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Who We Are

Vorstand von Hans sucht das Glueck e.V.  / Foto: Michael Zellmer
Vorstand von Hans sucht das Glueck e.V. / Foto: Michael Zellmer

We are a registered non-profit organisation with a four-member board and a total of eleven founding members. Our title is "Hans seeks happiness" because the search never ends, and someone like me never ends.

Hans Mörtter

I was the pastor of the Lutherkirche in Cologne's Südstadt district for 34 years, retired in 2022, but of course I'm continuing to oversee my projects, not stopping there, but continuing to develop them. These endeavours are spread over several shoulders and are partly based on previous activities, which will be continued so that there is no break, but rather an acceleration.

The association is bound to me because I am credibly known far beyond the city and many people trust me. People know that words and intentions are followed by corresponding actions and courageous implementation, mostly in favour of people in precarious situations, and that I take a critical approach to the issues of the day. For this reason, a selection of my activities as a pastor in revolt are also posted on the website as an overview, recommended for encouragement and free imitation.

The Executive Board includes:

Image removed.
Hans Mörtter / Foto: Michael Zellmer

Hans Mörtter, Retired pastor

I was born at the end of June 1955 on a Sunday afternoon in Bonn, 100 metres from the Rhine, where I naturally grew up on the left bank of the river. It flows through my chest and, after my time in Colombia, transported me a mere 30 kilometres further to Cologne's Südstadt district, where I have made my home since 1987. Thanks to my mother, I have the deepest basic trust. I am happily married to my wife Sonja, who organises all the cultural events at the Lutherkirche - a dream team. Also blessed with our daughter Johanna. I am a cheerful carnivalist with the Decken Trumm, a different kind of Nubbel speaker and co-leader of the Südstadtzug. My favourite dances are the Colombian salsa and Viennese waltz, in fact almost everything. Since my instructive time as a permanent class representative and student representative, I have been fighting for justice, I am close to people, I stand up for their dignity and their right to it. My role models include Charly Chaplin in his films and Dietrich Bonhoeffer with his life.

After my retirement, I am not a "retired pastor" (= retired), but I'm still in rebellion, I'm just getting started in a more focussed way! That's why I founded "Hans sucht das Glück e.V." with a smile on my face, so that I can take direct action locally and internationally.
As a counsellor (and Cologne emergency counsellor), I have been able to bring many people back on their own path. I am still available for this. In the dark, I can take people by the hand and help them find the way to the stairs that will lead them out onto their own path, to themselves. Once they have found the banister with me and taken the first step, they are free to continue on their own. Once the foot has reached the first step, the next foot in the corridor automatically sets off for the second step and so on, at the pace that suits them.

The referenced media source is missing and needs to be re-embedded.

Ingo Brauckmann - 2nd Chairman

I was born in Bensberg in 1970 and live with my family in Neuss. In my professional context, I come across many people and different problems, but it's usually not about the well-being of the individual but more about achieving pre-defined goals. 
Since my first encounter with Hans a few years ago, I have tried to focus even more on the real problems and provide support where help is urgently needed. It is therefore a matter close to my heart to support Hans in his "search for happiness" and to make the best possible contribution to this new organisation. Active on the board of a logistics company.

The referenced media source is missing and needs to be re-embedded.

Marc Münstermann - Secretary to the Board
Love brought me to Südstadt 10 years ago. Now I'm looking forward to making an impact inside and outside this neighbourhood that is so special to me - together with great people - and helping where it's needed.

The referenced media source is missing and needs to be re-embedded.

Jutta Leib 
I am 67 years old and have lived in Cologne's Südstadt district since 1976. I am married, have two children and four grandchildren. I retired two years ago after spending the last 25 years of my professional life as managing director of a medium-sized mechanical engineering company.  I am looking forward to being active on the board of "Hans sucht das Glück e.V." because I am impressed by the direct impact of what we do. Supporting social coexistence in Cologne and in our society as a whole is something that is close to my heart. We need more humanity, more tolerance and more social justice instead of segregation, dull right-wing tendencies and social clearance. I would like to make a contribution to this.

The other seven founding members are Dr Lale Akgün, Silke Essert, Sonja Grupe, Ralf Bungarten, Ellen Adler, Nicola von Jenisch and Cornel Wachter.

Once we have successfully assisted a homeless person, a single mother or a refugee, it's on to the next "happiness", which inevitably includes political and social impulses. It goes on and on, but not on a hamster wheel, but on a straight line, sometimes a bit hilly. After that, we don't rest, but keep going. We are always open to questions: Where is the fire? Where is something needed? How can we solve a problem? How can we make progress in society? Our motto is to believe that the impossible is possible and to do it.

Our focus areas include work with the homeless, refugee aid, migration work, perspectives on the EU's external borders, climate catastrophe, alleviating child poverty and lobbying, promoting art and culture as allied mediators of values. We want to provide impetus and accelerate the discourse in society as a whole on the challenges of our time.

Weitere Informationen

You can find out more about us at the following links:

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