Wearing facemasks has become a part of everyday life for many of us, so much so that they are often taken for granted. The provision of effective facemasks is not just about ticking a guideline box, but doing everything we can to keep people safe while still being able to preserve participation in traditions across the globe.

One such tradition is the annual charity campaign “by children for children” that takes place in Germany. Each year, around 300,000 children dress up as the three magi and carol sing to German, Swiss and Belgian homes to raise funds for projects that help disadvantaged children in Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Latin America, Oceania, and Eastern Europe. Germany’s ‘Sternsinger’ (or “Star Singers”) tradition takes place every year on January 6.

This annual event brings children together, helping them to take part in something important whilst having fun. The charity projects include raising money to provide the resources for education for children across the world, support for children who have lost their parents, supplying basic health and nutritional services, emergency relief following natural disasters, and collaborative work with the Centre for Child Protection (CCP). 

Children in 27 German dioceses collect approximately €45 million every year to support borderless compassion that helps children around the world to be safe, healthy, and happy.

Get well, stay well

Going door-to-door could carry a great deal of risk, with Covid rates varying in different districts. Limiting or putting an end to this charity event would be a disappointment to thousands of German children and put an end to millions of euros in support of disadvantaged children. Restrictions have taken their toll on many people in the local community, especially the older residents and people who found themselves isolated during lockdown. Events such as this annual carol singing do more than raise money; they bring communities together and bring joy to children and elder people alike. 

To give door-to-door carolling the go-ahead, each district had to assess how to keep everyone involved safe, including the provision of effective PPE for participants.

Enter Hengst and DELBAG, global manufacturers of advanced filtration solutions, who provided medical face masks for the star singers in the diocese of Essen, an area that encompasses 74 parishes and accounts for an annual fund collection of around €1 million.

The mask donation underscores the heart of the 2022 campaign. This year, the slogan is “get well, stay well” and raised funds will be primarily focused on developing sustainable health care systems for children in developing countries.