I was two and a half when my family left Poland and came to Germany. There we stood, in a country we didn’t know, with a language we didn’t understand. Without even a penny in our pockets. And I, of course, with a football under my arm.
Which course your path takes depends on many things: family and friends, having a mind of your own and using your own initiative, the support of others, and, of course, a bit of luck and whether you stay healthy. But it also always has to do with chances. The chances that you get, and the chances that you seize.
As you know, my life has taken a smooth path. But for many, this is not so. How can you seize a chance if you never get a chance in the first place?! Football and the great fortune of having a professional career have allowed me a privileged life, but I’ve never forgotten where I came from. The desire to give back is huge – and I’d like to do so through the Lukas Podolski Foundation.
Above all, I want to give prospects to socially disadvantaged kids. The chances at a good life are not evenly distributed. They depend on which country and which social class people are born into. It’s unfair and I’m fighting against this. I want to use my abilities and my celebrity status to bring attention to this situation and, through my foundation, to collect funds for sports and educational projects.
My foundation enables those who want to join together with me to help support our work and our projects. I guarantee that 100% of every donation goes into the work of my foundation and supports projects which demonstrably help socially disadvantaged children and young people find their way through sports and education.
Here on the foundation website, we especially want to show you what can be done and what we can all achieve together! I appreciate each and every one of you who choose to join us. There is still so much to do – and you can help!
Yours, Lukas Podolski
We particularly want to
- Give prospects to socially disadvantaged children and young people, from offering meaningful leisure activities to helping them prepare for their professional lives
- Fight child poverty
- Promote integration and understanding among nations
- Promote inclusion
- Use sports to achieve these goals
The two voluntary board members have known each other for many years – since long before Willi Breuer became Lukas’ youth coach at 1st FC Cologne. Lukas Podolski is the founder and Chairman of the Board. As a football player with more than 100 international caps, he directs the attention of the general public to social issues. This father and family man makes children’s eyes light up when he shows up at a site (which he always does!) to present the current situation.
Willi Breuer has degrees in both physical education and special education. With his years of experience (including as the coach of the German national disabled team and at the first football training centre for athletes with mental disabilities), he brings the social and sport-related educational expertise needed to assess concepts and funding applications.
The Board of Directors is supported by the foundation’s Managing Director Lisa Niederdrenk.