In remembrance of Claudius Scholer – In Gedenken an Claudius Scholer (†)

We have learned about the sudden death of our colleague Claudius Scholer.

Mit großer Bestürzung haben wir vom plötzlichen Ableben unseres Mitarbeiters Claudius Scholer erfahren.

In Gedenken an Claudius Scholer (†)
In Gedenken an Claudius Scholer (†)

Claudius Scholer has been leading the Austrian Red Cross programs in East Africa (Rwanda, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Uganda, Eritrea) as Regional Representative, since 2015.

He studied philosophy, history, development cooperation studies as well as social pedagogy and he held a master’s degree in business administration.

Originally working as a publicity strategist, in 1993 Claudius became an ICRC delegate and worked in conflict areas in Liberia, Rwanda and Bosnia. After the Tsunami in Indonesia he took over the role of Head of Mission for the Swiss Caritas in Indonesia and afterwards became Country Representative for the Belgium Red Cross.

With Claudius we have not only lost an excellent Red Cross delegate and highly committed colleague, but also a wonderful person.

Claudius leaves behind his wife and three children. Our thoughts are with his family in Kigali.

Below this post, you can express your condolences in remembrance of Claudius.

In German:

Claudius Scholer leitete seit 2015 als Regionalverantwortlicher das ÖRK-Programm in Ostafrika (Ruanda, Äthiopien, Südsudan, Uganda, Eritrea).

Er hat Philosophie, Geschichte, Entwicklungszusammenarbeit sowie Sozialpädagogik studiert, und hatte einen Master of Business Administration.

Ursprünglich Werbestratege wurde er 1993 IKRK-Delegierter und arbeitete in Konfliktgebieten in Liberia, Ruanda, Bosnien und dann als Missionschef für die Schweizer Caritas nach dem Tsunami in Indonesien sowie als Länderverantwortlicher für das Belgische Rote Kreuz.

Mit Claudius haben wir nicht nur einen exzellenten Rotkreuz-Delegierten und engagierten Mitarbeiter verloren, sondern einen wunderbaren Menschen.

Claudius hinterlässt eine Frau und drei Kinder. Unsere Gedanken sind bei seiner Familie in Kigali.

Unterhalb dieses Beitrags können in Gedenken an Claudius Beileidsbekundungen abgegeben werden.

17 Kommentare

  1. All our hearts are filled with sorrow – Austrian Red Cross International Cooperation is deeply saddened by this unspeakable loss.

    At a time such as this words cannot express our feelings. What is left is the memory of a truly amazing person, a true humanitarian with the love to people in his heart. An exceptional delegate of the Austrian Red Coss with profound knowledge and experience. A visionary with bold ideas and a clear plan. Every discussion with him made me understand the situation and our programms a little bit better.

    But formeost what is left is the memory of a loveable person. His sense of humor, his love of life, his dedication, his wide scope of different interests, an amazing guitar player and singer, humble and always cortous at the same time.

    It is very hard to comprehend that Claudius is not with us anymore! All our talks, meetings, his voice, his laughter is still so close.

    The Austrian Red Cross and I personally, we salute to Claudius. It was an honor to work with him and we we bow our heads to him. Claudius will always be in our thoughts and forever in our hearts.

    Our deepest condolences are with the family of Claudius. May you take heart and comfort that we are with you during this difficult time.

    Rest in peace and know that we will never forget you!


  2. Claudius war einige Jahre lang Mitglied in der Vereinigung ehemaliger IKRK Delegierter in Zürich. Ich habe die traurige Information auf die geschlossene FB-Seite der ICRC alumni group gestellt und es haben sich viele ehemalige Weggefährten von Claudius gemeldet, die sich an ihn erinnern und ihre Kondolenzbezeugungen und Gedanken an seine Familie senden. Wir haben keine Adresse von Claudius‘ Familie. Bitte leiten Sie diese Information an seine Angehörigen weiter. Claudius wird in seiner wunderbaren Musik weiterleben, und in den Gedanken all derer, die seinen Weg gekreuzt haben.

  3. Uganda not only lost a delegate but a close friend. Claudius was so friendly and full of humor.
    We will forever remember you. You had been to our office just days before you met death.
    Sleep well dear Claudius.

    We still have a candle lit at office, a condolence card, a beautiful bouquet of flowers and your photo at our office reception area in memory of your dear soul.

    We shall forever remember you.
    Fare thee well Claudius. May God comfort your family and rest your soul in eternal peace.

    Irene – Communications & PR Coordinator – Uganda Redcross.

  4. Claudius, ich habe es genossen, mit Dir während unserer NPO Diplomausbildung am VMI in der Schweiz 2003 zusammen zu sein. Du warst mir dort der liebste Kollege und wurdest mir schnell zum Freund. Darüber, dass sich unsere Wege dann in den letzten Jahren in Wien wieder kreuzten, habe ich mich so gefreut. Ich war beeindruckt von deiner Klarheit, deiner intellektuellen Statur, von deinem menschlichen Habitus und von der Art, wie du mit Familie in Afrika gelebt hast. Dein Tod hat mich über die Maßen berührt, du, den ich nur sporadisch traf, fehlst mir. Ruhe sanft.

