The Foundation Council (Board of trustees) usually meet every three month, and more often if necessary. In year one we were able to set the foundation’s goals, worked on many issues, expressed our solidarity with the flood victims in Germany, and jointly considered and decided on the use of donations for earthquake relief in Haiti. We also had numerous discussions with NPH International, NPH Europe, and NPH Germany on the subject of cooperation.
Joseph Ferdinand (Chairman)
Haiti and Research on the Philosophy of Father Wasson
Joseph Ferdinand learned about Padre Wasson’s family as adolescent, when he and his siblings were referred to the home of Our Little Sisters and Brothers in Haiti. He started his studies in psychology in Port-au-Prince and continued 2010 in Germany graduating from the universities of Heidelberg and Leipzig. He is currently working in Tübingen at Hector Research Institute of Education Sciences and Psychology for his Ph.D. He describes his vision for the Padre Wasson foundation:
“I have experienced firsthand how Padre Wasson’s philosophy has shaped my own life and the lives of many others who grew up in his home. We have become family; we live in solidarity and we always try to give back according to his philosophy.
As an Educational Psychologist, I have always wanted to study Padre Wasson’s philosophy and formulate a general pedagogical approach and core principles to deal with different problems of society (education, childcare, helplessness, men-made or natural disasters, trauma, etc.). I am happy to be a co-founder of the Padre Wasson Foundation! Based on Padre Wasson’s ideas, we will collaborate with other pedagogues, psychologists, and volunteers to collect, study, and present the tenets of a pedagogical approach. We will build a website that contains documentation of Padre Wasson’s life and the results of our research.
Padre Wasson’s philosophy is based on concrete actions to support the most vulnerable. Accordingly, the Padre Wasson Foundation also aims to help those in need (disaster response, psychological support for those who experienced trauma, scholarships, etc.). We will complement the activities of NPH in Haiti and other countries.”
Communication, Guatemala and alumni
Christine “Chris” Hofer served Padre Wasson’s family as a volunteer in Guatemala where she started out as coordinator for the co-workers from different countries. Her second assignment was acoustic and recreational activities coordinator when she also organized a theatre group tutoring the children and youth in role play and free speech. Chris was responsible for organizing the international board meeting with 200 participants where she met all of the directors and many donors from the different chapters and offices of NPH. Back to her home country in Germany she became assistant of the general director at NPH Germany applying the family spirit to her office expertise.
Chris and her husband Stefan have two children and a cat at their home in Northern Italy. They both have broad experience in different countries and NGOs an are a superb asset to our foundation.
Stefan Gräfe (Trustee)
Administration and Communication
Stefan Graefe has served Padre Wasson and his family since 1984 in many countries as a volunteer, fundraiser, founder, co-founder or member of over a dozen NPH-organizations including NPH Europe and NPH International. He developed systems that today form important pillars of the NPH universe such as the transparent funding platform, the NPH Wiki or the family directory of all affiliated organizations.
“Stefan is a balanced adaptive personality with the most productive aspects in caring for others and thinking about creating something new and better” (Dr. M. Maccoby†)
In his position as director of NPH Germany (Unsere kleinen Brueder und Schwestern / NPH Kinderhilfe) he developed the largest contributing community of all NPH in a spirit that embraced the donors as members of the worldwide family. He initiated family correspondents and online fundraisers in all NPH homes and later initiated the fundraising department at NPH International. With a team of 60 mostly volunteer co-workers he enabled NPH to develop standards, resources and local teams for child care and medical care and to build vocational training centers in different crafts.
Under Stefan’s guidance, the German branch supported major construction projects of all eight homes that followed Mexico and the St. Damien hospital in Haiti. In Haiti, German engineers united 14 installations of NPH and affiliates under one electrical system powered by sunlight during the day and battery at night saving half a million dollars a year in fuel. Thanks to the support of the German government still today young Haitian apprentices study to become solar technicians and install photovoltaic systems in Haiti, often as only reliable source of electricity.
Stefan is a fundraiser, a “son” of Padre Wasson and a brother to NPH grow-ups, a dreamer and pioneer, an adventurer yet realist, a finance person setting love at a higher value than money. He serves the Padre Wasson Foundation as trust director in a volunteer position.
Alejandra García Bühler
Alumni & Former Member (2020-2021)
Alejandra is one of the co-founders of the Padre Wasson Foundation and contributed greatly as a member to the council. Her analysis about the most pressing need beyond the work of NPH formed our vision to serve the community of grown-ups from Padre Wasson’s family and their children. She supported the challenging process to define the roles and relationship with the different NPH entities. We learned from her spiritual input and guidance in order to focus on our relationships and personal well-being while developing our work fields.
Meet the rest of the family…
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Born on December 21, 1923 in Phoenix, Arizona, Fr. William Wasson was always concerned with the needs of the poor. He received his MA in law and social sciences at San Luis Rey University, Santa Barbara, California. He then traveled to Mexico…
The idea of the Padre Wasson Foundation developed since the anniversary of Padre Wasson’s passing in August 2020. On his birthday in December 2020, his friends and benefactors Traudel & Gerd Graefe started the foundation…