Articles / Miscellaneous

Dr. Ruth Pfau – 50 years of hope and human dignity

Dr. Ruth Pfau
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Sometimes our work as musicians intersects with works of humanitarianism much greater than our normal sphere of rehearsal and performances.

Ruth Katherina Martha Pfau was born in 1929 in Leipzig, Germany and grew up during the horrors of the second world war. After studying medicine during the 1950's Ruth joined the order of the 'Daughters of the Heart of Mary' and was sent by the order to work in India. In 1960, while awaiting a visa in Karachi, Ruth visited the McLeod Leper Colony, little more than a beggar's camp at the time, deciding to stay to serve the leprosy patients and her great work began.

In less than five years, Sister Ruth established the Leprosy Control Program and working with a Pakistani dermatologist initiated training programs for local medical workers. In 1979, she was appointed Federal Adviser on Leprosy to the Government of Pakistan and by 1996, leprosy had been controlled in the country and Dr. Ruth Pfau's work was assisting leprosy and public health initiatives across the word.

During March 2010, the German and Pakistani governments are celebrating Dr. Ruth Pfau's work in Karachi. March 6 - 9 Theremin player Carolina Eyck and her music ensemble from Berlin will be performing at the German Consulate and three of the schools where Ruth worked and founded.

Carolina tours almost constantly, this Pakistan trip however is considered by her and her musicians (Peter Schmidt - lead-guitar, Axel Merseburger – guitar, Roman Eyck – bass, Jan Bilk – keyboards, leader) to be the most important concert series they have presented.

More information will be available at Carolina's site and the Goethe-Institute in Pakistan.