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The Board

Matthias Ketteler


Matthias Ketteler, born in 1961, after high school made a training as a nurse (1987). He is a founding member of “Projekthilfe Gambia e.V. (Project Aid The Gambia) and since then member of the board with one-year break. He is married and has three children.

Matthias Ketteler is owner of “Cognito Informationssysteme GmbH & Co KG”. In 2004/2005 he spent an entire year in The Gambia together with his family.

In February 2009 Matthias Ketteler was appointed by the Gambian Government as a Goodwill Ambassador for the rural health sector – including full diplomatic status.

“In Germany, I wish more dedicated people, more donors and sponsors for our meaningful projects. In The Gambia, I wish success for the Moringa project so that a part of the responsibility for the maintenance of Jahaly Health center and of the Kindergarten can be done in the country itself. ”

As the chairman of the Board of the association Matthias Ketteler cares mainly about the coordination of the projects and is in contact with the Project Coordinator in The Gambia on a daily basis.

Frank Heuer


Frank Heuer is a founding member of “Projekthilfe Gambia e.V.” (formerly known as “Projekthilfe Dritte Welt e.V.”) and since 30 years member of the Board of the association. In 1985 During their training as a nurse on a four-week vacation in The Gambia Frank Heuer and Matthias Ketteler travelled to The Gambia for the first time.

“The impressions of that trip are still present to me, and we have immediately fallen in love with The Gambia and it´s people. The decision to take action in The Gambia within the framework of development aid, was spontaneous, and I have not looked back since. With the enthusiasm, joy and gratitude our work is accepted there compensates for much. ”

Frank Heuer is managing the “Nachbarschaftliche Hauskrankenpflege GmbH & Co KG” (Domestic home-care service) in Bochum.

“From the administrative point of view at ​​Project Aid, I can say to anyone interested that all donations arrive really where they belong to and do not end up in the administration.”

In addition to his commitment to Project Aid The Gambia Frank Heuer is the chairman of the SV Burgaltendorf, a football club in Essen/Germany since 17 years.

Board member Frank Heuer cares mainly about the finances of the organisation as well as of the care of members, supporters and donors.

Dieter Lieken


Dieter Lieken is a nurse and operates a residential care facility in northern Germany. By 2012, he operated an outpatient nursing service. In 1996, Dieter Lieken was the founder of the regional group “Wesermarsch” of the organisation. He joined the Board of the association in 2006..

In 1994 Dieter Lieken got to know Project Aid The Gambia. In August 1994 he accompanied Matthias Ketteler to The Gambia for his first visit of Jahaly Health Centre. Already on the flight back, he decided to become a member of the organisation.

“The clear organization, the dedicated work of the Board, but most importantly the warmth of the people of Jahaly motivated me again and again to work for Project Aid The Gambia. This is also true for my wife and for my whole family.”

Dieter Lieken regularly visits the projects in The Gambia. He intensivly followed the development of the gardening projects. He is particularly proud that the organisation  managed to again send a tractor to Jahaly in 2015. Overall, he has accompanied four aid convoys to The Gambia.

In the Board of the association Dieter Lieken cares of the regional group “Wesermarsch”, in Gambia he mainly cares for the garden projects and in future also for the Moringa plantation.

Ulfert Engelkes


Ulfert Engelkes, born in 1960, is an independent filmmaker based in Cologne/Germany. He is married and has three children. He joined the Board of Project Aid The Gambia in November 2014.

In 2003, for the first time he visited Jahaly Health Centre. In 2003 and 2004 together with Markus Lanz and a TV crew from RTL German Television he produced  the video documentaries on the kindergarten project for the charity fundraising program of RTL German Television, called “Spendenmarathon” (a charity telethon).

“Following many intensive discussions in Jahaly I then decided to participate in the aid convoy tour 2005 from Bochum to The Gambia, as I did later in the tours in 2009 and in 2011. The warmth of the people of Jahaly, the sustainability of the projects, the commitment of the entire team and the certainty that all donations from Germany really reach Jahaly with minimal deduction: that is why I am involved in Project Aid The Gambia.”

Ulfert Engelkes produces all videos about the projects free of charge as part of his social engagement.

In the Board of the association he primarily takes care of public relations, of the website and of the appearance of the organisation on Facebook.

Jürgen Heuer


Jürgen Heuer, born in 1949, married, two children, was actually there from the start thanks to his brother Frank Heuer.

Through his work as a managing partner of KUSTAN GmbH & Co. KG, he was always consulted on questions and organizational problems. Several times he himself was in Jahaly on site.

“The impressions from Jahaly have left a lasting mark on me. I have a lasting memory of a trip with a group of donors, where we were cheered by the entire population. ”

The first transports heading for Jahaly / The Gambia were partly co-operated by related companies for storage and transportation.

Jürgen Heuer was already a member of the executive board of Project Aid The Gambia in previous terms of office. That’s also why he did not hesitate in October 2018, when he was asked to join the board again.

Video: Talk w/ Matthias Ketteler on GRTS Gambia TV (2015)

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