We are some more or less young men, good friends for countless years and have experienced great times together. Tommy, Shiraz and Wanja started this project in January 2015 and then composed the following lines. In 2023 Torben, Shahni, Philipp, Stefan, Krischan and Niki joined the team.
Wanja Greuel (born on 28.09.1977 / Citizenship: German and Swiss) – Charity Circle since 2015
I was born in Bonn, Germany and grew up in Kaiserslautern. Since my mother is Swiss and my father German I have both citizenships. I have four siblings and by this date am a 14-times uncle. That means I grew up in a very lively and rapid environment. Having that many siblings might have a few disadvantages, but after all I think it is the best whatever could happen to me – I had the best childhood someone can imagine. After studying in Mannheim, Germany and one year in Athens, Greece, since 2005 I am now living in Switzerland – one of the most beautiful countries on this planet. I love sports – mainly doing it on my own but also of an enthusiastic fan of all events and athletes worldwide, especially soccer. Moreover I am working in the sports marketing industry, so my passion became profession. So, that’s me. Blessed by great people and lots of luck in my life. I have two idols: My mother and my father. Both taught me the most important things in life. Of my father I probably got most of my ambitions and persistence, while my social skills and respect for others are probably a little more based on my mother´s nature. So, that also leads to my main values in life: respect, tolerance, peace, friendship and passion – in whatever you do.
So the idea of the Charity Circle was born. I want to do something good for others. Although knowing that is just a little something we are going to do, I think it is worth to try to improve the life for others – even if it is just a few.
Shiraz Naeem (born on 17.07.1977 / Citizenship: German) – Charity Circle since 2015
I was born in Gujranwala / Pakistan. When I was two years old me and my parents moved to Germany. I could grow up in a safe and nice environment with my family. The financial situation for my parents was not easy, because as immigrants with three children it is not so easy to build up very solid conditions. But this is also the point where I feel lots of respect for my parents, because there came three more children and my father developed from a usual worker in a factory to a successful businessman. My parents took care that all of the children could enjoy great education and became all self-responsible to make their way in life. All my life our situation improved from year to year and we all have a fantastic life. I am aware that my parents put lots of efforts in this; one of the results was that we could only see our parents in the evenings and were on our own for quite some time. But this was not a problem at all – we had to take over responsibility quite early in life and this was an important thing to learn in my opinion. After school I went to the army and then studied in Mannheim. Already at that time I was involved in the business I am doing today. The consequence was that I did not finish my studies. I knew already at this point that I want to pursue my way with my own company. Since 2003 I won and lead a company that deals with recycling the physical assets of industrial companies.
I love to travel and of course did so to Pakistan many times already. Every time I travel to the country of my birth I realise how lucky I was in life. If you see the conditions people living there it is almost impossible to set that into any relation to the life I had in Germany, always being safe and not lacking anything at all. Also my other travel experiences all over the world always remind me, how blessed we are to live in such conditions. I would like to share only a little part of my luck and want to help with our Charity Circle to improve life for some others, even if it is only a few.
Torben Maempel (born on 12.07.1981 / Citizenship: German)) – Charity Circle since 2023
Born on 12.07.1981 in Hamburg I spent my childhood in Hamburg and temporarily in Baden-Württemberg. I grew up in a classical family consisting of my parents and my younger sister. Immediately after school I completed an apprenticeship as a shipping clerk. Afterwards I went through the two-year training as a reserve officer in the German Navy.
After studying business administration in Germany and the United Kingdom, I joined the logistics department of a large German automotive group. After many stations within the company and after a stopover for an MBA in South Africa, I currently live in Poland. Secretly, however,
I still dream of returning to my native city of Hamburg. I prefer to spend my free time with friends or family. Until a few years ago I played rugby very intensively and today I am a passionate spectator and fan. I also enjoy spending time in nature.
Since I am quite aware of my very comfortable living situation, I would like to make a contribution through the Charity Circle with my good friends that others are also at least a little better off.
Shahni Naeem (born on 21.11.1986 / Citizenship: German) – Charity Circle since 2023
I am the youngest of 6 siblings and insanely proud that our family relationship is so close and strong. We always support each other and are there for each other. Family helps. After graduating from high school, I moved to Cologne and did my apprenticeship in a hotel. Afterwards I joined my brother Shiraz’s dismantling company and took care of various projects as well as sales. In the meantime, our group of companies is active throughout Europe and is growing daily. In 2018, I completed training as a private pilot and fly to various projects almost every week. Since 2020, I am a proud father of my daughter Marilou and since then I have an even bigger heart for children.
I try to spend a lot of time with her and enjoy watching her develop. I am very grateful and happy about my life situation and would like to do more for people. I am happy to be a part of the Charity Circle and to be involved in helping children and people in need outside of my family.
Tommy Köhler (born on 01.12.1978 / Citizenship: German) – Charity Circle 2015 – 2022
Hey, my name is Tommy. I was born 1978 in Mönchengladbach, a small City in the western part of Germany. I am the youngest of three. My parents raised me and my two older sisters in a very secure and protected environment. When we were young we had all we could possibly ask for. My family wasn’t rich at the time but we made a well living. When my father, who founded Cinque a well known fashion brand, led our family business to huge success during the late 90s, he made sure that our family would not have to worry about our financial independence anymore. Even though I grew up in this secure stability, I have to confess that my life wasn’t a very straight one in terms of figuring out what to do with it after all. I struggled a lot along the way until the point where I am today…. After graduating from high school I served my mandatory military service and then started higher education at the university in Bonn. Still being quite uncertain about where my live should lead me I soon realized university did not work for me much at that time in my life. Since my mom and dad had encouraged me and my siblings to travel from an early age so we would see the world and broaden our horizons traveling seemed to me a good way to explore life. During my further education I spent quite some time overseas traveling with friends and getting to know knew ones. My journeys took me to North and South America, Australia, Africa, Asia and pretty much all over Europe. Hard to believe that beside all that traveling and my despite for university I was still able to finish my education and became a helicopter pilot along the way.
Nowadays I’m running an aspiring fashion brand which is quite funny considering that I never wanted to continue the family tradition. But looking backwards I think traveling the world by myself and with my friends had a huge impact on understanding life and in deciding how I want to lead my own. It certainly shaped my picture of the world and how things work. I experienced a variety of other cultures and countries – most of them not even close to our standards. I learned that the values I strongly believe in and take for granted are not the reality for most men in the world. I think it is important to always remember that the majority of people is not quite as fortunate as we are. Not even close. I think everybody who is in that lucky position to live like we do has the obligation to give something back – also to those that might not be relatives or friends. It makes me happy that this project comes to life now after thinking about it for quite some time. It comes from the heart and I really hope we can do something valuable and improve some people’s life that is not as fortunate as ours. I am entirely grateful for life and the happiness I am surrounded with and if there are ways in how I can support others, financially or morally, I am more than willing to take them. So let’s get it on!
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