“Volunteering is an integral part of my life.”
Silvia – Co-Founder and Member of the Board
There are few GMI members, donors or GMI volunteers who have not received emails or letters from Silvia. As a board member, she is responsible for bookkeeping, public relations and correspondence with donors and members. She also organizes training opportunities for the volunteers.
It all began with the return of our founder Tobias from Southeast Asia. Silvia was thrilled when he told her about his dream after his assignment with an aid organization: To help people living in poverty in Southeast Asia to a better life through micro credits and education.
Volunteer work has always been a part of her life. The trained office clerk worked in youth work for several years before she volunteered abroad for almost three years. In Amsterdam and Brussels she worked with an organization that helped prostitutes to start a new life away from prostitution. It was shocking for her that women who wanted to leave had to be hidden from their pimps, otherwise their lives would have been in danger. In England Silvia got to know the culture and living situation of the Asian people living there. The poverty in their home country touched her deeply and awakened in her the longing to help.
Combining profession and passion
At GMI, the co-founder can combine her love of her profession with her desire to help people living in poverty. The concept of supporting people financially, combined with training and counseling, fits perfectly with her ideals. What Silvia appreciates about GMI is the close cooperation with local partner organizations, the transparency of the use of donations, and the dedicated volunteers in Germany who make our work possible.
“That was unique for me”
With goose bumps, the 55-year-old describes her most moving experience at GMI. When she received a call from a woman who wanted to do something good before she died, she did not hesitate long to visit the terminally ill woman who had become aware of us through a report. Silvia showed her many photos of our project participants and told her their stories. With each of these stories the woman seemed happier and more enthusiastic. “Her illness was not noticeable. There was only joy in being able to help people. Getting to know this woman, her inner peace and joy, made this afternoon a very special and intense experience.
And the future?
In the future, Silvia will continue to focus on public relations to encourage more donors to help by raising awareness of GMI’s work. And when she’s not working for GMI, Silvia enjoys taking walks, passionately tending her her herb garden or relaxing with a good book.
Author: Anja Huber