Board, l-r: Miranda Bammert-Zahn (Association President), Mirella Millwater (Head of Finance), Victoria Hansson (Actuary), Markus Bammert (Head of Projects)
The ‘Förderverein Maison des Anges’ Association
Our survival depends on your donations. With your help, we made it another year. We live from day to day here. This month was OK, and we were able to pay all our bills and buy milk and diapers, etc. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts to all who support us!
Gladys Maximilien, Home Manager
Miranda Bammert-Zahn is happy to be the adoptive mother of two Haitian girls. She loves sport and the outdoors, as well as foreign lands and cultures. Her legal background and previous work as an executive manager help her cheerfully to fulfill her role as President of our Association – a function to which she is enormously committed.
Head of Fundraising
Markus Bammert is happy to be the adoptive father of two Haitian girls. In his free time he plays tennis, loves getting out on his motorcycle, and is involved in a free church. Professionally, Markus is IT manager at a company in Meggen.
Victoria Hansson has Swedish roots, but has lived in Switzerland for many years. She is a nurse and single mother of four children (one girl and three boys). Victoria speaks a number of languages, and loves people and cultures, as well as reading whenever she has the time.
Mirella Millwater has Italian roots but grew up in Switzerland. She heads a consulting bank in the canton of Schwyz and lives in Richterswil on Lake Zurich. Her two sons are already grown. Mirella loves the city, traveling, and the fun things in life.
Remy Marthaler grew up in the canton of Aargau. After completing an apprenticeship as an application developer, he now works at the Swiss National Bank. He’s responsible for communications on the committee of his local gymnastics club, and organizes a variety of sporting events. Asked why he has taken on voluntary work at his age, he replied: “Seeing the eyes of the children in Haiti light up is payment enough!”
Founded in March 2015
Miranda Bammert-Zahn was moved to hear the story the head of the Maison des Anges children’s home was telling. “I don’t know how we’re going to keep going!”, Gladys Maximilien was saying. She was visibly upset. “I can’t pay the wages any more and I’m going to have to close the home”. In 2012, Miranda and Markus Bammert had adopted two girls from this same home. As a result of their travels, they were aware of the need, and the circumstances, in which people in Haiti live. But what should they do? Close their eyes and walk away? Or roll up their sleeves and help?
The Bammerts decided on the latter. They wrote a letter to friends and relatives, asking for financial assistance. In doing so, they manage to collect a sum that prevented the home’s closure. Yet the one-time donation wasn’t enough to resolve the problem. In the interests of long-term support, in 2015 they set up a charitable association.
There have been many hours of voluntary work since that point. Regular visits ensure that donations actually reach the home. A sponsorship program has been established for children and staff, and Maison des Anges can be sure that its basic needs will be met.
Maison des Anges is home to around 100 children, from infants through to teenagers. They are cared for by 65 staff. The roster features carers, nurses, teachers, and laundresses, office staff, cooks, security guards, drivers and all-rounders. Its monthly costs for food, clothing, diapers, salaries and school fees add up to some USD 32,000.
It means a lot to a child who has been abandoned or given up for someone to take an interest in them. They are happy to have a sponsor, who might write them sometimes, or send a gift. The 50 Swiss francs that sponsorship costs monthly goes towards school fees, uniforms, and school supplies. Our vision is for each and every child to go to school and get a a good education.
The education system in Haiti doesn’t have a great reputation. Schools are poorly equipped, class sizes are too big, and there aren’t enough well-trained teachers. What’s more, most schools are privately run, with the state accounting for just 20 percent of the total. Many in Haiti cannot read or write – as many as 51 percent of adults, and still a high 26 to 30 percent of young people.
The basic needs of the children’s home are now covered, and the Manager no longer has to be counting every cent to make ends meet each month. In addition, there have been and are projects to ensure water and power supplies. We’re proud of the new school bus that we have been able to buy thanks to the support of many generous donors. We’ve also been able to renovate the kitchen. And last but not least, donations helped us to fight the outbreak of tuberculosis in 2018.