People In Need – Gerhard Baumgard Stiftung (“PIN”) was established as a charitable foundation in Runkel, Germany in 2004. The management consists of two directors who work as volunteers for the foundation; the founder, Dr. Gerhard Baumgard, and Wolfgang Müller, the Chief Executive of WM Treuhand & Steuerberatungsgesellschaft AG, a successful tax advisory and consulting firm in Germany.
Dr. Baumgard retired from international banking in 2002. After working as a volunteer for Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) in Indonesia and Thailand, he set up his own foundation to help the poor in Asia, with a specific focus on Myanmar. A review of the international aid payments to the Southeast Asian countries showed a dire need in Myanmar (Burma), which received only a fraction of the financial aid given to other ASEAN countries like Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam. In Burma, PIN did not register with the government, because of the risk of interference by the (then) military government was too high. Instead, we decided to work exclusively with local non-governmental organizations. PIN has a large and diverse network of Burmese volunteers in Christian Churches, Buddhist Monasteries, and local charitable foundations. They submit project proposals to PIN which we evaluate carefully at the project locations. Once we select a project, PIN and our local partners handpick Burmese workers with impeccable reputations to conduct the work. The projects are evaluated and monitored continuously by our local partners and by PIN management who are on-site consistently.
With our local staff we support and operate
- Nursery schools for children ages three to six
- Educational and vocational training programs for girls and women
- Orphanages for girls and boys
- Boarding houses with private tutoring sessions for high-school girls
- Boarding houses for HIV/AIDS patients
We also help individuals facing critical medical situations find the right doctors and arrange or pay for surgery, hospital stays, treatment, and rehabilitation.
In exceptional circumstances we also provide emergency relief:
- 2008: When Cyclone Nargis devastated the Irrawaddy Delta killing at least 140,000 people, PIN provided help to 10,000 victims in relief camps and aid to more than 22,000 cyclone survivors in 49 remote villages.
- 2011: When fighting broke out in Kachin State in the north of Myanmar up to 100,000 Kachins – mostly women and children – have been forced to flee from their homes. PIN supported local Burmese NGO in building refugee shelters, educational and health support, and trauma-healing activities.
Financing for PIN projects comes mainly from the foundation’s own funds, supplemented with contributions from small group of friends in Europe and the United States. However, in emergencies such as Cyclone Nargis, we are able to raise substantial donations from generous friends and institutional donors.
Management Team (Vorstand)
Supervisory Board (Stiftungsrat)
- Wolfgang Schuck (Chairman), Frankfurt, Germany
- Mechtild Ewert, Bonn, Germany
- Trudi Schifter, Zurich, Switzerland