About us

Based in Düsseldorf, our team is a division of the non-profit organisation vision:teilen, a Franciscan initiative against poverty and need. In 2012, we established ourselves as a separate group within the association and since 2013 we have supported a number of women’s groups in East Africa through microcredit. In addition to granting credit, we provide assistance to the groups in the form of training for the commercial sector, in skills such as accounting, calculation, marketing, organisation, and other relevant disciplines. Our motto is Help for Self-Help.

Our small, very committed team comes from a wide variety of professions in Düsseldorf. Our professional knowledge encompasses a broad spectrum of business management and design expertise, which we can bring to each project. We work closely with various religious congregations in East Africa, and are in constant contact with our project coordinator in Kenya, who looks after the women’s groups. Through our personal visits we evaluate the effectiveness of our measures.

If you are interested in becoming actively involved in this area, please contact us. We would be pleased to welcome further members to our group.

Start your own clothes-making business with 100 Euros

Made possible by microcredits from vision:teilen

Our team

Sr. Margret Lelia

Microcredit Project Manager/Project Coordination Kenya

“Women in Africa bear most of the responsibility for their families. STARTHILFEKENIA helps these hard-working women in a dignified and very humane way. I am proud to be part of the STARTHILFEKENIA team and to do my part to support these women.”

Heike Hassel

Founder/Project Coordination/Fundraising
“It is a great joy to experience the enthusiasm of people who have built something with little means. Women in Africa bear a lot of responsibility for themselves and their families. For me there is hardly a better investment towards peace and more prosperity. Since 2009 I have been supporting the idea to establish the microcredit project STARTHILFEKENIA for the association vision:teilen e.V.”.

Ulrich Neuber

Founder/Treasurer/Fundraising
“Since 2012 I have been a volunteer for the association vision-teilen e. V. with STARTHILFEKENIA. I am convinced by the effectiveness of microcredits and the work of Nobel Prize winner Muhammad Yunus in this field. Microcredits are a proven means of fighting poverty in the world, of promoting equality between women and men and securing peace. This is why I am committed to STARTHILFEKENIA”.

Johanna Rapp

Group Management and Communication Kenya
“For me, microcredit is a sustainable means of providing development aid. STARTHILFEKENIA is a charitable project that focuses on supporting women. Moreover, the project is not designed to make a profit, which means the donations go directly to those who need them.”

Johannes Hering

Support to the group in relation to business activities and their implementation in Kenya
“I support STARTHILFEKENIA because I believe that empowering women promotes the resilience of the local economy in East Africa and leads to greater equality. I also see the initiative as a valuable bridge between cultures, with the potential to raise awareness of the diversity of life on our planet. My professional background is in agriculture, business and finance with more than 3 years of work experience in the global South”.

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100 euros for you own boutique

Made possible by microcredits from vision:teilen

Our local partners

Our project is led and supported by church congregations based in Kenya. Each group is assigned to a local religious sister or brother. We consider this personal commitment to be of particular importance. The local coordinators or counsellors are regularly trained by STARTHILFEKENIA in workshops which take place over several days. Sr. Lelia, our project manager, is in regular contact with the local group leaders and manages the project in Kenya.

On‐site support and training

Every two years we organise a seminar with the project coordinators lasting several days.
Personal interaction, networking and further education are the foundations for the success of the project.

Other partner organisations

We thank the following companies and organisations for their cooperation and support.