Barbara Hahlweg

Barbara Hahlweg is a TV presenter for the ZDF broadcast “heute” (today) and since 2014 also a member of the advisory board of the Heraeus Educational Foundation and patron of the McDonald’s Children’s Aid Foundation. She deeply cares about the areas of children, families and education, not only because she is the mother of three daughters, but also because of her daily work confronting her with the needs of this planet. The cornerstone of this world’s peace is our children, unrestricted access to education, and unconditional support from our family. We are pleased that Barbara Hahlweg has been supporting us in our mission since 2017 to provide children and adolescents with the unrestricted access to free education.

Interview with Barbara Hahlweg

We asked. Barbara replied.

Volkan: As a journalist, you daily deal with grievances in our society – a huge issue is education: schools are closing or being equipped unequally, classrooms are run down. The federal states simply cannot provide a fair education for every child, and there is a shortage of teaching staff in our country. Who are the victims, who is responsible?
Barbara: The victims are clearly the children from educationally disadvantaged families who feel it the most, and the teachers, who are simply put on too much. The political leaders in the federal and state governments are responsible, because they should actually ensure that all schools are equally and adequately equipped and that there are enough and well-trained teachers.

Volkan: You mainly stand up for projects dear to you in Germany: with your name and your commitment. It shows that social projects are more than necessary even for us in a wealthy country like Germany. In 2017, you decided to become an ambassador of our association. How do you decide to what you commit yourself?
Barbara: Either the topic appeals to me – children, education, justice and tolerance often trigger me – or it’s people who impress me. Just like you, Volkan, with your lovely tenacity and your intense personal commitment.

Volkan: Where do you notice that you are reaching limits personally and with your commitment? What are the obstacles? What is your hope?
Barbara: I – like every one of us – have to pick myself up again and again, overcome my tiredness, my own laziness, sometimes even fears, take my time. It’s not always easy. But when I do the inner contentment is immense. And this is also my great hope: that many more people will learn how much the commitment to others enriches oneself.

Volkan: Your favourite quote?
Barbara: Beppo, the road sweeper from “Momo” says: “You must not look forward to all the things that still need to be done, but have to look backwards and be happy about all that has already been achieved. ”

This interview was conducted in December 2019.