About Us

The BECKER/CORDES Foundation was established in 1989 by Dr. Werner Cordes and his wife Roswitha, née Becker.

The founders’ grandfathers emanated from itinerant trading, by which small-time farmers in Sauerland improved their chances to survive. In spite of this extremely constricted life situation, they managed to achieve considerable wealth by several textile trading companies in the late 19th century. By combining their ancestors’ diligence and mobility with energy and boldness, they became pioneers of modern ways of wholesale and retail trading.

Our forefathers and their wives never forgot the underprivileged who suffered from economic and social changes.

The BECKER/CORDES foundation wants to carry on with this tradition. Facing the problems that are threatening the present day globalization of our world, the foundation aims at

„promoting the economic and social development of the so-called Third World countries and the former Eastern bloc“ (§ 2, par. 3 of the statutes).

 The limited means deriving from capital gains and possible donations, which are and will be available to our foundation, require close cooperation with partners in the developing countries. Such partners abroad must be competent and reliable, because only they are truly familiar with the situation of the underprivileged on-site and the various reasons for their misery, and only they can suggest possibilities for improvement. To support them in their endeavor is our concern.

As the motto for our foundation, we have chosen a quotation from the Old Testament: “Wisdom has built her house; she has set up its seven pillars” (Proverbs 9.1). Stable columns for the House of the Future are:


  1. Education – conveying knowledge and skills training for the development process
  2. Family – enabling responsible parenthood
  3. Women – strengthening their ability to help themselves
  4. Cooperation – promoting community structures
  5. Participation – supporting participation in social decision-making
  6. Economy – developing the production power of the underprivileged
  7. Environment – conserving the environmental basis of life



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