Serkan Eren, 38, was a fitness coach before founding the aid organization Stelp seven years ago. He was on Lesbos when refugees were stranded there, in Beirut after the warehouse exploded, in Afghanistan when the German armed forces withdrew, and in Ukraine shortly after the war broke out. Hundreds of volunteers are now working for Stelp, and in 2022 the NGO received donations of more than four million euros. On a November afternoon, Eren is sitting in Café Natan in downtown Stuttgart. It’s his café, all proceeds go to the needy, the milk vending machine hisses.
Serkan Eren founded an aid organization with which doing good should be cool. Seven years later, celebrities are supporting him and he is raising millions in donations. He knows what it’s like to be poor.
Max Ferstl and Veronica Wulf