Team Phoenix - Who we are
Dr. Inge Pröll (1. chairperson)
Supporting people who have faced various struggles in life has been my motivation for many years. That is why I have volunteered at the Munich foodbank (Münchner Tafel). In addition, I have coached women in difficult career and work-related situations at MOVE, a service point of the women’s academy in Munich, as well as being involved in refugee support organizations. When Sarah told me about her project in Uganda, I was immediately intrigued. Here was a project where we could have an immediate and direct impact, exactly that is the goal of our initiative.
Andrew Roth (2. chairperson)
Growing up in a very tight-knit group of friends and family, I have always valued the importance of cohesion, empathy and willingness to help one another in order to succeed in life. Often it is the smallest gesture that has the potential of truly making others happy or providing much-needed support. That is why I decided to help others as often as possible, whether it is offering your seat to the elderly, helping a mother carry a stroller down the stairs, or supporting a project in the developing world through financial or personal engagement.
Julius Hölzl (treasurer)
Nowadays you often hear the sentiment that ‘people have to hold together, work together and form a community.’ But I believe many have forgotten what community truly means and instead are motivated by individual desires. I have always seen myself as a part of a community, whether it’s within the family, sports club, work place or charitable organization.
Witnessing the ever-increasing egotistical behavior of people, working toward a charitable cause has become more and more important to me – within a religious community, a refugee support agency or volunteering as a life guard. Because the world as a whole is a community.
Within the 30+ years of my professional career with management responsibility in various companies and sectors, I have always strived to combine entrepreneurial success with social responsibility. After decades of sponsoring many different causes and initiatives as a donor, I was immediately enthusiastic about Phoenix Foundation’s potential to actively and directly support people, and especially children in need, and offer them a perspective for the future. I want to apply my experience and know-how to our supported projects in order to make them a success and ensure the funds reach their intended purpose.
Growing up in Europe with family members in former Yugoslavia exposed me early on to the atrocities, effects and displacements caused by war and conflict. As a child of multinational parents allowed me to travel to some of the richest and poorest countries in the world, but also highlighted the widespread social inequality that exists and affects so many people. To advocate for change, support people in need and make a difference in their lives soon became my guiding principles in life.
In addition to my Bachelor's degree in International Relations, my Master's degree in Human Rights and Humanitarian Aid, and my work across varying fields, I have always tried to follow this motivation through volunteering and internships in areas of poverty and homelessness, anti-discrimination, reintegration and rehabilitation of former prisoners and drug addicts.
Six months of working for a local, community-based organization in a small village in Uganda in 2014 truly brought to light the extreme effects that poverty, post-war, and poor health conditions have on a community- especially the youngest and most vulnerable members of society. I decided to found the NGO Phoenix Orphanage Organization with two local Ugandan partners in order to address this need and to provide home, food, access to education and medical assistance to the orphans and children, who have no one else looking after them.
From an early age I have travelled the world and was able to closely experience different countries, cultures and people. After my bachelor’s degree in political science and communication, I moved to Berlin and started to get involved in various refugee projects. I soon realized that working together and true compassion are the things we as a community should value and strive towards most. Being at the beginning of my career as a journalist and documentary filmmaker I am most intrigued by the themes and problems of our time – and have a strong desire to participate in any way I can.
First of all I wanted to express my gratitude for the possibility to be a part of this amazing project with these wonderful people. I have known the founding members since my move to Munich in 1999 and cannot imagine a better group of people to work alongside.
My social engagement to date has admittedly been limited to small financial contributions towards local projects, which have mostly caught my attention rather by chance than premeditation. Since this is no longer enough or sufficiently satisfying to me, I am glad to finally be actively involved in supporting people, whose fates have been so much harder than my own. I’m convinced that if we manage to transfer even just a small portion of our luck into the world, we have already achieved a lot.