For the past four years, we have been dedicated to improving the lives of people in Southeast Asia by empowering them to built their own future. We now have more than 84 members, led by three board members, who are dedicated and committed to the goals of GMI.
„We’re a strong, engaged team”, says Tobias Schüßler, chairman, who leads GMI and is responsible for developing the organisation’s projects. At his side are Marion Schwierz, responsible for marketing and fundraising, and Silvia Schüßler, responsible for finances, public relations as well as donor support.
„Since we live far away from each other, we host our quarterly board meetings on the phone”, explains Schüßler. „In addition, we are in regular contact over social media or have a quick phone call during our lunch break to coordinate work”.
Touched by reports from Tobias Schüßler on his 2-year long stay in Southeast Asia, it didn’t take Marion Schwierz long to decide whether she wanted to become a part of GMI. „My engagement with GMI means supporting people sustainably – on eyelevel and with respect”, describes the 33-year old.
„I think it’s great that with a relatively small investment, it is possible to support individuals to find their own way out of poverty – without becoming dependent on external support”, adds Silvia Schüßler. Prior to joining GMI, the 53-year old already gained experience in voluntary work while living abroad.
„It is very touching for me to visit our partners and see first-hand how the daily lives and economic circumstances of the people we support improve,” explains the 26-year old head of board. His experiences with Manila’s mountains of rubbish and Olongapo’s slums a couple of years ago were what drove him to start GMI. He visits the partner organisations every year to make sure that the donations are used properly, and the programme helps people in the long run.
Looking ahead, the board members have a clear vision: “We want to encourage even more people to support our projects and be able to show them exactly whom they helped. Besides, we want to give out a higher number of micro credits and fund apprenticeships – with this we will make it possible for families to live a better and more self-determined life.”