Small sun, big effect

How Rauch's apprentices built a fence in Armenia and so pushed their own limits.

Normally, Rauch's approx. 30 apprentices learn their skills directly in the various departments - from production and laboratory to IT and logistics. In August 2015, five of them got to know a completely different world; together with their trainer Wolfgang Bartl, they flew 3,000 km to Gyumri in Armenia.

In the second largest city of this poor country, the charity Caritas has just built "Emils kleine Sonne", a day care centre for children with multiple disabilities. The impetus for this project came from a Vorarlberg resident. Many companies from the Ländle region helped with the build. "A friend told me about it and said they still needed 500 metres of fencing," remembers Wolfgang Bartl, apprentice supervisor at Rauch, "Otherwise everything would be stolen from them."

12 moving days

Five apprentices had the opportunity to participate in the project. First they manufactured the elements for the metal fence in Bartl's metalworking shop. Then they flew to Gyumri with their supervisor for 12 days. 12 very busy days. Assemble the fence with the available, and for the most part very, very simple resources. Lunch, shared with the children looked after at the centre. Living together in a shared flat, in a monastery with strict customs, including cleaning the toilet. Bartl: "After landing on the return flight, the five of them pressed a letter into my hand. They had got together to write about how much they had been moved by the experiences of those few days. Fantastic!"

"Emils kleine Sonne" opened in autumn 2015 and since then has offered 400 children and their families a slightly better future. In 2017 another group of 5 apprentices flew from Rauch to Gyumri and built wheelchair accessible bridges, outdoor furniture and raised beds in the garden of the centre.

Five apprentices from Rauch helped at a home for disabled people in Armenia