Dr. Fred Heimbach initiated the foundation of upendo. For the last 20 years he was instrumental in setting up a comprehensive community development project. During his approximately 50 visits to Tanzania he repeatedly also visited other projects. He spoke to many decision makers in Tanzania and Germany and by and by has established a large network of local leaders of development projects and regional politics. When he finally came across a nearly perfect development project and found he had both the time and the energy to deal with it, he said “yes” and founded upendo, a charity for the support of development projects in Africa. This was done together with Joachim Buchmüller (treasurer, Solingen), Sibylle Eck (Leichlingen), Karl Funke (Leichlingen), Dr. Cornelia Krause (Essen), Alexander Nikolakis (deputy chairman, Leichlingen) Jörg Eulert (Leichlingen), Rüdiger Fessel (Duisburg), Heike Körber (Frankfurt), Tim Müller (Solingen), Annette & Matthias Schmid (Remscheid) and Hartmut Rahn (Solingen).
To start with upendo wants to help the ECLAT Foundation in the North of Tanzania to build a secondary school in Emboreet, a remote village in the Massai steppe. The project is run by a local and his wife and it is located in their home village. The couple benefitted from education rather accidentally and realizing the advantages of it started some years ago to establish a secondary school using their own means and limited resources provided by Tanzania. For this initiative they received a European development project award. Dr. Fred Heimbach had already known them for many years before they visited Germany and before his visit to the school in Tanzania at the end of 2013 when the project was intensively discussed.