About us

The German Board

Matthias Ketteler

Matthias Ketteler, born in 1961, married with three children, is a founding member of Projekthilfe Gambia e.V. (formerly Projekthilfe Dritte Welt e.V.) in 1987. Appointed Special Ambassador of the Republic of The Gambia on 24 February 2009, he was awarded the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany by the Federal President on 10 August 2022.

Matthias Ketteler is regularly in Gambia, where he also owns a house. On its property is the office of Project Aid The Gambia and accommodation facilities for guests and volunteers.

In 1991 he opened the "Buschklinik" in Jahaly, and on 19.09.2004 he opened the preschool in Jahaly together with Markus Lanz and the RTL donation marathon.

"Development aid is not a dreamy affair. Only a good organization, taking into account cultural aspects, can achieve our project goals. We are talking about meaningful treatment of patients and basic pre-school education in rural areas of the Gambia."

Michael Hartmann

Michael Hartmann, born in 1958, studied electrical engineering at the University of Applied Sciences in Bochum, graduating in 1987. As Head of Electrics and Automation, he has been working for a large German plant manufacturer for the steel industry to this day, currently in semi-retirement. Michael Hartmann has been a member of the Executive Board since December 2023.

In 2000, Michael Hartmann visited The Gambia for the first time with his family (his son Maximilian is also a member of the board of Projekthilfe Gambia e.V.). Since then, he has been actively following local developments, in particular the successful expansion of the clinic and the opening of the preschool.

"In my new phase of life, I have the necessary free time to actively participate more in the projects and would like to contribute to further successes through my work on the board."

Günther Steinbrink

Günther Steinbrink, born in 1958, trained as an electrician and worked for the city of Hattingen until his retirement.
Since September 2001, as a member of the Gambia Project Aid, he has already participated four times in the transfer of cars from Germany to Gambia by land. As a specialist for passenger cars and electrical matters, Günther Steinbrink is the contact person for all technical matters in The Gambia (solar system, car technology).
"I am looking forward to working on the board and can only appeal to everyone to help and to think outside the box. This makes a lot of sense for my life and puts some of the problems in Germany into perspective."

Maximilian Hartmann

Maximilian Hartmann, born in 1992, studied and received his doctorate in business administration from Heinrich Heine University. He is the founder and commercial director of the vertical farming company vGreens. The company focuses on the climatically and seasonally independent, resource-saving and data-driven production of nutrient-rich foods, such as strawberries.

He has been a member of the Executive Board since December 2023.
Maximilian Hartmann visited The Gambia for the first time with his family (Michael Hartmann is the father) in 2000. "The people who have been driving this project forward with all their heart and soul for so many years are an absolute inspiration. It is therefore a great pleasure for me to be part of this social project. I see it as my task to attract new, talented and committed supporters, especially in the coming years."

Claas Ahrens

Claas Ahrens, born in 1993, studied mechanical engineering in Bochum and at the Technical University of Dortmund. His passion is entrepreneurship. He is enthusiastic about projects in which he can lend a hand and contribute new ideas.

In addition to his work on the board of Projekthilfe Gambia, he is the proud father of a 1-year-old son and managing director of the Climate Tech Start-Up - vGreens and partner of Maximilian Hartmann.

Video: Interview Matthias Ketteler about the Buschklinik (2010)

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