    Clausius, I did enjoy it so much to share the time with you during our NPO Management Course at the VMI in Switzerland in 2003. There you were my closest and most appreciated colleague and quickly turned to be a true friend. Meeting you again in Vienna during the last years while on mission was a great pleasure to me. I always was impressed by the clarity of your appearance, your intellectual stature, your humane habitus and the way your lived your family life in Africa. Your death touched me deeply and I do miss you. Rest in peace.

    Hans Staudinger / Vienna
    April 5th, 2018

  5. Dear friends and family,

    I wanted to share a brief comment about Claude. And I wanted to wish you strength, love and lots of vivid memories.

    I have perfect memories of Claude. I see him clearly, sitting attentively at a round table w/five or six other people. Everyone is engaged. Everyone is happy. But only one person has a smile so big, almost out of proportion for the moment. The meeting was not that good. The meeting was not that special. But Claude was smiling. A huge smile. A smile defined by his eyes, his mouth, his face, his body language. I see Claude standing, getting up from his lunch at the IFRC in Nairobi to greet me. Again, that smile. He seemed so happy to see me. I don’t know what I did to deserve such a kind and warm greeting, but I was grateful.

    To me, Claude was always smiling. He was a warm presence, that made me feel better. I have great memories of Claude. I don’t know if they are enough, but I will cherish them.

    I wish all his friends, colleagues and family my very best wishes for their memories. And strength to carry on.

    Warm regards,

  6. Claudius was my close colleague and friend. We worked well together as regional representatives for sister partner national societies, Austrian and Finnish Red Crosses in East Africa. I met Claudius the first time in Nairobi more than two years ago and took an immediate liking to him, his vast experience in humanitarian work and respect to colleagues. We shared many good moments in planning how to develop programming and make a difference. Claudius was proactive and transparent in suggesting new possibilities and we had many brainstorming skypes on new ideas. His spaceship logo in skype became very familiar!

    Our organisations worked together in South Sudan and Eritrea. In South Sudan Claudius, Bernhard and their team worked hard with our help to provide safe water to people in Aweil. Last June we traveled to Asmara together with Claudius and Mette from Danish Red Cross and ran a partnership meeting with the Red Cross Society of Eritrea and the Movement, first time in years. Remember the mango juice, high sky and excitement of that trip.

    In my trips to Rwanda Claudius was a good host. He inspired me to visit the country also with my family. My daughter remembers Claudius as a good man with legendary stories about Africa and exciting hobbies, including jumping down from high places with a “kite”.

    Claudius was a true humanitarian soul and his memory will remain with us who were privileged to know him. I will miss his insights into this challenging field of ours, the discussions, his inspiration and vitality. Claudius, please rest in peace in a better place, although in your case you might opt for an eternal paraglide over Swiss-Rwandan hills.

  7. 6th April 2018.
    On my own behalf and on behalf of the staff and volunteers of the South Sudan Red Cross, Accept our condolences on the untimely death Claudius. Claudius was a humble person who was loved and respected by colleagues . We will remember him for his dedication to the cause of humanity especially in Africa where he has committed his live to serve the vulnerable population of the African Continent until the time of his death.
    Rest in eternal Peace Claudius.

  8. Here in Rwanda Red Cross, we were deeply shocked and most saddened by the untimely passing away of Claudius: a real friend and a person highly committed Red Cross Movement. I, personally, came to know him when we started working closely as a PMER Manager while RRCS was implementing a project supporting orphans and other vulnerable children with funds from Belgian Red Cross – French about 8 years ago.

    The contact was very easy, always open-minded, smiling, proposing new approaches and ideas, huge experience (from Indonesia, Nepal … across Africa).

    Since that time we worked together on developing project proposals and implementing them (in that time I was working as head of Programmes Dpt): we won twice an EU-funded project to support model village activities in Nyamasheke district (total six years) which was a real success and a flagship for RRCS in terms socioeconomic empowerment of most vulnerable women. We got as well a big project for support socioeconomic integration of returnees and a big resilience project working in five district of Rwanda (both from Belgium Government funds), while we were also working on other various project proposal. In that time, when the concept of Consortium was much talked about, he tirelessly worked on piloting this approach, with many projects funded on this basis, which increased the amount of funds available for various programmes but also the convergence of important expertise coming from different partners within a same project.

    When he shifted to Austrian RC as a regional delegate, his commitment was still there and was always available for us, even if he was engaged in Ethiopia, Kenya,Uganda, South Sudan, … This when the new resilience project for Nyamasheke district communities was developed and funded, and other project were submitted (some of which were also funded).

