Team Austria: Stefan Pleger, Gabi Ziller with team
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Team Austria


A Chance for Children is a private organisation founded by enthusiastic and active Tyrolians.

Stefan Pleger has worked for aid organisations for over a decade and is a long-term member of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF). In 2008 he became associated with an orphan project in Zigoti, Uganda, which still receives support from Austria. On 5th April 2008 A Chance for Children was officially founded, with the aim of helping disadvantaged children in Uganda.

At the 2014 general assembly the executive board was confirmed for a further two years.

  • Founding director - Stefan Pleger

    Before setting up A Chance for Children, I was involved in different aid programmes in developing countries, spending time in Africa with MSF and on other operations worldwide. Amongst others, I worked in Darfur, Eritrea and Liberia, guided an operation in Somalia and helped in Indonesia after the tsunami.

    I studied civil engineering, followed by economics. For the past twenty years I have worked freelance in project management.

    Through A Chance for Children I know we can create change and I am grateful to all our supporters.

    In 2010 I was awarded "Austrian of the Year" in the category "Social and Humanitarian Aid"; I see this as recognition for our whole team.

  • Secretary - Theresia Bliem

    A board member since 2010, I am responsible for communication with sponsors and the allocation of godchildren. 
    Working on two projects in Uganda convinced me of the importance of access to education. As a direct consequence, I became a teacher.

  • Finance officer - Gabi Ziller

    With co-founder Stefan and our son, I spend two three month stays in Uganda every year. Since 2008 I have visited the country sixteen times and Zigoti has become my second home.

    As finance officer, I work closely with our social workers, manageress and secretary to improve our administration in Uganda. In addition, I ensure our volunteers settle in well. I love to develop and improve links with the local community. In Austria I am responsible for correspondence, emails and sponsorship administration; with Theresia I run the godchildren programme. 

    I studied English and Politics and worked in PR for over 15 years. Since our son's birth in 2011, family life has revolved around A Chance for Children.

  • Deputy director - Thomas Knapp

    I am responsible for the organisation's work with disabled people and am the contact for schools. I also organise events in Austria  (

    In the course of four volunteering visits to Uganda, I have spent ten months there in total. I feel the organisation has already made a huge contribution to the country and can do still more in the future and I enjoy my involvement, whether in Austria or Uganda.

  • Deputy secretary - Walter Voitl

    A CEO of a medical organisation, I have been on the board since 2012; my main responsibility is to select future volunteers.

  • Deputy financial officer - Esther Wilhelm

    I am proud to have been a founding member of A Chance for Children and have visited Uganda several times to support projects.

    I am responsible for donations and for address and data management.



Besides our executive board, we have a huge number of volunteers working to support our organisation. We would like to acknowledge a few of them:

  • DDr. Barbara Rizzoli-Ellenhuber und Mag. Rene Gsaxner for auditing.
  • Karin Graber who is responsible for school programmes. (
  • Sofie Kraus uand her team, who support us with sales of handicrafts from Uganda.
  • Katharina Marschall, a founding member, who supports the organisation in all design aspects.
  • Lisa Battisti, who is responsible for the notebook programme 1+1
  • Martin Zangerl , who designed this website. (Web:


  • Organisation's headquaters: Blasius-Hölzl-Weg 16, 6176 Völs ZVR: 515006650
  • Link to the register of association at the Austrian Ministry of the Interior


Copyright: The copyright (c) for all pictures is held by Stefan Pleger, except where otherwise marked.