June 24 2002
SOS Children's Villages mourn the loss of Dr. Michael Gschliesser
24/06/2002 - Dr. Michael Gschliesser, the managing director of the German SOS Promoting Association Hermann Gmeiner Fonds - the association which supports SOS Children's Villages worldwide - was killed in a tragic car accident on Sunday 23 June 2002 while travelling from Kirgyzstan to Kazakhstan.
Michael Gschliesser was on a tour through Kirgyzstan, where he had taken part in the openings of the SOS Hermann Gmeiner School in Bishkek and the second SOS Children's Village in Cholpon Ata on Lake Issyk Kul. His car was involved in the accident, which was caused by another vehicle, on the way to Almaty, Kazakhstan. From there he had planned to travel back to Germany. A board member from the Hermann Gmeiner Fonds, a local SOS co-worker and the driver who were also in the car suffered minor injuries.
Dr. Michael Gschliesser (born 02.01.1944) became the managing director of the German SOS Promoting Association Hermann Gmeiner Fonds in 1971. He was responsible for setting up and the success of the association, which supports SOS Children's Villages worldwide. During his more than thirty years of service on behalf of SOS Children's Villages, he set up the Hermann Gmeiner Fonds to be the financial backbone of the SOS Children's Villages worldwide.
His life and work were completely dedicated to the SOS Children's Villages and the millions of German SOS Children's Village friends. Among other things, he was the driving force behind the partnership between the world football federation, FIFA, and SOS Children's Villages and worked tirelessly and with terrific enthusiasm to promote the cooperation.
The chairman of Hermann Gmeiner Fonds and the president of SOS-Kinderdorf International, Helmut Kutin, paid tribute to Dr. Michael Gschliessers achievements in setting up SOS Children's Villages worldwide. He named him alongside Hermann Gmeiner, the father of SOS Children's Villages, as the second founder of Hermann Gmeiner Fonds. The SOS Children's Village world will miss him very much and grieve his loss with his wife and two grown-up children.