Education & social equity
Engagement for education & social equity
Many Messer companies are committed to social projects and support the fight against poverty and hunger and the struggle for social justice. In so doing, they tailor their efforts to address the specific needs of their own country and their immediate surroundings.
Engagement against poverty and for social equity
To relieve poverty and support disabled persons, the local Chinese Messer company ZMG donated 30,000 renminbi to needy families in the area.
In November 2019, the employees at our location in Stewartsville, New Jersey, gathered for a day as volunteers to help deserving members of the community. The employees donated their time and worked together with the nearby Saint Philip & Saint James Church to distribute some 400 Thanksgiving meals to needy families just in time for the holiday. It was a team-building exercise in the service of a good cause and offered proof of Messer’s commitment to mobilize for the well-being of society and of the communities where we work.
During the Messer “Season of Giving Campaign” in December 2019, employees of various locations in the USA, Canada, Brazil, Colombia and Chile took time out to give something back to their community. From Bogotá to Vancouver, Messer volunteers donated essential non-perishable goods to local food banks, assisted more than 30,000 families, and worked together with local hospitals and charities over the Christmas holidays, in order to support the neighborhoods around our companies.
USA: The employees of the headquarters of Messer Americas in Bridgewater, New Jersey, donated food to feed hungry people in the local community. Just in time for the Christmas holidays, the volunteer helpers gave the donations to the Food Bank Network of Somerset County in New Jersey. Volunteers in Vancouver, Washington, collected and delivered more than 300 kilograms of food to the Clark County Salvation Army Food Bank, which distributed it to the local community during the holidays.
Colombia: Messer Colombia organized a food drive to collect and donate food to feed many families during the holidays. The employees of Messer Colombia also volunteered at the Food Bank of Bogotá, where they packaged nutritious food to support some of the city’s most impoverished communities. Messer Colombia employees also collected Christmas gifts for children receiving care under the REMEO program. A team of Messer volunteers visited the REMEO facilities, spending time with the children and reading to them. Messer employees from throughout Colombia distributed and donated gifts to young patients in several cities where our REMEO program operates. The gifts brought a smile of delight to the face of many children receiving ventilator support.
Brazil: Dedicated volunteers from Messer Gases Brazil completed a successful holiday food drive, collecting and distributing tons of non-perishable items to feed the needy during the holidays. The Messer Brazil Industrial Maintenance team also worked together with the Rio de Janeiro-based charity SBA (Anchieta Charitable Society) to collect desperately needed goods and distribute them to needy families.
Chile: Employees of Messer in Chile visited the children of Moritas Garden, where volunteers organized activities such as face-painting, a puppet show and a visit from Santa. In collaboration with our logistics services provider in Chile, Red Cargo, Messer employees distributed gifts and were glad to see the beaming smiles on the faces of the children.
On April 6, 1978, Dr. Hans Messer and his family established the private charitable foundation now known as the Dr. Hans Messer Foundation. The independent foundation is a share-holder of the Messer Group and promotes education, science and research throughout Germany. In the social and health spheres, Ria Messer established a sec-ond charitable foundation – today’s Ria Messer Foundation – in memory of her husband Dr. Hans Messer. The activities of both charitable foundations are independent of those of the Messer Group.
Born in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, on February 1, 1925, Dr. Hans Messer was an exemplary person in many ways. He worked for decades as a successful manager and entrepreneur. But Dr. Hans Messer also rendered great service to his fellow man through his active commitment to the common good. Dr. Hans Messer passed away on May 20, 1997 at the age of 72 and was laid to rest in Königstein, Germany.
Ria Messer was born on January 7, 1927 in Westphalia, Germany. She married Hans Messer in the turmoil following World War II. Their marriage produced three children, Thomas, Stefan and Andrea. Throughout her life, she was a dedicated figure and mother. Having grown up in a business family in Westphalia herself, moreover, she always knew how to support her husband with the establishment and expansion of the family-run business. Ria Messer passed away on March 10, 2016 in Königstein im Taunus, Germany.
Thomas Messer is the eldest son of Dr. Hans Messer and was born in 1952.
He was already involved in electroacoustics and music even in his youth and decided to pursue a different professional path than that of his father.
The purpose of any foundation should be to support projects and ideas that are given no or insuffi cient consideration within the framework of basic state provision. The Dr. Hans Messer Foundation also pursues this idea by supporting and recogniz-ing scientists who gain prominence through special or out-standing achievements, by awarding scholarships and prizes, and by supporting scientifi c and educational establishments.
The Dr. Hans Messer Foundation’s activities encompass support and funding as well as operational aspects. It oper-ates as a charitable foundation with legal capacity established under private law, making a varied and ongoing contribution to the promotion of science and research as well as school and vocational education. This work is becoming increasingly impor-tant in this day and age as the state is often unable to provide suffi cient funding. In this way, thirst for education, innovation, scientifi c curiosity and pioneering spirit are rewarded.
