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“We are living in this very brief moment.”

 

Achim Koerfer does not only decry social problems with his work. He is also actively engaged in efforts to put things right. That is why he has lent his support to various aid agencies and international charity projects for a number of years now. For him, it is a matter of deep personal commitment to place his art in the service of humanitarian efforts. Every human being must be given the chance to discover his capabilities, use them, carry them further and pass them on. This is the conviction that forms the basis of his life and artistic endeavors.
 

 

One from the heart for kids with a heart condition


In keeping with the motto “Hearts – Hopes – Horizons” the Society for the Promotion of Children’s Heart Centers in Germany, the Fördergemeinschaft Deutsche Kinderherzzentren e.V. is celebrating its 25th anniversary in the historic buildings of the Steyler Missionaries in Sankt Augustin, near Bonn, on September 12, 2014. In the course of the festivities, two personally inscribed artworks donated by fine art photographer Achim Koerfer will be were put up for sale. The proceeds are were to benefit the work of the society to help children with congenital heart defects.



When physicians and parents of children with a heart condition founded the society in 1989, it was their primary goal to alleviate the grave capacity issues affecting the state of children’s heart surgery. Thanks to the support of its sponsors, the
Deutsche Kinderherzzentrum (German Heart Center) of Sankt Augustin was able to open its doors in 2000, with an annual capacity of up to 700 operations. The establishment of additional pediatric heart surgery centers all over Germany is planned, in order to afford boys and girls with congenital heart defects everywhere equal opportunities for treatment. More, the status of technical equipment and human resources is to be improved, research projects and information and education campaigns concerning congenital heart defects, promoted.
 

 

 

The basic right of people to clean potable water


In the course of the „Blue Hour“ held at the Projekttheater in Dresden on November 28, 2013, the relief organization arche noVa – Initiative für Menschen in Not e.V. (Initiative for People in Need) presented information about their projects. These range, for instance, from one rendering aid to flood victims in Germany, through another providing emergency relief in Syria, to a sanitation program in Timbuktu. During this function, a signed artwork of fine art photographer Achim Koerfer was raffled off for charity.



Since 1992, this agency has been rendering aid to people all over the world, who through no fault of their own, suffer hardship in the wake of crises, conflicts and natural disasters. In aid of this, arche NoVa works in close collaboration with local partners, especially in the endeavour to secure sustainable access to clean water, and contribute to the amelioration of hygienic conditions, thereby promoting health and sanitation for the people of impoverished countries. The recipients of this aid are involved in the project from the outset. This affords them the opportunity to apply their skills, and empowers them to help strengthen their self-reliance and open up new avenues for achieving a self-determined life. On four continents, arche nova has succeeded in implementing more than 50 projects and providing over 1.2 million people access to clean potable water.
 

 

 

Help give people with MS a better future


From Oct. 4 to 6, the Deutsche Multiple Sklerose Gesellschaft DMSG (German Multiple Sclerosis Society) hosted the Fourth MS World Conference in Berlin in cooperation with the Multiple Sclerosis International Federation (MSIF). Five hundred participants from all over the world met under the motto: ″Shaping the future together – perspectives for people with MS.″ In the course of the event, a signed artwork donated by fine art photographer Achim Koerfer to the DMSG national Association was raffled off. The proceeds went in their entirety to support the DMSG’s important work of raising awareness and providing information to sufferers of MS and their relatives.



The DMSG, with a national association and 16 regional associations, has been providing people with MS assistance in connection with their affliction for 60 years. The regional associations are dedicated to providing personal consultations in relation to private, job-related, legal and medical issues. The work of the DMSG national association focuses on lobby and informational work, socio-medical follow-up care for people with MS, in addition to the initiation and support of research projects.
 

 

 

Helping create a better future beyond squalor and misery


With a signed artwork, Achim Koerfer lent his support to missio e.V.’s "Hilfsfonds Ägypten" relief fund for Egypt. This fund was called into being to help the families of people in Egypt who live off collecting garbage, lead a life of dignity. The artist could not have chosen a cause of more burning relevance in view of the worsening crisis and the attendant conditions of growing hardship currently afflicting Egypt and especially the people of Cairo. All who made a donation of 30 Euros or more to Hilfsfonds Ägypten by October 31, 2013 were given a chance to win the artwork donated by Koerfer in a tombola. The entire proceeds went to benefit people in need in Egypt.



