Menschenbrücke e.V. was founded after Pastor Musoke Genza from Uganda came to Germany in summer 2007 as a holiday substitute in the pastoral area of Neuss South.
His stories and the pictures from Masaka, Uganda, showed an overall picture of the situation there. This made various parishioners, especially Josefine Freibeuter, call for help – initially on a purely private level. Menschenbrücke e.V. started as an association on 29 March 2009 with fourteen founding members. At the beginning of 2011, almost 80 people already supported the association through their membership. Another 10 years later (2021), there are already more than twice as many members!
The association sees itself as a supporter and helper for self-help for the people in the Masaka region in Uganda.
Josefine Freibeuter successfully and devotedly chaired the association from 2009 to 2021. In 2008, she visited Uganda together with Pastor Stephan Becker and was able to see for herself the need for help. She came back there in 2018, accompanied by two members of the association, and was delighted to see the successes brought about by the constant support of the Menschenbrücke e.V. (for details please refer to “Projects”). At the same time, however, she had to realise that the association’s help in combating the misery in total is only a small part and that there is still a great need for help and support.
The association understands the help for the people in the Masaka region first and foremost in the Christian sense of altruism. The work of the association is also strongly support through the cooperation with Misereor (www.misereor.de).
In February 2011, Pastor Musoke Genza, with the support of Pastor Henry Ssebwana and the headmistress Grace Nalwadda in Uganda, founded the association “Menschenbrücke Masaka” (MeMa) in order to be able to coordinate the projects of Menschenbrücke e.V. and the use of donations in an even more targeted way.
In June 2021, Ingrid Leifels, full of verve and energy, succeeded Josefine Freibeuter as chairperson of the association, who is now in her well-deserved “retirement”, but continues to support the board in its work with her creativity and wealth of ideas. The association is pleased to have Ms Leifels as a chairperson who seeks to successfully continue and expand the work of Ms Freibeuter.