You are a founder of the Bewegungsstiftung since 2002 - What did convince you back then?
»I first read about Bewegungsstiftung in the ›Zeit‹, then I participated in a meeting and two or three years later I made my first donation. The foundation was exactly what I was always looking for. An essential argument for my decision was that political movements need money to be able to change something.«
It sounds as if you had some experience in this field yourself.
»As a young man I was involved in the peace and anti-nuclear movement. And as a doctor I was a development aid worker in Burkina Faso for three years. Since then I have been asking myself over and over again how to use money for social change in a clever way. In Africa the problem was that there was no money. Here, it is often the contrary: there is an abundance of money, but nobody thinks about using it at the right places. Therefore the idea of Bewegungsstiftung, to use money strategically, has fascinated me that much.«
You're also working in the foundation's investment committee - why?
»Because I find the topic interesting. Giving advice on the ethics of investment makes sense. Generally I like about Bewegungsstiftung that you don't only give away your money, but that it is much appreciated if you get personally involved. The people in the foundation treat each other with respect and appreciation, to a degree that I havent experienced in other organization yet.«
Have there been political events that influenced you?
»Yes, there were, first of all, the demonstrations at the beginning of the 80s in Brokdorf where I experienced masked police units and water cannons. Another incident that coined me was in Burkina Faso. Shortly after I came to the country, President Thomas Sankara was shot. He was very popular because he wasn't part of the corrupt elite. These events have shown me how the poor clash with the rich, and how power clashes with powerlessness. Then again, the time in Africa gave me a lot of hope. A lot of people there are extremely poor, but at the same time very open, hospitable and full of joy of life. Despite their poverty they live in harmony with themselves and with the rhythm of the natur.«
Meanwhile, you live in Germany with your family and work as a family doctor in Kassel. Does the topic about the global justice still occupy you?
»Yes, after coming back from Africa, I worked many years in a Fair Trade initiative. These things belong together - Africa's deprivation and Europe's abundance. That's why it's important to change our economic structures, so that both, people in the south and in the north, can have a good life. Moreover, I organize a small relief project in Burkina Faso. But I'm also interested in other topics.«
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