“Second home”: Münzbacherin has been involved in India since 1988

Her heart urges her to return: Anna Maria Kloibhofer helps where the bitterest poverty is the order of the day.

MÜNZBACH. It all started three and a half decades ago: in August 1988, Anna Maria Kloibhofer went to India for the first time. “During my training as a family helper, I met an Indian priest in Steyr. He hired me to do development aid in Goa for six months. At that time, we were building villages of children and since then, I have become acquainted with countless projects of this Catholic religious community,” she says. Kloibhofer is still involved in the Agnel Ashram association in the parish of Steyr-Tabor, which has supported two children’s villages in Goa and Greater Noida for many years.

Working remotely again since November

She has traveled to this distant Asian country and helped at least 30 times. At the beginning of November, the sixty-year-old returned to her second home – for six months. She is currently in Goa. She will visit social projects and help with laundry and cooking at a mission house. Your experiences could probably fill books. It is always particularly moving to see the extreme poverty in which many people live in this distant country. “It’s nice and meaningful when you can help. As long as my health allows, I will.” She was also very touched by the visit to Mother Teresa’s tomb in Calcutta. Since she has been retired since March, longer missions abroad are now possible. Besides India, Kloibhofer is also active in Africa and Mexico. She doesn’t want to be the center of attention, she says. Instead, she would like to thank the people of the region who have supported her work over the years. “That’s what makes my help possible.”

Indian priests visiting Munzbach

The orphanage mentioned at the beginning is now taken care of by the “Society of Pilar”, which includes around 450 priests. “It’s like a big family. The priests treat me like a sister. And thanks to the orphanage, I have more than 300 children,” says Kloibhofer, who welcomed special guests at the end of October. She hosted Attley Gomes and Kishore Surin from the “Society of Pilar” for a few days. And showed them the Linz Cathedral, the Pöstlingberg, Steyr, the monasteries of St. Florian and Melk and Maria Taferl. Indians are engaged in their country of origin and in Nepal. The community operates eleven boarding and associated schools. This allows 4,000 children aged 4 to 17 to receive lessons. As part of a project, hundreds of homeless people in Calcutta receive one meal a day. Other programs help people help themselves. The sick of Lebra are also treated and helped after the floods of the rainy season.

Funding comes largely from donations

The projects are financed by donations and part of the priests’ salaries from those working in Germany and Austria. You do not receive any state aid, quite the contrary. Christians are not particularly welcome in public positions in the Hindu-dominated state.

Anyone wanting to know more or help

Steyr-Tabor Parish Children’s Village Association: https://www.agnelashram.at

India helps Germany: https://www.indienhilfe-deutschland.de
2015 report on Anna Maria Kloibhofer:

Baumgartenberg: “Fascination with India – the children’s villages of Delhi and Goa”

Rosemary Rowse

"Unable to type with boxing gloves on. Web maven. Infuriatingly humble creator. Typical tv specialist. Music aficionado. Proud explorer."

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