Katrin Rohde

Superwoman with heart and soul

This big-hearted superwoman was born in Hamburg in 1948. She opened her first bookshop at the early age of 24. At the age of 40 she travelled to Burkina Faso for the first time in search of traditional medicines for an African living in Northern Germany. A few years later she sold everything she owned and left to settle in Africa. Burkina Faso is one of the poorest countries in the world. Those who suffer most from poverty are the children and so in 1995 Katrin Rohde set up AMPO, Association managré nooma pour la protection des orphelins, an association for the protection of orphans, “The good is never lost”. Over the years many projects have been created for children in need, teenagers, women and people with disabilities.

  • Opening of the first orphanage 1996
  • Award of the Federal German Cross of Merit September 2001
  • Publication of Mama Tenga – My African Life; Kiepenheuer & Witsch August 2002
  • Katrin Rohde-Stiftung foundation set up in 2005
  • Appointment as Ashoka Fellow 2011

Katrin Rohde, values

“I am always shocked at how little we know of each other, on both continents, and I think the most important task is to encourage exchange. This is why we usually have interns and people doing community service from Germany in our orphanages and it is why I give so many talks in schools in Germany.  And what is the point of Africans constantly looking towards Europe, adopting values enviously and unconditionally that do not apply here?”

“Sadly we forget how recently these countries have become independent. Africa needs time, just as Europe needed time, especially in view of the fact that the influence of radio and television presents just as false a picture of life in Europe as do the reports we hear in Europe about life in Africa”.

We try to imbue the AMPO children with a sense of openness and responsibility:
Take heart and take the initiative, we’re here to help you.