Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Bridgebuilder

He is indeed an inspiring hero. Toni Ruttimann, who is in Burma right now, is as usual helping the needy build a bridge from materials he secures free of charge from companies. He’s been doing this since 1987 when he left his native Switzerland for Ecuador upon hearing about the earthquake that had just struck there. On the spot one of the most immediate needs in the disaster area was building a bridge. So he began what would become his mission, helping local people build or rebuild suspension bridges after natural disasters, war or simply to avoid lengthy or tortuous crossings.

Toni does this without payment. He obtains steel rope, pipes, cement and the needed building materials and freight transport from Swiss cablecar builders and other companies, all free of charge. So far he has helped build almost 500 bridges in Ecuador, Colombia, Honduras, Mexico, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and Burma.

Actively engaged in promoting human welfare and social reform, “Toni the Swiss” is truly an unsung hero and humanitarian.

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