The German chapter of the Catholic Pontifical Mission Societies under canonical jurisdiction of the Holy See, missio e.V. is one of the largest relief organizations in Germany and is dedicated to the propagation of the Catholic faith and the education of missionaries and relief workers for active duty in more than 80 nations in Africa, Asia and Oceania. With an annual budget of approx. 33 million Euros, missio e.V. finances over 1,200 projects supporting members of religious orders, clerics and laymen dedicated to helping and empowering the needy; working for a better world and making a difference wherever despair and misery hold sway.
 

 

 

How art can help learning


On May 25, 2013 the 19th Symposium for certified and aspiring dyslexia and dyscalculia trainers was held in the Austrian city of Salzburg. Visitors from 14 nations attended this function presenting a festive opportunity to make contacts and talk shop with fellow experts. In the course of this event, a work of fine art photography printed on canvas donated to the DVLD e.V. by Achim Koerfer was auctioned off. The proceeds were given in their entirety to the Austrian Umbrella Organization for Dyslexia.



The (DVLD e.V.) Dachverband Legasthenie Deutschland e.V. is a charitable organization dedicated to raising awareness of dyslexia and dyscalculia and attendant issues. It is a fact that approx. 5% of all children starting school have problems in reading, writing and arithmetic. In many cases, it is simply taken for granted that the children suffer from a lack of intelligence. Thus the real problem is not addressed systematically and the affected children’s development, not properly fostered. This sorry state of affairs enormously handicaps a child’s learning process right at a time when nearly all instruction and learning takes place through writing. To aid such children, DVLD maintains a network of specialists who give consultation on diagnostic and remedial measures. At the same time, they encourage and secure the cooperation of teachers and parents and provide help to the families affected, in order to prevent them from becoming socially and culturally marginalized and underprivileged.
 

 

 

Donors to be rewarded with artworks


In November 2012, Achim Koerfer donated a signed artwork to the human rights organization (pbi) Peace Brigades International. Together with works from three other well-known artists, this artwork was raffled off to art-interested donors in 2013.



pbi, founded in 1981, has dedicated itself to uphold, defend and promote the principles non-violent action in the spirit of freedom, impartiality and non-interference, consequently taking action only upon express request. Its mission of providing protective on-site chaperonage to human rights activists has been acknowledged with various prestigious awards. A staff of around 500 volunteer workers champion the cause of finding non-violent solutions to conflict situations, effecting such on the spot in addition to holding seminars to promote non-violent conflict resolution. In the event of acute crises, an international network of committed parliamentarians, diplomats and journalists render assistance. As of this moment, pbi is running projects in Colombia, Mexico, Guatemala, Nepal and Kenya. Its work is financed by 13,000 members and individual donations.
 

 

 

Art auction for children of war zones and areas of conflict


In September 2012, Achim Koerfer donated two signed artworks to FRIEDENSDORF INTERNATIONAL. These artworks were put up for auction on Sept. 8, 2012, in the course of a traditional village fair which took place in the agency´s Peace Village at Oberhausen. The proceeds were donated to the children living there. The Open Day was held for young and old alike from near and far, to afford all an opportunity to gain an impression of daily life in the Peace Village and to learn of the agency´s current projects and missions. Visitors were able to meet well-known personalities and new faces at the numerous sales and food stalls.



Since 1967, FRIEDENSDORF INTERNATIONAL has been helping injured and sick children from war zones and areas of conflict. They are flown in to Europe for rapid medical attention. At the same time, worldwide projects are implemented to improve the status of health care and humanitarian relief in the children’s home countries. In addition, the promotion of Peace Education by Peace Village fosters social awareness and commitment.
 

 

 

Advocacy of relief and development projects


Achim Koerfer took part in the Terra Tech Festival held on August 4, 2012 in Marburg, Germany, by donating a signed artwork. The proceeds of the auction went to support the organization’s diverse development aid projects. Numerous visitors gathered at the Waggonhalle cultural center to enjoy the exciting potpourri of art, live music, workshops, handicrafts, and local and exotic cuisine, and to join in the general festivities.



