From his playing days until now, Jürgen has supported social projects that particularly benefit underprivileged youth. All the proceeds from his farewell match in 1999, which was attended by over 50,000 fans, were donated to such charitable causes.
Agapedia, founded in 1995, focuses on developing sustainable programs and resources to directly assist children in need. Through our many children's centers, foster family programs and more - our foundation has connected kids with support, love and hope. Agapedia now provides services in 4 countries:
- Between 30 and 60 children ages 6 to 12 from the city of Esslingen are provided with personal development activities and cultural experiences afternoons Monday to Friday. At the Esslingen based Children's Center they learn self confidence, cooperation and decision making through sports, games, crafting, arts and music.
- Romania suffered from one of the worst dictatorships in Southeast Europe until the 1989 revolution initiated social change. In 1995 the Agapedia Foundation Brasov was founded. As the first NGO in the country, Agapedia Romania started out with a project on domestic adoptions of abandoned infants and children aged 0 to 3. Agapedia Romania is currently one of only five accredited NGOs in Romania to carry out domestic adoptions in cooperation with the public authorities.
- Over the last 18 years Agapedia Romania has initiated many more socio-medical services such as gynecological practices for women in need, particularly women from villages with basic medical care and contraceptives. Nurses from the Agapedia Center in Brasov visit schools in villages and towns to talk to teenagers about sexual education and STD prevention. This lack of knowledge is pervasive in Brasov, for example, the town with most teenage pregnancies in Romania.
- Upon hearing about our work in Romania, a Bulgarian physician told us of the dire situation in public orphanages in Bulgaria, where the quality of life for those foster children was abysmal. So we traveled to Sofia for the first time in 1999. After fighting, we finally managed to create a Bulgarian branch of Agapedia foundation in 2001. Our involvement started out in a public children's home in Gorna Bania near Sofia. Over the last twelve years, we have been able to develop three projects in Sofia and one in Plovdiv in 2008.
- Moldova ranks 113 in the Human Development Index 2013 (an index of human development in health, education and income). It thus remains Europe's poorest country. We traveled to Moldova for the first time in the late 1990s. After numerous trips and long talks to many people, we finally met Ms. Ecaterina Mardarovici, a former parliamentary representative. She knew the situation and issues of her country very well and wanted to help her countries destitute and abandoned children. In 2001 we were finally able to establish Agapedia Moldova. A team of over 20 employees has been involved in many different projects ever since.