Wednesday, 22. October 2014

“So much is taken for granted.”

Ottobock apprentices plant 300 apple trees in Romania

"You start to think about our own living conditions", said Darlene Hause, BA-student at Ottobock. She was one of ten apprentices, who alongside Karsten Ley, Director of Corporate Communication, and his project team flew to Romania on 13 October to plant 300 apple trees in the small village of Roadeş.

Company owner Prof. Hans Georg Näder and musician Peter Maffay have had a deep friendship for years, which has resulted in many mutual projects. The 2013 Christmas event, where Ottobock employees individually assembled 730 packages for the the residents of Roadeş, was followed by another event this year. Ottobock funded a mobile juice press for the Peter Maffay foundation and also various types of apple trees. The juice that the residents produce can either be drunk by the villagers themselves or sold to others.

Initially, Roadeş was quite a shocking sight for the young workers: dilapidated houses, drinking water from a well, free-roaming cows, chickens and horses, and up to ten people living together with their animals in only a small dwelling. This made them all the more engaged in the campaign. "It was a great feeling, achieving something together," noted Wiebke Heine. The apprentices managed to plant all of the apple trees in one day. They cut back roots and treetops, dug holes in the ground and fixed the trees to wooden stakes.

This was followed on Thursday 16 October by the ceremonial handing-over of the juice press and apple orchard, which was attended by Prof. Hans Georg Näder, Peter Maffay and a further 100 invited guests.

"All of us have the power to change a lot. This morning I have watched as young people planted a young apple tree next to an old one. The fruit from both trees will be used for the apple juice. This work symbolises both the benefit of putting fresh momentum into existing situations and the excellent cooperation between young and old." With these words Peter Maffay expressed his heartfelt thanks for the apprentice's help and dedication. Prof. Hans Georg Näder also appeared impressed by the commitment shown by his Ottobock employees: "I am pleased that my Ottobock apprentices are actively contributing themselves and applying the company philosophy of helping people right around the world."

For further information

Karsten Ley

Director Corporate Communication

Phone: +49 (0) 5527 848-3036
Fax: +49 (0) 5527 848-3360