creating smiles e.V., and how it all began...

Each of our founding members had always wanted to do some good and help others. Somehow, somewhere, some day. 


Each of us was on the lookout for a project that we could support with all our heart and a clear conscience, while at the same time knowing for sure whether our help was actually received and what it achieved. The lack of transparency and the anonymity of large aid organizations didn't fit this profile and, accordingly, we wanted to invest neither our money nor our efforts and hopes in their projects.


Then, Christian Leicht told us about his journey to Cambodia and the crowds of children that were begging in the vicinity of the Angkor Wat temple complex. 

Very quickly, news of the orphanage and its parlous state made the rounds of our circle of friends and acquaintances in Hamburg and we, the founding members, met up for the first time to talk things over. It was clear that this was at long last our chance to do some good together, both for others in the world and for ourselves. The orphanage in Cambodia was to be our first project. We set up the registered charity "creating smiles" for this purpose, since this enabled us to inspire other people interested in our activities, make new contacts, collect donations and issue proper receipts. In short: to create smiling faces all round!


Patrick Rüther

It's a good feeling, to have finally begun to do some good with my friends in a small way, instead of always just talking about the sort of things one could do or one should do.

Kirstin Rüther

Time is the most precious gift that one can give to oneself and others. 

The most wonderful thing is if this gift can create a smile, for oneself, one's friends, relations and acquaintances or, most of all, for children and adults around the globe who are in desperate need of help. And the best thing is, it's so easy to do, once you've got started.

Kathrin Runge

Fortunately, we're not the only ones who want to make the world a better place, our intention is to support the development of the children's home in Cambodia, India and Ethiopia. And a smile automatically lights up my face, too, when I see the children, and it's a fantastic feeling to know I have made my own small contribution to putting a smile on their faces.

Gisa Oliva Córdoba

The world is 3 days: As for yesterday, it has vanished along with all that was in it. As for tomorrow, you may never see it. As for today, it is yours, so work on it.

(muslim saint Hasan Al-Basri)

Christian Leicht

With creating smiles, I have found a group of people with whom it's a pleasure to do good together. People say that it's the journey that counts, not the destination, and it's not just pleasant to do good, but the way we achieve this is also enjoyable.  Our work is very inspiring and opens up new perspectives and horizons.  Beyond this, it is of course the progress that we see being made and the real help that we provide that, for me, are the key reasons why working with creating smiles is such a valuable experience. creating smiles enriches my life and with our work we enrich the lives of others, bringing happiness one step closer.

Agata Kelava

We cannot change the whole world, but we can make parts of it a better place.

Arno Böttcher

A city set on an hill cannot be hidden.

Franziska Oelte

My personal experience, when visiting Ethiopia and the Mother and Child Rehabilitation Center (MCRC) was crucial. It was not vitally to me to donate money "for any project in Africa" but now it came weightily to me to see Birtokan, Petru, Kalib and other kids of the MCRC smile again. With creating smiles I found peers, who attach the same great importance to the personal contact on-site.

Dörthe Kleine-Pollmann

Happiness held is the seed: happiness shared is the flower!

Gregor Krey

Globalization * Sustainability * Education = THE FUTURE

Articles of the Association as of 24 June 2013
(available in German only)
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