Ladies and Gentlemen, dear friends,
What a day, what a wonderful day this is today.
I am so happy that in my role as chairperson of Themba Labantu Germany, I can stand here in front of you to celebrate this very special event.
I am not only happy, but also excited and most of all I am grateful. Grateful to so many people, who have helped us reach our goal.
I regret that Mrs. Zille couldn’t join us today because I would have liked to express my gratitude to her in person. In September 2011 I met her in Munich and I was able to talk to her. So I took the opportunity to beg her to help us because we were desperately looking for land to create a sports field. And she was successful.
If it hadn’t been for her we wouldn’t have had any chance of succeeding. Dear Anthea could you please pass this message to her. Thank you also for your support. During the last few years you were so often our last hope when we were bogged down in bureaucrasy.
And many thanks to the City of Cape Town – to get this piece of land directly beside the Center has been our dream for years and the permission to use it made it a reality.
My next thanks go to you Philipp Lahm. It was the CEO of your foundation who had the idea of a sportsground of its own for iThemba Labantu and once I have heard it I couldn’t get rid of this idea and so the ball was set rolling.
Thank you also for supporting the sports department during the last ten years. Without this it wouldn’t be such an important part of the work here in the center and make such a difference in the lives of so many children.
This support is visible in the name of the Sports Ground, Philipp Lahm Sports Ground – it is your name which shows your solidarity with iThemba Labantu sports.
Transforming a water detention pond into a sports ground is a challenge, especially from a financial point of view.
We at Themba Labantu Germany with all its members and supporters have worked hard during the last few years to raise the money needed. But without the support of two foundations I don’t know when we would have been able to finish it.
Last summer the Würth foundation gave us a large amount of money and with this money came the hope, that we would be able to afford it. A warm thank you to the foundation and to Uli Roth, a member of the board,who is here today. Please pass our thanks to Mrs. Würth with my best regards.
But there was still a gap and honestly I have to say it was a big gap and then the Merck Family Foundation came to our rescue; it was like a miracle and I wish I had special words than merely to say thank you to the Merck Family.
It would take too long to mention all the people involved in this project. So I mention some of them – the builder, the workers, our architects and friends Uli und Luyanda together with Wesley. You have done such a good job. A huge and cordial thank you goes to you.
I would also like to thank my husband Klaus. He does everything in his power to support me and the plans for Themba Labantu and in my eyes he is the most successful fundraiser ever.
My last words are for you Otto. During the last 15 years we have launched several projects together successfully and this one I think is the biggest and perhaps the last one, but that you can never know.
Thank you for so many years of good cooperation and friendship!
The very last words (really) are for you, the children and young people of iThemba Labantu.
This sports ground is for you. Use it and make it a place filled with joy, team spirit and fairness.