About 25 participants attended the International Cafe event on 27.01.2024, to hear the next in the ongoing series of ‘life stories’ hosted by UPF Giessen.

Uwe Schneider from Essen worked there as a miner before he at the tender age of nineteen went as a missionary to Africa along with two fellow pioneers, one Japanese and the other American.

He spent a total of eighteen years in Africa; his first mission country was Kenya, but Zambia was where he spent the most time. There he bred pigs and ran a sausage factory with other missionaries.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union, he was called in 1993 as a missionary to Russia for two and a half years where the focus of his work was to introduce the teaching of ethics in the schools.

Already at the age of twelve, Uwe had discovered a passion for chess, but he had to put his hobby for many years on the back burner. It was only after he settled in Germany with his family after his stay in Russia that he was finally able to immerse himself in this passion and acquired a licence as a coach. With this qualification he resumed his missionary work and since 2016 has travelled regularly to Zambia to teach chess to students and teachers.  

Studies have long confirmed that chess not only improves basic skills such as attention and memory and complex cognitive ones such as association, analysis, comprehension, planning and anticipatory thinking but also improves social and personal skills. It is a matter close to Uwe’s heart to impart this kind of education to young people in African countries, especially to socially disadvantaged groups.

Uwe Schneider has been married to Monique since 1982. They have five children, all of whom were born in Zambia. The Schneiders now live in the beautiful Rheingau area, but if you ask Uwe what or where his home is, his clear answer is ‘Africa’!

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