Helping at home

Again over one million euros was spent on humanitarian aid. This is shown in the latest financial report of human aktiv, the relief organisation of the New Apostolic Church Southern Germany. A good portion benefits social projects at home in Germany, where the charity is based.

Suddenly the water was everywhere: cellars filled up, streets were flooded, and houses collapsed. On 14 July 2021, Germany experienced its worst flood disaster in decades. In the Ahr valley, which was particularly hard hit, the floods left a trail of destruction. In total, over 180 people died, hundreds were injured and even more lost their homes in the deadly floodwaters. Hospitals, retirement homes, schools, and kindergartens were destroyed. Some villages were difficult to reach for the rescue teams because of collapsed bridges and flooded roads.

A wave of compassion

Especially in Germany, volunteers from all walks of life rallied to help. A few days later, Apostle Gert Opdenplatz was also on the ground with some church members in order to help.

The German relief organisations of the New Apostolic Church immediately made funds available. human aktiv immediately began to work out a concept with the relief organisation NAK-karitativ to support those affected. Only a few days after the flood, human aktiv was able to forward 75,000 euros to the partner organisation NAK-karitativ. The funds were used to support micro-entrepreneurs and social institutions which had been affected by the flood. Another 200,000 euros followed. This money supported culture and education as well as clean-up and reconstruction. In total, almost 330,000 euros went to flood relief in 2021.

Financial focus on Germany

More than sixty per cent of the expenditure of human aktiv in the reporting year (2021) went to humanitarian aid at home. The main reason for this was the flood disaster in the Ahr valley. For many people, disasters on their own doorstep have a greater impact and their willingness to respond and donate is high. Almost one million euros was received in donations and allocated for a specific purpose by the donors.

Focus on helping the unhoused

People who do not have their own place to live or people who are homeless were particularly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. Due to hygiene regulations and contact restrictions, many facilities and shelters were closed and people experiencing homelessness no longer had a place to go to. Exacerbating the problem was the fact that many volunteers withdrew into their own homes.

This prompted human aktiv to help those who are unhoused with its annual funding focus. “Existing offers are to be promoted and expanded, new offers are to be developed,” the aid organisation wrote at the beginning of the year on its website.

The annual budget for the funding priority was initially 100,000 euros. However, since human aktiv received a large number of applications requesting support, this was increased. In the end, around 140,000 euros went to support the unhoused in 2021.

Effective help

The funds were used to support numerous organisations, especially in the south of Germany. In Nuremberg, for example, money went towards installing a lock system in a flat shared by former prisoners. The Catholic Men’s Welfare Association Munich supports unhoused children in hotels, among other things. Thanks to the donations, the association was able to finance school supplies and digital devices as well as language courses for young unhoused adults. A thrift store in Aschaffenburg in Germany received funds to provide immigrants with clothes, sleeping bags, food, nappies, and more. The funds also made it possible to cover the costs of important medicines.

The annual funding focus in 2021 was successful and was extended to 2022.

Photo: mhp -

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Katrin Löwen
Germany, Aid agencies, Social commitment