We don't own everything that belongs to us

A foundation based on conviction

The founder, Werner Erkes, can look back on many successful years as a designer and entrepreneur. He is aware that this was not only possible due to his personal talents or achievements. In addition to luck, which of course always plays a role, the opportunities he was given in his childhood and youth in the form of a good upbringing and unrestricted access to an excellent education system were decisive.
All of this enabled him to develop from a rather modest middle-class background into a successful businessman. The realization that the success of the privileged always comes at the expense of the disadvantaged also helped the idea for the foundation to mature.

The long road to a self-determined future

The founder, Werner Erkes, can look back on many successful years as a designer and entrepreneur. He is aware that this was not only possible due to his personal talents or achievements. In addition to luck, which of course always plays a role, the opportunities he was given in his childhood and youth in the form of a good upbringing and unrestricted access to an excellent education system were decisive.
All this enabled him to develop from a rather modest middle-class background into a successful businessman. The realization that the success of the privileged always comes at the expense of the disadvantaged also gave rise to the idea of the foundation.

"Education is the only solution. Education is the beginning of everything."  

With the 2030 Agenda adopted in 2015, the global community under the umbrella of the United Nations committed itself to 17 global goals for a better future.

The guiding principle of the 2030 Agenda is to enable people around the world to live in dignity while at the same time preserving the natural foundations of life in the long term. This includes economic, ecological and social aspects. The 2030 Agenda emphasizes the shared responsibility of all stakeholders: politics, business, science, civil society - and every single person.
The Werner Erkes Foundation has set itself the goal of promoting the sustainability goal of HIGH QUALITY EDUCATION in particular with its initiative. While most children and young people in Germany go to school every week, around one in six children worldwide is unable to attend school. For the children concerned, this means that they have little knowledge and often do not learn to read, write or do arithmetic. As a result, they can only do a low-skilled job later on and often earn very little money.
Children living in poverty in particular are unable to go to school because they lack the money for lessons and school materials. These children go to work at an early age to support their families. Sometimes there is no school nearby.

This also makes it difficult for them to escape poverty. They lack important qualifications and skills. The low level of education of a population is not only a problem for the people concerned, but also for the country as a whole: if there are no educated and qualified specialists in a country, it can hardly develop further and achieve sustainable economic growth on its own.
Even if many children are able to go to school, more than half of them still cannot read or do maths properly. This is often due to the fact that schools and teachers are poorly equipped. While schools in Germany are increasingly using computers and technology, almost half of schools south of the Sahara have no access to drinking water, electricity, computers or the internet. There is also a lack of qualified teachers to impart knowledge to the pupils.

"So let us take up the fight against illiteracy, poverty and terror and take up our books and pens. They are our most effective weapons. A child, a teacher, a pen and a book can change the world. Education is the only solution.Education is the beginning of everything."

Malala Yousafzai, children's rights activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner

The Executive Board

All Board members work on a voluntary basis. Any costs resulting from their work, e.g. for travel, are borne privately by the members.

Werner Erkes


Chairman and founder

Werner Erkes is a graduate graphic designer and managing partner of TASKOM Werbeagentur GmbH & Co. KG, Düsseldorf, as well as initiator and founder of the foundation.

E-Mail: erkes@erkes.de

Cedric Bouscheljong


Vice Chairman

Cedric Bouscheljong has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Administrative Management and is an administrative officer at the Viersen district administration.

E-Mail: bouscheljong@erkes.de

Ina Möhlenbeck


Member of the Management Board

Ina Möhlenbeck is a freelance systemic coach for positive relationship management as well as a communications and media manager.

E-Mail: moehlenbeck@erkes.de

The management

The directors establish, develop and support the projects of the WE Foundations as full-time employees.

Dr. Joseph Wasswa

Managing Director
WEF East Africa

Dr Joseph Wasswa is a cultural scientist, musician and cultural award winner of the City of Regensburg as well as the main award winner for people with a migration background (University of Regensburg/ BMW/ BAMF). He is responsible for developing and managing the Werner Erkes Foundation East Africa.
 

Volkan Sazli

Managing Director
WEF Southwest Africa

Volkan Sazli has been active in Namibia since 2014. For his commitment, he was nominated by the BMZ as a "Young Development Worker to achieve the 17 Sustainable Development Goals". From April 2024, he will be in charge of the Werner Erkes Foundation in Southwest Africa.

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Together we can achieve great things

Help us to realize our vision of a better future. Support the Werner Erkes Foundation and become part of our mission to give hope and opportunities.

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