Young people make a difference

The New Apostolic Church maintains twelve aid organisations around the world. A thirteenth project is now celebrating a birthday and has decided to adopt a new name.

New Apostolic aid organisations give millions to provide much needed aid to people around the world—often collaborating with local partners and organisations. They provide disaster relief, establish welfare programmes and back them financially, help people to help themselves, and finance training programmes. There are many ways to help people in distress. Young people from North Rhine-Westphalia in Germany are doing their share in helping where they can. Their aid project is already celebrating its fifteenth anniversary this year.

Half a million euros in donations

Since 2002 the young people have been raising money year in, year out with various activities. For the most part, the proceeds are used to assist young people abroad, especially in regions cared for by the District Church. In the first year the amount raised was 200,000 euros. The money was used to support young people in Armenia and Georgia.

In addition to numerous fundraising activities in the various church districts, the youth symphony orchestra and the youth concert choir of the New Apostolic Church North Rhine-Westphalia have also contributed to the initiative. Both give benefit concerts and donate the proceeds to “Jugend bewegt” (“Young people make a difference”). This year 28,000 euros were raised; and 23,000 euros, 21,700 euros, 33,000 euros, and 24,000 euros in the previous years. More than half a million euros have thus been raised over the last few years, and have been passed on through the youth initiative.

A kindergarten, music lessons, and professional training

The list of projects is long and varied: encouraging musical education in Angola by creating an orchestra and purchasing 39 instruments; funding music lessons in the central church in Luanda (for three teachers and one hundred participants); financial assistance for a kindergarten in Kosovo (supervision of sixty children, acquisition of a van); funding of an addition for the New Apostolic School in Matala (Angola); and professional training courses (nursing, etc.).

Only recently two projects were completed, the New Apostolic Church North Rhine-Westphalia reports on its website: a recreation centre for the youth in São Tomé and financial assistance for Peace Village International in Oberhausen.

Recreation centre in São Tomé

Fundação Acção Nova Apostólica de caridade, a religious foundation in São Tomé and Príncipe, has been operating a farm in the north of the island of São Tomé for several years. There is a very large open space on the property, which will in future be used for youth gatherings. The membership of the New Apostolic Church in São Tomé and Príncipe is nearly 20,000. More than half are younger than the age of 25. “Jugend bewegt” helped fund the recreation centre by contributing 20,000 euros in 2017.

Peace Village International in Oberhausen

“Peace Village International is an organisation that has committed itself to helping children in war-torn regions. It organises medical care either directly in the country or brings them to Germany for treatment. Peace Village works with 170 hospitals in Germany, which provide free places for treatment. Following their treatment, the children have the opportunity to go back to the village and recover from their ordeal there. There they are cared for by doctors, who work on a voluntary basis,” the New Apostolic Church North Rhine-Westphalia says, which runs the aid project for the young people. “Once the children have recovered they return home to their families, where doctors continue to monitor them. In addition, the families receive support as well, such as clothing or food. The youth initiative sponsored Peace Village International with 10,000 euros in 2017.”

The next big project: IYC 2019

Young people from all over the world have been invited to the International Youth Convention (IYC) 2019 in Düsseldorf (Germany). Many of them will not be able to pay for such a trip by themselves. That is why “Jugend bewegt” would like to make a financial contribution and help some of them. This applies especially to young people who live in European countries outside of Germany that are cared for by the District Church North Rhine-Westphalia. A total of 30,000 euros has been set aside for the project “Travel funds for the IYC 2019”.

On the occasion of its fifteenth birthday, the youth initiative changed its name. It is no longer called “Jugend hilft Jugend” (“Youth helps youth”) but “Jugend bewegt” (“Young people make a difference”)—and this is exactly what young people do. They drive things forward and make a difference.

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