Owing to World War II and hard times throughout war captivity, Karl Friedrich Meckel was of the opinion that another war like this was to be avoided at all costs and that young people were to play a central role in the understanding among nations.
On the 16th of December 1960, he founded the Ekkehard Foundation International Student Homes together with his wife Erna Meckel.
The aim is to serve the christian belief of international understanding.
In order to support young people in their aspiration towards intellectual knowledge and cultural exchange, the foundation offers housing benefits, provides teaching material, sponsors tutorials and awards scholarships to outstanding students.
The selection of the promotion is done according to the criteria of relevance and urgency and without regard to ideological and political differences.
The nature of the promotion of the Ekkehard Foundation follows the Foundation Charter §2.
Hence, the foundation grants housing benefits for needy and worthy students of different nationalities. Moreover, people worthy of promotion and institutions will receive books of general educational value. The selection of the promotion is done according to the criteria of relevance and urgency – without regard to ideological and political differences.
Following the foundation’s aim, the University of Mannheim runs the so-called Internationales Begegnungszentrum II ("International Centre for Encounters"), located in M 2, 18 and L 2, 2-4 in the IBZ I in Mannheim. The Ekkehard Foundation has a three bedroom top floor flat available, which has been expanded with the foundation's own funds.
However, the Ekkehard Foundation does not only provide housing, but on top of that also supports exchange students of the Faculty of Business Administration in the context of the so-called "Business Orientation Program".
In doing so, the stay of students that need to find their way around an unknown educational system and a foreign culture is to be facilitated. This new type of promotion first came to life in the winter term of 2001/2002. In addition to information events for foreign freshmen at the University of Mannheim, tutors have been employed that serve as a contact point for the students. An email address specifically for exchange students has been set up (exchange_info(at)dekanat.bwl.uni-mannheim.de) which allows students to contact their tutors at any given hour. The expert advice has been well received. The introductory events and the application training with its consultation hours in particular are much frequented.