The purpose of the Dr. Hans Messer Foundation is to be a driving force for education and science. According to its charter, the Dr. Hans Messer Foundation supports science and research, public and vocational education, and the provision of help to students. In all, more than 20 million euros has been spent for foundation purposes to date. The board of the Dr. Hans Messer Foundation determines the focus of the foundation’s work with the aim of defi ning a specifi c direction. The focal areas can change, however, or apply for only a certain period of time. The foundation currently focuses on science and research grants primarily in the STEM areas, i.e. science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The fi eld of medicine also receives regular funding. The Dr. Hans Messer Foundation awards a number of different scholarships to students, undergraduates, doctoral candidates and professionals. In addition, special scholarship programs are also set up.
In 2019, the Dr. Hans Messer Foundation funded many projects of non-profit organizations. Examples of organizations supported include Probono School Partnerships for One World of Frankfurt, Germany, the Institute of Physics and the Institute of Mathe-matics and Computer Science Education of Goethe University Frankfurt am Main, Germany, the Department of Nephrology at the University Hospital Frankfurt am Main, the Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen, Germany, including its Institute of Evolution and Ecology, the German University Foundation in Bonn, the Institute for Youth Management Foundation in Heidelberg, Germany, the Association of the Frankfurt Pharmacy School (Verein Frankfurter Pharmazieschule e.V.) and the Alt-konigschule Booster Club (Förderverein der Altkönigschule e.V.) in Königstein, Germany. Various scholarships are also awarded to students and undergraduates.
To provide specifically targeted support to young scientists and their research, the Dr. Hans Messer Foundation continuously awards foundation prizes. The Foundation Prize 2019, for example, was given to the Technical University of Darmstadt, Germany, for the promotion of outstanding achievements in the areas of natural science and engineering as well as economics, social sciences and the humanities. At 50,000 euros, it carries the highest endowment of any award for young scientists at the Technical University of Darmstadt, Germany. The prize is intended to fund material and personnel resources for research projects.
In 2019, the Foundation Prize for the Technical University of Darmstadt, Germany, was awarded to Dr. Bianca Prietl of the Department of History and Social Sciences for the topic “Digitalization, knowledge production and society.” In the wake of advanced digitalization and datafication, digital data technologies and algorithmic decision systems are of growing importance for the production of knowledge in more and more areas of society. The use of databased (self-)learning algorithms is particularly controversial. In Germany, these are currently found mainly in so-called “decision support systems.” In this case, algorithms advise decision-makers. Thus, know-ledge generated by means of digital technologies also partici-pates more and more often in the evaluation of social issues. As a result, these techniques are becoming directly relevant to social participation opportunities and life chances. Bianca Prietl’s post-doctoral project aims to examine the social preconditions and consequences of digitalization and knowledge production. To that end, Bianca Prietl intends to conduct a comparative investigation in the form of an empirical/qualitative study of the practical application of digital data technologies in German-speaking countries in three pertinent fi elds: in the computational social sciences, which, in the manner of the already more successful digital humanities, claim to generate new and better knowledge of essential social factors than the established social sciences do; at employment agencies that organize work automatically with “algorithmic management”; and in the context of political analyses, in which digital sources produce knowledge about attitudes and opinions as a basis for political action. The project falls within the category of basic research, but at the same time it will also provide an analytical basis for the interdisciplinary development of innovative and socially equitable technologies.
A cross-disciplinary awards committee with representation from the foundation and the university board determines the prize recipients.
The aim of the Ria Messer Foundation is to support the most vulnerable members of our society. In accordance with the charter, the foundation supports charitable projects and public welfare projects.
Even today, there are many people who are more vulnerable than others. People who are sick or need care, people who do not receive enough support in our society, but desperately need help. This is precisely where the Ria Messer Foundation seeks to provide assistance. In keeping with the times, it fulfi lls the binding social contract implicit in the will of the founder: helping other people.
The Ria Messer Foundation treats all people with respect and tolerance. Its activities encompass support and funding as well as operational aspects. It has been a charitable dependent foun-dation established under private law since it was founded. It is held in trust by the Dr. Hans Messer Foundation.
The purpose of the foundation is to provide support to specific individuals within the meaning of § 53 AO (German tax code) and to promote social welfare. This purpose shall be achieved by helping individuals who are dependent on the help of others as a result of their physical, mental or psychological condition (§ 53 No. 1 AO of the German tax code), who find themselves in need through no fault of their own, for example as a result of natural disasters, who are in need according to § 53 No. 2 Clause 3 AO of the German tax code, by providing one-off or ongoing financial support in order to remedy their need in the long term or by financially aiding the work of the leading independent welfare organizations or other tax-privileged bodies operating in the charitable sector or other tax-privileged organizations providing care and treatment to individuals suffering from serious illnesses through no fault of their own.
In 2019, the Ria Messer Foundation funded many projects of non-profit organizations. Examples of organizations it supported include Frankfurter Lust auf besser Leben GmbH, the German Multiple Sclerosis Society Frankfurt, the Praunheimer Werkstätten, the Diakonie, Care-for-Rare Foundation in Munich and the Support Association of German Children’s Hearts, Perspectives Psychosocial Association for the Promotion of Residential, Work and Leisure Initiatives, the Citizen’s Institute of Frankfurt, the Children’s Future Foundation, the Heydenmühle Foundation and Zwerg Nase GmbH, all in Germany.