The Terra Tech Förderprojekt e.V. is a non-profit organization financed solely with donations and sponsorships. Since 1986, this organization has implemented humanitarian aid projects on a worldwide basis. The projects range from conventional emergency aid missions through reconstruction to long-term development efforts. To this effect, Terra Tech is guided by one principle; that of helping people to help themselves, and always involving local partners. At the moment, Terra Tech is focusing on projects in Bosnia-Hercegovina, Haiti, Pakistan. Nepal, Sierra Leone and Kenya.
 

 

 

Relief for underprivileged children


In 2011 Achim Koerfer tied up with STREETKIDS International e.V., a non-profit aid and development organization which primarily champions the cause of underprivileged children and youths in Africa, especially of those orphaned by AIDS. Dedicated helpers work tirelessly to provide them on the spot aid and relief: suitable shelter, food and health care. They also guide these young people through the most important stages of their lives, taking charge of their schooling and vocational training.



This organization is financed solely through donations and sponsorships from companies and private individuals. The members work altruistically and receive no financial benefits whatsoever from the organization. Administrative costs are currently held under 10%. The sites are inspected on a regular basis to make sure that the donations find proper use to finance the STREETKIDS International e.V. projects. This organization is multicultural, apolitical and non-denominational.
 

 

 

Advocacy group for victims of accidents


In December 2009 Achim Koerfer donated a signed artwork which was auctioned off by eBay for the benefit of subvenio e.V. The proceeds went in their entirety to help support subvenio’s charity work. This agency is a non-profit, Germany-wide operation which advocates the cause of people who have suffered injury or impairments to health through no fault of their own in accidents, catastrophes or medical malpractice.



Although everyone has a statutory right to damage adjustment, it is often very difficult for the aggrieved parties to assert their claims with insurance underwriters and authorities. The subvenio e.V. provides swift and effective assistance in dealing with authorities and insurance companies, in finding specialized legal counsel and medical and psychological assistance, as well as in securing an adequate claim settlement, free of charge. This agency’s avowed mission is to champion the cause of aggrieved parties, bring their plight to the focus of public attention and to speak up for them on a Europe-wide legislative level.
 

 

 

Work-life balance


In 2007, the European Initiative EQUAL, an EU initiative espousing projects involving new concepts for labor market policies in the domain of “work-life balance”, held a competition in which Achim Koerfer took part. Topic of the competition was to express the concept of “work-life balance” in artistic terms. This project was conceived to raise the consciousness of enterprises with respect to promulgating family-friendly policies as well as to combat discrimination towards employees and job-seekers.



Under the sponsorship of German Federal Ministry for Labor and Social Concerns, Germany implemented one of the most extensive EQUAL programs in Europe. In the course of two rounds of funding taking place between January 2002 and the end of 2007, a total of about 240 project groups developed innovative solutions involving 4,000 concepts, to battle discrimination on the job market. More than 213,000 participants – in more or less equal parts male and female - benefited from the campaigns. The program volume amounted to approx. 1 billion Euros including co-funding by the German state.
 

 

 

Art auction for the benefit of UNICEF


Achim Koerfer feels a real need for doing his part to further humanitarian efforts. Helping others to help themselves is especially important to him, such as in the case of projects which finance educational and vocational programs for children. One of these was ART 4 AID, an international art project of the (JCI) Junior Chamber International in which signed artworks, one of them by Koerfer, were auctioned off by Sotheby´s for the benefit of UNICEF. To Achim Koerfer, life means more than just naked subsistence. It is a continuous process of development nourished by learning, experience and knowledge.



UNICEF, founded in 1946 as the United Nations’ charity agency for children, now operates in 150 countries. Under the motto “every child is our child” UNICEF fights for the rights of children all over the world. UNICEF provides every second child worldwide with vaccinations, builds wells and donates school supplies to millions of children. At the same time, UNICEF has made a strong political commitment to the long-term improvement of the living standards of children – also in Germany.