Happy moments behind the numbers
The COVID-19 pandemic brought a great deal of suffering to many people. On the other hand, NAK-Humanitas, the non-profit foundation of the New Apostolic Church Switzerland, managed to do some good. The recently published 2021 annual report not only provides numbers, but also gives some insight into the moments of happiness behind them.
The sound of warm laughter echoes through the house. Casa Farfalla has come back to life. And it is about time too, because during the COVID-19 pandemic, guests with mental and other severe disabilities were unable to come to this residence in Switzerland, which under normal circumstances offers supervised vacation, relief, and emergency accommodations. Casa Farfalla is dependent on external financial assistance, and it is for this reason that NAK-Humanitas supported the institution with a donation of 25,000 Swiss francs in 2021. .
This story can be found in the recently published annual report 2021 of the Swiss charity known as NAK-Humanitas. Once again, generous donations made it possible to accomplish a great deal of good.
NAK-Humanitas used more than half of its disbursements for contributions to support foreign charities, primarily in Eastern European and African countries. Many of these are countries served by the New Apostolic Church Switzerland. The foundation defines emergency and survival aid in areas hit by disasters as humanitarian aid.
In Kathmandu, Nepal, the lockdown was particularly hard on day labourers. They lost their income and could barely pay rent, let alone buy groceries. NAK-Humanitas supported a project sponsored by the Stiftung Strassenkinder Hilfswerk NAG [“Street Children's Charity Nawa Asha Griha”] with 25,000 Swiss francs to distribute food parcels and money for rent to families in special need.
But NAK-Humanitas responded to more than just the COVID-19 pandemic in the reporting year, as there were also other occasions to lend a hand. In Aleppo and Homs, Syria the foundation focused its attention on mothers who have been single since the war. A project known as “Bus der Hoffnung [Bus of hope]—Female breadwinner” supports these women by training them as bakers/confectioners or seamstresses/embroiderers. Along with the enhanced occupational opportunities now open to these mothers, the situation of their children also improves. The project also supports the children directly by providing them with hot meals and trauma therapy so that they can hopefully smile again soon.
“On behalf of the board of trustees and the many people whom you have helped with your generous support, I would like to thank you for your solidarity, and hope that we can continue to count on you,” writes Apostle Deubel in the foreword of the annual report. Despite the ongoing pandemic, donations fell by just under 12 percent overall. In 2021 there were no legacy donations, and non-earmarked donations declined slightly. On the other hand, there was a slight increase in earmarked donations, which were mainly applied to day care centre projects and sponsorships.
Helping at home
Expenditures on domestic projects fell slightly. Here, the foundation mainly supports public and private institutions such as retirement homes, nursing homes, facilities for the disabled, and long-term care homes, as well as contact and advice centres for people suffering from addictions. Despite the declining donations, the foundation still supported some great projects that put a smile on many faces. NAK-Humanitas supported caregiving relatives with 36,500 Swiss francs via the Hof Rickenbach Foundation. A further 10,000 Swiss francs went to the Survivor Meeting project sponsored by the Swiss Children's Cancer Foundation, where survivors of childhood cancer can meet and exchange their thoughts and ideas. Last but not least, NAK-Humanitas supported the OFF Ort [OFF Place] project, a meeting place for women who have fled to Switzerland with their children, with a total of 5,000 Swiss francs.
Mourning the loss of District Apostle Markus Fehlbaum
On 12 August 2021, retired District Apostle Markus Fehlbaum, who served for many years as president of the board of trustees, passed away after a serious and protracted illness. At the same time, the District Apostle was President of the BNA-Humanitas Foundation and thus also responsible for the day care centres in Moldova and Romania, as well as a children's home in Romania. Working on behalf of children and young people was a matter close to his heart. He visited the children as often as possible and, even after resigning as president of the foundation’s board due to his illness, continued to do so with enthusiasm and dedication. “In him, NAK-Humanitas has lost a personality who has supported the work of our foundation at home and abroad with a great deal of enthusiasm, ideas, and determination,” writes the NAK-Humanitas team in a farewell letter to him in the annual report.