Chandrasekhar Sankurathri has achieved a wonderful job in India. In another part of the world, in Africa, an incredible power lady has been fighting for the poor for many many long years too. Let me introduce Lilly to you now :
Lilly Vogel, from Switzerland, has been dedicating her time for nearly 50 years now to help the poor in Senegal through her humanitarian foundation Freundeskreis für den Senegal. When I met Lilly for the first time, I had to get used to her funny way of speaking French and German. Swiss people speak three European languages fluently plus their own. But they mix them with Swiss ingredients. An ingredients mix made of chocolate, watches and money bills. Although I speak French and German quite well, I had a hard time at first to understand her talking. I experienced the same embarrassment with all the other Swiss friends of hers I came to know in the course of time. My ears have got used to the Swiss accent now. No more stress with the Swiss.
Even eye patients come from Dakar, the capital, to be treated in the well-known Centre Ophtalmologique et Optique she founded in November 1992 in Mbour. Cataract surgery are performed everyday. Sundays are off. Waiting lines are pretty long. Two to three months a year, Dr Babacar Cissé gets help from Switzerland and Italy. Eye doctors from these European countries spend their vacations doing surgery. Next door, Lilly’s Centre des Aveugles provides care and support for the children of the visually impaired.
Although she turned 90 last May, she still has the energy to fly to Senegal twice a year. Two weeks long she tours the country, visiting some major centers, which take care of the poor. She is to fly to Africa one more time this coming October.
If you want to tour Senegal with her, please contact me.
ALL helpers pay for their own expenses. So does Lilly. The accommodations they usually stay in are generally clean and affordable. Unfortunately, her humanitarian foundation has no website. A book and a DVD about her are available. She appeared on Swiss TV two years ago too.