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Founder Joachim Hauschopp

My name is Joachim Hauschopp. After many years of working in industry, I decided to use my experience and energy for a long-term and sustainable non-for-profit project. Thus, I founded the "Sustainable Villages Foundation -Stiftung nachhaltige Dorfentwicklung" and serve as its voluntary executive chairman.

„I am driven by the question: what external impetus has to be given, what existing impulse has to be reinforced, in order to initiate a development away from poverty in the village environment? A development that is self-sustaining and continues without outside help. Not just in one village, but in a large number of villages. We will find out through practical action with science based support!“

Joachim Hauschopp, Founder

I myself am a boy from the village who was eventually drawn to the big city. I spent my childhood and youth in Münsterland. As a young adult, I graduated with a degree in architecture from the University of Hanover. A few years later, I completed a Master of Business Administration degree at Purdue University in the USA.

In my professional life - starting with civilian service - I have worked in very different areas: Disability care, architecture, international standardisation, information technology, product management, purchasing and logistics, consulting. Since 2010, I have been running a few small photovoltaic power plants with friends. Before founding the Sustainable Villages Foundation, I put my heart and soul into helping to supply 750,000 people in Tanzania, Rwanda and Kenya with off-grid solar power systems as Chief Operations Officer of the Mobisol Group.

During the years at Mobisol, it has become clear to me that new technologies available on the market, such as efficient photovoltaics, powerful batteries, energy-saving LED lamps and mobile money, open up completely new opportunities for rural development in Africa. These technologies have become very affordable in recent years and can be used in a decentralised manner. There has also been some progress in the area of water and cooking energy.

Through my work at Mobisol, I have contributed to many people being able to use electricity for the first time in their lives. I am proud of that. However, in the day-to-day operations of a company, it is difficult to understand what electricity brings to people beyond the basic functions of "light" and "charging mobile phones". How can it be used to earn one’s living? What are the interactions with other issues such as clean water, cooking energy, food, health and education? What else is missing in the village so that people can lead healthy and self-determined lives with sufficient income?

The Sustainable Villages Foundation does not look at a village from the perspective of a company that wants to distribute useful products as widely as possible. The Foundation wants to take the perspective of the village in order to find out what is actually needed.