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Albert who?

Born in 1875 in Kayserberg in Alsace, the cosmopolitan Albert Schweitzer is the inspiration and role model for our work as the eponym of the Youth Meeting and Education Centre.

At the age of 30, then a doctor of philosophy, theologian and pastor, Schweitzer decided to turn his back on established society and - following his humanist ideals - founded a hospital in Lambaréné in the African country of Gabon. Inspired by his environment, he developed the theory of Respect for Life (Ehrfurcht vor dem Leben), a central idea which for him meant not only the preservation of the environment, respect for animals (even vegetarianism) but also and above all for human life. He demands respect for the lives of people, animals and the environment and is committed to peace and disarmament throughout his life. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1952 for his extraordinary services. The man who gave his name to the Centre, and whose values permeate our work, died in Lambaréné in 1965.

Paying for his project in Africa, he was one of the forerunners of what is known today as humanitarian action. His first concern was to heal and not to evangelise.

Albert Schweitzer's actions and thoughts have been the subject of numerous biographies and commentaries, as well as films. Often hagiographic, there are also more critical ones. According to his detractors, he had a paternalistic, colonialist and 'Eurocentric' view of Africans and their cultures.

Nevertheless, many schools and institutions around the world bear his name. The International Youth Meeting and Education Centre Albert Schweitzer tries to draw inspiration from the child of Alsace; the citizen of the world through its approach and its projects.

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