My hvv switch point w/h Hila Limar | hvv switch | hvv switch

my hvv switch station

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At Hamburg Airport with Hila Limar

Every hvv switch point is a story in itself - and an invitation to make a point. More than 160 hvv switch points in Hamburg offer a variety of ways to get from A to anywhere. We introduce you to exciting people from Hamburg - on their routes through the city. This time: Hila Limar, Chairwoman of the non-profit organisation Visions for Children e.V.

Talking to Hila Limar about car sharing and mobility feels strange at first. Her daily topics are quite different. Giving children access to education despite crises and financial poverty, for example. Since 2009, the 37-year-old has been chairwoman of the Visions for Children e.V. organisation, which supports educational projects in Afghanistan and Uganda: With the help of donations, the organisation supports the construction of schools, trains teachers and also provides aid in emergency situations such as after the earthquakes in Afghanistan last autumn.

Hila herself was born in Afghanistan. She came to Hamburg with her family when she was three years old. She studied architecture, but now puts all her energy into the non-profit organisation.

We meet at hvv switch Punkt Hamburg Airport Helmut Schmidt, the largest car park in the city with 120 spaces. It's pouring with rain, but although she gets completely soaked during the photo shoot, Hila doesn't lose her good humour. "We're well-hardened here in Hamburg," she says.

Why did you choose the hvv switch Punkt at the airport as your meeting point?

I grew up in Langenhorn. The airport is very significant for this area: the aeroplanes fly very low over the houses, as a child you went to the viewing platform, and when someone asked where you lived in Hamburg, you always said 'near the airport'. For that reason alone, I am very attached to this place. I also love travelling and fly a lot for work.

How often do you have to fly for your job?

I actually travelled to Afghanistan twice a year and to Uganda twice a year. In both countries, we support the development of infrastructure and capacities for the education of children. This has changed a lot due to the difficult situation in Afghanistan.

The Taliban took power in Afghanistan in 2021. Have you even been able to fly there since then?

We could fly there - the only question is whether we would be able to get back. When we look at how slowly the German government is evacuating people who have actually been promised evacuation... I don't even want to know how it would go if something were to happen to me. In short: unfortunately, the situation is currently too uncertain.

Alongside Visions for Children, you and your sister founded the jewellery label SEVAR Studios, which produces in an Afghan goldsmith's workshop. Is that still running - or did you have to stop working there?

Fortunately, production of the jewellery was able to continue after a short break in August 2021. But the whole project changed when the Taliban came to power: The basic idea of the label is that the profits go to a training programme for young jewellers in Afghanistan, which we are implementing with Visions for Children. We actually wanted to promote the education of women in particular - but women and girls are now banned from education from the 7th grade onwards. This is why men who are otherwise excluded from social and professional life due to war injuries are now taking part. Overall, the situation in Afghanistan - be it development work with Visions for Children or trade relations such as with SEVAR Studios - is extremely tricky due to the many international sanctions. I have the feeling that the country is being increasingly forgotten, both politically and in the media. Aid money is being cut, and I think that's irresponsible. The sanctions are supposed to affect the government, but they are actually affecting the population.

Let's come back to Hamburg and mobility. When you're not flying, how do you get around the city?

I'm a real fan of public transport and would prefer to only use it to get around. I only use the car if I have to go to places that are very difficult to reach by bus or train.

Do you use car sharing?

I mainly use car sharing when I need to transport larger items - or when I'm travelling longer distances that my car can't manage. You can hire the cars for a whole day, which I do occasionally.

You grew up in Hamburg. How has your mobility behaviour changed?

I cycled a lot as a child. Not by choice - our parents thought it was a good activity for body and mind. I hated it! After all, it almost always rains in Hamburg - as we can see right now... Then the 292 bus was very influential in my childhood. We travelled to school on it when we weren't on our bikes. It went to Ochsenzoll, where there was a psychiatric ward, and the patients often travelled on it. Many of them talked to themselves - that was normal for us. We only realised that our bus was a bit different when we had friends visiting overnight and they suddenly looked funny on the bus in the morning...

Where do you live today?

Actually back here at the airport - just one stop away. That's another reason why we met here.

Do you have a favourite place in Hamburg?

Not really. I've discovered new neighbourhoods at every stage of my life - be it school, then university, work, different jobs. Everything is associated with special memories...

And do you have a favourite activity outside in Hamburg?

If I can choose, then of course my favourite place to be is on the water. For example, I like to take the ferry over to Finkenwerder, then maybe have a coffee on the Elbe beach... something like that. But I'm actually frugal: when the sun is shining, going out is the best thing for me, no matter where.

Hila Limar at the hvv switch point at Hamburg Airport.

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