March 2020: Switzerlend / Bülach: Parish project 2010 with consequences

“God loves the donkeys” – also today in 2020

It makes a lot of sense to remember it today in a fast moving time. In the sentence “God loves the donkeys”, the first word is emphasized as strongly as the last. Because that is also the special thing about this parish project, which lasted a whole year. There were many things to think about the donkey in the community forum in collections, sayings, proverbs, stories. The actual purpose of the parish was expressed in understanding its mission of “carrying the other burden”. The picture of the donkey is excellent for this. It hits the core of the biblical message and covers the sentence of a French Dominican: “What the donkey has carried to us through the centuries is the mystery of the simplicity and goodness of God.”

That this is about more than collecting money for the poorest in the highlands of the Amhars, the Omoro in the South or with various other ethnic groups in the fertile plains of the south of Ethiopia. Women and young people carry the heaviest loads over long distances, endangering their health, losing human dignity and burying their hopes and expectations.

At that time Bülacher, people of all ages, opposed this situation by purchasing donkeys – 300 of them set themselves the goal of their aid campaign. Her self-image of the community allows her to plan festivals and celebrations, encounters, races and concerts throughout the year and to carry them out with appreciable selfless commitment. Their various campaigns for young and old are linked to collections for the “poorest of the poor” in Ethiopia.

How much this strengthened the community awareness of their parish cannot be reliably determined from the number of visitors to services. Another measurable indicator, however, is the financial result, which has probably exceeded all expectations. The conclusion of the parish project was a children’s and family concert. But it was already clear beforehand that around 400 donkeys could be bought. The collection reached CHF 50,000. This large amount was used with great care in many different areas in the high- and lowlands. The parish action is embedded in the PBF projects. During a personal visit on site, the management of PBF was able to clearly feel the highly valued actions. Since then, the PBF donkey campaign has long exceeded the thousand mark … and the thanks from the people of the African country can hardly be more clearly expressed than with the sentence “God loves the donkeys”. First of all, there is impressive evidence from Bülach ten years ago. The donkey campaign continued until today. In the past few years it has been extended with financial aid for goats, sheep, cows and camels – they are all “God’s beloved creation”.


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