The Pahl Peace Prize 2022 honors Mrs. Lotti Latrous for her lifetime of service. Mrs. Latrous has always held the dignity of the poorest in the highest regard, has nursed them, and shone a light even in the darkest of places.
In Adjouffou I realized the meaning of life. It is meaningless to strive for money and a beautiful house. The only thing worth striving for is to help our fellow human beings.Lotti Latrous
Mrs. Liselotte “Lotti” Latrous is a Swiss development worker and has been working for over twenty years in the Ivory Coast to fight the greatest human suffering of the poorest. Selflessness, compassion and helpfulness characterize Mrs. Latrous’ life.
Mrs. Lotti Latrous was born in 1953 in Dielsdorf, Switzerland, and grew up with two siblings in Regensberg. Even as a young girl, she felt a responsibility toward her neighbors. Her willingness to help has been expressed in various ways in her village, as helping gave her great joy even then.
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At the age of sixteen, she went to Geneva as an au pair to learn French and it was there she met the love of her life, Aziz Latrous. When he began a career abroad, through his work at Nestlé, her life changed dramatically. The young couple moved every few years for the company, specifically in Saudi Arabia, Nigeria and Egypt. During these years their family grew and their three children, Selim, Sonia and Sarah, were born between 1979 and 1989. Eventually, the family relocated to Abidjan in the Ivory Coast.
Two years after moving to Abidjan, Mrs. Lotti Latrous began caring for AIDS patients at the Mother Teresa Hospital. A doctor, who provided medical care to people directly in the slums of the city, soon took Mrs. Lotti Latrous with him on his rounds. This brought her face to face with the misery and suffering of the people there. She felt a great urge to help, and so Mrs. Lotti Latrous put her heart and soul into advocating for HIV infected people as well as the dying, and to care for them with dignity. In Adjouffou, one of Abidjan’s slums, Mrs. Latrous opened the Centre L’Espoir (Center of Hope) in 1999, a center for outpatient treatment. It was later followed by a hospice for the dying and a children’s home for AIDS orphans.
When her husband was transferred back to Egypt after a short time, the mother of three decided to stay in Abidjan to continue caring for the needy and sick people in the slums. Her willingness to help went so far that she lived apart from her family for months. The family overcame this great challenge and also recognized the importance of Mrs. Lotti Latrous’ commitment. Further her work had an impact on Mrs. Latrous’ health. In 2013, the after-effects of a severe case of tuberculosis meant that Mrs. Lotti Latrous had to return to Switzerland for ten months to recover and recuperate.
The outpatient clinic, hospice for the dying, and children’s home were moved to Grand-Bassam, Ivory Coast, in 2017. To this day, the Centre L’Espoir gives hope to the poorest. Countless people who were affected by malaria, tuberculosis and many other diseases besides AIDS have already had their lives saved.
One of the latest projects included the construction of a village for chronically ill and partially homeless seniors. This village is intended to bring people together from different generations. Younger people take care of the elderly and gain a profession, and the seniors are happy when they receive visits by the children of the children’s home.
AWARD CEREMONY 2022
On Wednesday, June 22, 2022, the Pahl Peace Prize was awarded to Mrs. Lotti Latrous of Swiss nationality. She is committed to helping the poorest in the slums of Grand-Bassam, Ivory Coast. She has always held the dignity of the poorest in the highest regard, has nursed them, and shone a light even in the darkest of places.
AWARD CEREMONY 2022
Copyright: Silvia Abderhalden, Verlag exclusiv
Award Ceremony 2022