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The social project of the Koehler trainees is a combination of environmental education and social work. Within the framework of this project, the trainees produced 691 litres of organic apple juice. The proceeds in the amount of 1,500 euros will benefit the Ortenau children's and youth hospice service.
The Ortenau Children and Youth Hospice Service (Kinder- und Jugendhospizdienst Ortenau) accepted a donation of 1500 euros on 22 January, which was presented by trainee Jennifer Kunz together with trainee coordinator Elke Brückner and head of human resources development Stefan Grözinger from Koehler. "This significant donation was the result of several interconnected projects of the Koehler trainees in their second year of training," explains Grözinger.
The trainees completed the first part of the social project on orchard meadows of the August Koehler paper mill. Last autumn, the young people there harvested apples and cleared the meadows of rotten fruit and rubbish. The Mostkellerei Kasper, a company that produces apple juice and cider in Oberkirch-Nussbach, then processed the apples, turning them into juice. The bottles with the natural organic apple juice were provided with labels that the trainees had designed themselves.
The juice was then offered to the Koehler staff for tasting. Information boards, which the trainees also designed themselves, provided information about the importance of orchard meadows and the health benefits of organic and naturally cloudy apple juice. In this way, the environmental project was also expanded to include the aspect of corporate health management at the company headquartered in Oberkirch. The 691 liters were enjoyed by many members of staff, who received juice in return for a donation. The trainees had printed a large red piggy bank with the 3D printer especially for this purpose, and no juice was left by the end of the year. This initiative was planned and carried out by the trainees themselves.
Dare to think outside the box
According to Stefan Grözinger, the fact that environmental education and social work have their place in training at Koehler in addition to the specialist qualifications is an integral part of the company's values: "We live by the values we have defined and want to pass them on to the younger generation. And this obviously works best if we accompany a project over a longer period of time at the various stages. Taking care of orchard meadows imparts some great practical knowledge while making the purpose of our commitment towards our direct environment tangible. After all, these meadows provide a habitat for more than 5,000 animal and plant species."
The trainees learned what it meant to process and market their own apple harvest as a result of producing and selling the juice in their own company. "The fact that we were also able to take corporate health management into consideration was a great added bonus," says Grözinger, who is also responsible for this topic at Koehler. Furthermore, the donation to the Ortenau Children and Youth Hospice Service also opened the eyes of the trainees with regard to the needs of children and young people from the region. It was the wish of the trainees that the proceeds from the apple juice campaign would go to this institution.
Donation will benefit the project "Oasentage" (Oasis Days)
Gabi Mittenmüller-Held from the Children and Youth Hospice Service gratefully accepted the donation. The facility, which operates under the umbrella of the Hospizvereins Offenburg e.V (Offenburg Hospice Association), supports and accompanies seriously ill children and children who have to say goodbye to someone close. The Ortenau Children and Youth Hospice Service works free of charge for the families concerned and is therefore dependent on donations. The Koehler donation will benefit the "Oasis Days" project directly. During these "days", a trip to the island of Spiekeroog is being organized for grieving families.
More information on training at Koehler.