Rosi Gollmann was honoured by the World’s Children’s Prize in 2017 for her over 50-year fight for the poorest and most vulnerable children in India and Bangladesh.
Rosi grew up in Nazi Germany during the Second World War. She experienced the terror, discrimination and suspension of democracy that war brings.
Only 18-year-old she decided to dedicate her life to help the poor and oppressed to help themselves. Rosi founded the organisation Andheri-Hilfe, which in the 50 years since it was established has carried out over 3,000 projects with local partners, and in doing so has helped ten million people gain a better future.
With Rosi’s help, 50,000 child labourers have been set free and been able to go to school. Tens of thousands of children with disabilities have also received support and training. Rosi and Andheri-Hilfe support families living with HIV/AIDS, and fight against the old tradition where girls are forced to be sex slaves in some temples. In Bangladesh, over one million people have regained their sight thanks to Rosi and the committed local staff. Through a campaign called ‘No girl is unwanted’, 12,000 Indian girls who would have been killed at birth have been saved. At the same time, girls’ rights have been strengthened and child marriage has been stopped.
How Rosi and Andheri-Hilfe work
Rosi and her organisation Andheri-Hilfe have around 150 projects ongoing, working with local organisations in India and Bangladesh. They reach over 700,000 people a year in India alone. Every year they support people including:
• Children in 20,000 villages are supported with education, for survival and to start children’s parliaments.
• 140,000 children and adults from particularly poor and vulnerable groups including people with different abilities and indigenous people groups.
• Infant girls at risk of being killed at birth.
• Child labourers and child slaves who are set free and given the opportunity to go to school.
• Tens of thousands of blind people in Bangladesh. More than one million eye operations have given people back their eyesight and preventative work stops more children from going blind.
In photo: Hasna (left) and Saluddin can see again, after being blind for many years. They are two of the one million people who have got operations and regained their eyesight, thanks to Rosi’s long fight for the blind in Bangladesh.