“Remembering Peter, the founder of the Studer Trust” (1927-2013)”
Summary: It has been 9 years since Mr Peter passed away in an accident, visiting a school in Myanmar. However, the organization he passionately founded for children from marginalized families is still making an impact on children's lives. We look back on what we have done over the 20 years.
“Respect the Spirit of Helping”, Mr. Peter Gautschi once said and it became a branding for the Studer Trust, a non-profit organization based in Hong Kong that was established in 2002 by the founder Mr. Peter Gautschi, a Hotelier and Philanthropist.
Since it was founded, the trust has built more than 200 schools building, school related and other community-based projects in Myanmar, China, Laos and Philippines. He died in a car crash in Myanmar, the country that he loved and while pursuing his passion to help the underprivileged. He was 86 years old when he died and it was a tragic death.
Today, we would like to celebrate the life and legacy of our dear friend, our former boss (very demanding one though), our inspiring mentor and fatherly figure, Mr. Peter Gautschi.
Let’s talk about who he was.
He was a funny, charming, quiet and honest gentleman with a big heart and dedicated all of his energy and his great passion to helping people. He was loved and respected. Born in Switzerland in 1927, passionate about traveling and spent nearly 50 years in the hospitality industry, and famously known as “the Swiss Hotel pioneer in all of Asia”, “the grand man of hospitality.
How did he become a philanthropist? After he retired, he wanted to give something back to a place, Asia, that had given him a great life. Honoring his mother, he made a donation to a well known international NGO to build a school in China. It was inefficiently used and misspent. Peter was really angry when he found out about it, and he said, “I could do a better job than that”. This made him create an efficient and fully transparent Charity, the Studer Trust. It was
named after his mother, Margaretha’s maiden name. The charity pledged 100% for 0 administration cost. 100% of the received donations are used for the projects and the administration cost of the Trust is covered by Peter’s own funds.
I met Peter in late December 2003 in Mandalay, Myanmar while I was working as a travel consultant. Since then, we became very good friends. I helped Peter expand his charity work in Myanmar. Because 1) he inspired me 2) I believe in education. There are many people like me who are inspired by Peter. They donated money and their time to the Trust. He was a good role model and mentor to me and many other people.
It had been truly a great journey for Peter from his birth place, Switzerland to Hong Kong and across Asia; from getting involved in charity work and became a well-respected and inspired philanthropist, to creating educational opportunities for the children in underserved communities, leaving a powerful legacy in the hearts of many people and tens of thousands of children who have benefitted from his greater efforts.
Peter said, “It is obvious that “giving” is easier than helping. But the challenge and the reward are in helping.” It is indeed. The Studer Trust has enjoyed the rewards and overcame the challenges.
There have been a lot of challenges that the Studer Trust faced since global pandemic hit Myanmar in 2020 and then followed by the coup in 2021. However, despite crisis and challenges, team Studer Trust have so far been able to operate a few school constructions and a couple of online training courses.
It has been 9 years since he left us. We have supported xxxx projects and spent xxxxx (Donation) and xxxx (administration expenses).
We will honor his life and legacy by continuing all the wonderful work that he started in 2002.
Peter, we thank you so much for going above and beyond helping people, allowing us to be a part of the trust and our friendship.
Cho Cho Lwin