A woman from Dresden who collects hundreds of thousands of euros for children
For ten years, Anne Bibas stood at information booths and in front of school classes to raise awareness about children’s rights. The director of Unicef is now receiving a special award from the city for this.
Dresden. Young children sleep in the open air in the market square of Peru at night in the icy cold. Intentionally mutilated girls and boys being sent out to beg in Cambodia because they arouse more pity. There are many images that Anne Bibas can not get out of her head from her travels around the world. “At first I was just shocked, but as the experiences increased, I wanted to do something about these conditions,” the 39-year-old recalls.
When she was looking for an association that fights for children’s rights, she came across Unicef’s Dresden working group relatively quickly. She started as a volunteer there twelve years ago. “We organize information stands where we talk about children’s rights and what children in different parts of the world still have to experience,” says Anne Bibas. She also talks about the emergency aid that Unicef provides in countries such as Syria, Yemen and Ethiopia and collects donations for it.
Workshops and discussions meet with interested listeners, especially among school children. “We try to explain as much as possible in a practical way, for example on trips with the Lottchen children’s tram. When we pass the Striezelmarkt, we tell the children that the plum caramel is a symbol of child labor.” What few people know is that he owes the orphaned boys of the 19th century his form as a chimney sweep. The food sweepers, ie chimney sweeps, were allowed to employ seven to eight-year-old children, who had to clean the chimneys from the inside thanks to a Saxon election permit. “This is an early example of state-tolerated child labor,” says Anne Bibas.
Youngest leader of a German Unicef local group
In 2010, the then 26-year-old local group reactivated the press team and has since tried to establish many contacts with supporters. The other Unicef comrades quickly noticed, in Dresden there are about 70 volunteers aged 14 to over 70 years, which Anne Bibas is good at coordinating. They made her the leader of the local group in 2011.
At the time, Bibas, 27, was the youngest leader of a German Unicef local group. And she has also been elected to the highest body in Germany, the UNICEF committee. There she fought for younger people to have a voice. Successfully, the university group now has the right to vote.
Since then, Anne Bibas has worked at least ten to fifteen hours a week for Unicef alongside her marketing job at her parents’ company. Sometimes 25 hours. Has arranged benefit concerts, art auctions or the popular family-run, information and donation stands or workshops for schools.
“We don’t just ring the bell, we always offer something,” she says. It only works if you are passionate about what you do and have a good team that supports you.
The business economics graduate has been doing this for well over ten years, where she also had two children, who are now nine and five years old. Around 400,000 euros in donations have been raised through campaigns, thanks to people from Dresden, Görlitz and the surrounding area. Money that could be sent to various Unicef projects.
Among other things, about 21,000 euros for “Schools for Africa”. Unicef helps children in 13 African countries, five of which – Madagascar, Malawi, Niger, Rwanda and South Africa – are supported by Germany. Every day, the initiative helps to ensure that the children go to school, receive teaching materials and receive drinking water.
At the Dresden Family Run in 2015, around 13,000 euros were raised for refugee children in Syria and Iraq. And as a benefit partner for the film evenings on the banks of the Elbe, 25,000 euros were raised in five years through cup campaigns and benefit films for drinking water projects, to combat malnutrition and for children on the run, to provide them with medical care, schooling, clean water, warm winter clothes and psychosocial care for support.
New medal of honor for nine committed Dresdeners
Last year, Anne Bibas decided to take a break from Unicef to get more time for her family and get into the management of the family business. “But I’m going back, would probably like to join the school team in late summer,” she says.
Good news for her successor Felix Dietzsch, who greatly appreciates Anne Bibas. “I met her in the office with a big smile and know how cosmopolitan, kind and helpful she is. She is a person who likes to be with everywhere, a real craftsman who also likes to give a little polite kick , when a project stalls. ”
When Anne Bibas on Saturday afternoon stands with a silver coin weighing 60 grams and measuring five centimeters, in her hands, it is the city’s medal of honor. It is the third highest award with which the state capital honors deserving people who, in a special way and sustainably, work voluntarily for Dresden. The prize will be awarded for the first time in 2022.
In addition to Anne Bibas, eight other prize winners will receive the coin. These are Hannelore Danders of the Society for Helping War Veterans in Russia and the German War Graves Commission; Reinhard Decker of the Palais Großer Garten Friends’ Association, Elbhangfest Dresden Association, Dresden Regional Court and Loschwitz Evangelical Lutheran Church; Tom Gehre from the association Crisis Intervention & Emergency Counseling Dresden; Peter Gorka from the tennis club TC Blau-Weiss Dresden-Blasewitz, the Dresden City Sports Association and the German Tennis Federation.
Also Regine Hartfiel of Loschwitz Evangelical Lutheran Church; Hussein Jinah of Dresden for All, Foreigners Council Dresden and Integration and Foreigners Advisory Board in the state capital Dresden; Gudrun Meurer from Friends of Albertinum and Jörg Schwerdtfeger from the Foodsharing Association.