nuba Mountains, a region in the south of Sudan, sometimes have to hide for hours in so-called ‘foxholes’, holes in the ground, as soon as Antonovs start circling over the area and dropping bombs. “The most beautiful thing would be if we lived in a world where Cap Anamur was no longer needed, but unfortunately we are still far away from that and sometimes I have the feeling we are getting further and further away,” Göken said.

Bericht aus dem Projekt in Sierra Leone von Dr. Nelly Bell.

The fact that Cap Anamur is still needed was also shown by pediatrician Dr. Nellie Bell, who not only reported how Cap Anamur has been supporting the only children’s hospital in the region for years, but also stood by the country during the Ebola epidemic. “Only Cap Anamur has remained.” The young doctor from Sierra Leone had studied in Germany and, with the help of Cap Anamur, went back to her home country as a pediatrician in 2011 to help the local people.

The anniversary was accompanied musically by the school orchestra of the Rupert Neudeck Gymnasium, which had traveled from Nottuln just for the occasion and played the pieces “At Your Side” by The Corrs, “Fields of Gold” by Sting and “People” by Birdy between the speeches. The German-Moroccan band Kenitra, consisting of the musicians Brahim, Jaouad and Felix, rounded off the event with emotional songs and played some more pieces in the foyer afterwards.

Fotograf Jürgen Escher mit dem neuen Cap Anamur Buch »ÜBER LEBEN«.

The organization also presented its new photo book, which Cap Anamur had recently published together with photographer Jürgen Escher and which provides extensive insights into various projects. The book could be bought on Saturday evening at the event and on the homepage of the association for 29.90 euros plus 4.50 euros shipping.

Learn more about the photo book