President, Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos™ International
Reinhart Koehler grew up with his three sisters in Germany. At age 16, he cared for his sickly grandparents. This experience led to his interest in the human service field. After graduating from high school, he did 18 months of social service in a small Christian hospital. He entered college at age 23 and worked his way through school doing night shifts in an intensive care unit at the University Hospital of Göttingen. Four years later, he graduated with a teaching degree in biology, physical education, and English as a second language.
Interest in the developing world took him to Mexico in 1981 where he learned about Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos and Father William Wasson's work. He applied to become a volunteer and a year later, in August 1982, he joined NPH for a year of service. The rest is history. It has certainly been a long year.
In 1985, Fr. Wasson asked Reinhart and Father Rick Frechette to become co-founders of an NPH home in Honduras. As the NPH Honduras national director, Reinhart dedicated his work to creating a loving and caring environment for orphaned and abandoned children. While NPH Honduras cares for more than 500 children and youths on a daily basis, approximately 2,500 children have called NPH Honduras their home and family over the past 28 years.
During his time with NPH, Reinhart had the opportunity to continue graduate studies. He earned a master's degree in community and adult education in 1985 from the University of South Carolina and pursued post-graduate studies in education at the University of San Diego.
In 1998, disaster in the form of Hurricane Mitch struck Honduras. Thousands of people died and half the population became homeless overnight. Reinhart responded through the NPH network with immediate relief service to hurricane victims. This initial response grew into a nonprofit foundation called Nueva Esperanza (New Hope). Nueva Esperanza has helped hundreds of people build a community and own a home of their own and assisted with other projects such as earthquake relief in El Salvador, rebuilding schools, and providing jobs. Once the foundation’s mission was fulfilled and all projects were concluded, responsibility to continue the development of the various communities was transferred to community members and the foundation was phased out.
NPH International appointed Reinhart Director of Family Services in 2001. In this capacity, he collaborated with all NPH homes in setting standards for childcare and developing policies and best practices to ensure quality care for all NPH children.
In 2013, Reinhart was elected Board Chair for NPH International and then in 2015 was elected Board President. When asked about his service to NPH, Reinhart says, “Having the opportunity to do God's work is the greatest happiness of all. Father Wasson has given me that opportunity. I am deeply grateful for that.”
Reinhart is based at the NPH home in Honduras where he lives with his wife and family.