    Claudius was no longer a foreign delegate, he was fully part of RRCS team and every one has enjoyed working with him. He will always be remembered for his dedicated work to Red Cross Movement and the best way to remember him is to continue to work in the interest of the most vulnerable people, upholding the principles and values of the Movement.

    May all his friends and family be comforted by his very positive life and enormous achievements in not so much time! Keep strong and lively memories.

    Dear Claudius, may yours soul rest in eternal peace!

    April 6th, 2018

    Emmanuel Ntakirutimana

  9. It is with profound shock and sadness that I heard of Claudius‘ sudden passing away.
    I first got to know him on field visits out to Rwanda while he was still working with the Belgian RCS. He was a mine of information on the Rwandan context and so was the natural person to turn to when we undertook a ‚Look back study‘ of water pipelines there. He was always very supportive and interested in what we were doing.
    Once he had moved to the Austrian RC I would see him at the East Africa meetings and we started to discuss various ways of cooperating. We had a long and very interesting meeting a few days before he passed away trying to put the world to rights!! I always enjoyed it when Claudius came through Nairobi and we had a chance to catch up. He was always keen to do things a bit differently and had an interest in what mattered. He had a real interest in new ideas and I always found him encouraging, wanting to know more and finding a way to develop the idea further – the end always being how this improves the lives of those most in need.

    He was always great company.

    I hope that by our national societies working together on some of these ideas in the future, that the programmes can act as some small legacy as to the person Claudius was.

    He will be greatly missed and well remembered in the region.

    My sincere condolences to his family, colleagues and friends.

    RIP my friend.

  10. It is hard to believe that you have left us. I still expect to hear your knocking loudly on the door of my office and open the door quickly with your big smile on your face. Your laugh is unique, and you had always lots of stories to tell us. I know you since 2015 from Nairobi and we both ere part of the FACT training in Zimbabwe. Your great knowledge of the Horn of Africa, your common sense and practical focus made you a person loved and appreciated by local and international staff. You will be greatly missed, and I will your family a lot of strength with this big loss. Claudius, it has been an honour to know and work with you. Rest in peace.

    NLRC Addis

  11. It was with shock and sadness I learnt about Claudius´ leaving us. My thoughts are with his closest family in this difficult time. It was always a pleasure to meet Claudius, great discussions, good intentions and always with a huge smile and laughter. Way too soon for you to go!
    Rest in peace

    Ingrid, Norwegian Red Cross

  12. 14.4.2017

    The Red Cross Society of Eritrea expresses its deeply felt sadness, grief and shock over the untimely death of Mr. Claudius Scholer. A warm and friendly person who honored us last year in our PNS meeting and was a pleasure to meet him. Our condolences to his family and colleagues. May his soul rest in PEACE.


    Nura Mohammed
    Secretary General
    Red Cross Society of Eritrea (RCSE)
    Dembe Sembel, Green building Block „A“ 3rd floor, P.O. Box 575
    Asmara- Eritrea
    Tel: 00-291-1-150554, 00291-1-151693, Fax: 00291-1-151859

  13. I crossed paths with Claudius briefly in Zimbabwe at a Red Cross training in March of last year. He was so easy to be around – full of fun and laughter, hugely supportive to his colleagues, always encouraging. We had a couple of philosophical conversations that I find myself reflecting on periodically…. words from a man who held onto the richness of life and seemed to have a solid grasp of where he fit into the scheme of things. I’m deeply sorry that I won’t have an opportunity to share more thoughts with him. Deepest condolences to his wife and children, whose foremost importance in his life was obvious by how frequently they came up in conversation. The light is dimmer today, in the wake of this news…

  14. Dear Claudius,

    I have that image of you and I sharing some laughs in Zimbabwe for that FACT training we attended, where we were trying to have a rest of the intensity of the team work… or to escape to breath and share some laughs. I thinking about your great smile, your loud laughter and your deep voice… your common sense, and all that relaxed and accommodating experience of yours.

    That came back to me when they gave me the news of your departure last week, I am still in shock, and I feel very sad.

    My thoughts and my heart are with your wife and your children in these difficult moments.

    Your Spanish friend from Barcelona, will remember you!

    Sandra Romero Ruiz (IFRC Philippines)

  15. When I arrived to the East Africa Region as regional representative for Danish Red Cross, Claudius was one of the first to reach out to me. Since then, over the last couple of years, we have had many opportunities to meet and discuss , and we have had many interesting talks, common decisions to take, and good laughs. I will miss him and my thoughts go out to his family and friends.

  16. It is with a deep sadness that I came to know about the sudden departure of Claudius.
    I first met Claudius when I arrived to Rwanda 5 years ago. He was of a great support and accompanied me through the first weeks and months in this new destination.
    He was a great colleague that had no doubt in sharing all his knowledge and experience and me, as well as all the different colleagues at the RRCS, were thankful to have the chance to have him around and available.
    I send my condoleances to his wonderful family and to the whole RRCS and RC family for this sudden lost.

    Amparo (former SRC delegate in Rwanda)

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