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GA English on Sunday: News in Brief from Bonn and the region

GA English on Sunday : News in Brief from Bonn and the region

New brewery to open on former Vapiano site, pupils from Oberkassel clock up kilometres for Haitian orphans during lockdown, city VAT gains to be used for sport and culture, and poverty among the elderly in NRW is above national average - here is our news in brief on Sunday.

New tenant to open brewery at former Vapiano site

BONN. A new brewery is to open on the site of the former Vapiano restaurant in Bonn’s city centre. At the beginning of April or May, Augustin Bagaric is planning to open his new business on around 1500 square metres of space. It will be the restaurateur's second site. The father of three has already been running the Sion-Brauhaus in the S-Carré centre in Siegburg for five years. Conversion work is already underway in Bonn.

It is certainly risky to opening a new hospitality business in the current circumstances. Bagaric is well aware of this. "I hope that we will at least be able to use the beer garden," he says confidently. The gastronomic concept in Bonn is similar to the one in Siegburg: a modern brewery interior inside, with a rustic beer garden atmosphere outside. The menu will consist of local Bonn and Cologne dishes along with international specialities. As in Siegburg, the 43-year-old plans to hold events in the new brewery, such as concerts, stand-up comedy, Oktoberfest and New Year's Eve parties. Bagaric praises the excellent location between the Bonner Münster and Poststraße and is happy that he was able to sign the lease. "I had many strong competitors and am very pleased that the landlady gave me the contract."

(Original text: Lisa Inhoffen)

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Pupils from Oberkassel clock up kilometres for Haiti

OBERKASSEL. Around 250 pupils, teachers, parents and alumni from the Ernst-Kalkuhl-Gymnasium (EKG) used the extended school holidays due to the lockdown to get moving for orphans in Haiti. The plan was to use the time-off from lessons to exercise and at the same time to raise money for a good cause. The students collected kilometres by cycling, jogging or rowing and were asked to collect donations from friends, family and neighbours. Their aim was to cover the 7,600 kilometre distance from Oberkassel to Haiti which provided a successful motivation to exercise.

The end result is impressive and has far exceeded expectations: the school athletes covered over 22,000 kilometres in total and have collected more than 7,700 euros for the orphans. The money raised is to replace the loss of donations due to the cancellation of school and local festivals.

Over the past ten years, the school has supported the Ecole Notre Dame de la Médaille Miraculeuse school in Cap Haitien, a harbour town on the north coast of the Caribbean island of Hispaniola, with around 200,000 euros. After the devastating earthquake in Haiti in 2010, seven teachers from the EKG founded the Integer Association to support the 370 pupils, 82 of whom live in the orphanage there. The contact was established after the natural disaster by Marie-Josée Franz, a Haitian living in Bonn, whose sister runs the school in Cap Haitien.

“People there are much less concerned with coronavirus than here," explains EKG teacher Monike Willcke. In Haiti, life is incomparably harder than in our affluent society. People there live with tsunamis and earthquakes, with violence and curfews as well as with inflation, which makes daily life incredibly difficult.

(Original text: Stefan Hermes)

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City to use VAT monies for sport and culture

BONN. In the last six months of 2020, the federal government reduced VAT from 19 to 16 per cent. During this time, no VAT reduction applied to the sale of products in Bonn Information Centres or to swimming pool tickets. The City of Bonn had justified its decision not to reduce prices by stating that it was too costly to adapt the cash register systems and online shops.

The reduction in VAT which the city did not pass on to citizens has apparently added up to a tidy sum. Upon request, vice spokesman for the city Marc Hoffmann told GA that the amount collected for the swimming pools is around 15,000 euros. The sports administration department will make a proposal to the political committees on how to use the money. The amount for Bonn-Information is about 500 euros, which is to go to the second solidarity fund for culture.

(Original text: let)

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Poverty in old age in NRW is above the national average

BONN. In North Rhine-Westphalia, more people over the age of 65 are at risk of poverty than the national average. "This is also the case in Bonn," says Helmut Schultheis, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Bonn Dr. Josef and Lisl Brand Foundation. "More and more people receive only a very small pension even after decades of working,” he explains. “Their lives can quickly come apart at the seams if even a small thing comes up. My uncle and aunt, as founders of the foundation, were already thinking about this more than 20 years ago.”

And so the concern of the foundation, which is sponsored by the local branch of the Red Cross (DRK Kreisverband Bonn), is to try and make life a little easier for older people in Bonn. To reach as many needy senior citizens as possible in the local area, the income generated by the foundation is distributed equally on an annual basis to charitable organisations in Bonn, including the Diakonisches Werk, Caritas, the Red Cross and the General-Anzeiger’s Christmas Light campaign.

"Sometimes it is not so easy to find out where there is a need. Many people are ashamed to talk about their financial problems," says Schultheis and adds, "Who likes to admit, for example, that they simply cannot afford an urgently needed new hearing aid or the contribution needed for physiotherapy?"

The members of the Board of Trustees are pleased to have been able to successfully manage the Foundation's assets in this turbulent year as well, and thus provide the Bonn welfare associations and the Christmas Light campaign with 17,000 euros each, to bring a small "light of support, sympathy and relief" to many local elderly residents.

(Original text: img; Translations: Caroline Kusch)