Poverty is not always visible

Helping where few bother to look: this is the objective that NAK- Humanitas, the relief organisation of the New Apostolic Church Switzerland, has set itself. Their annual report 2017 shows how successful they are with this.

“NAK-Humanitas has consistently tried to reach out to people who are poor, but whose poverty is ignored by the rest of the world.” This is how the board of trustees formulates it in the foreword. These include people who after having been displaced by wars or catastrophes return to their home countries only to find everything destroyed.

However, “with all these tragedies we run the risk of not seeing what is going on at our very own doorstep: poverty! It is certainly there, but often invisible.” People affected by poverty should be able to take their lives into their own hands. Supporting people in this is one of the focus areas of NAK-Humanitas.

A steady and good performance

The important figure in the annual report is 1.2 million Swiss francs, which is equivalent to almost 1.2 million US dollars. This is how high the current income from unrestricted donations are. And this is how much money the relief organisation spent on its ongoing projects.

Both positions are pretty much at the previous year’s level. The fact that the total income has decreased overall in comparison to 2016 is due to an unusually high bequest that year. Even so, also in 2017 people left NAK-Humanitas money in their wills, namely a total of over 350,000 Swiss francs. Restricted donations have increased by nearly a quarter—most for kindergarten projects.

Administrative expenses actually fell slightly to 77,000 Swiss francs. After expenses, the relief organisation has 400,000 Swiss francs left to set aside. This brings the foundation’s capital to nearly 5.7 million francs.

Helping at their own doorstep

The charity supported a total of 40 social and community projects in 2017 to the tune of 535,000 Swiss francs. The annual report cites the following examples:

  • family weekends of the Swiss Leukodystrophy Association.
  • a homeless care centre on Wall Street in Basle.
  • the recreation programme by the Sunnehügel Association that offers people a temporary home in crisis situations.
  • the holiday property Au Fil du Dubs for the physically handicapped.
  • a hotline run by Pro Juventute, where children can get help either by phone, SMS, chat, or email.
  • mobility aids for the Swiss ALS Society.

Helping around the globe

About 568,000 euros went to 25 projects or institutions in Africa, Asia, Europe, and America—mostly, but not only, in countries where the New Apostolic Church Switzerland is active. This included

  • food aid for the Red Cross,
  • the construction of a clinic in Nepal,
  • supporting a project for young AIDS victims in Mozambique,
  • emergency aid for Rohingya refugees who fled to Bangladesh, and
  • rebuilding a school in the Philippines.

Special attention was paid to the continuation and development of childcare projects which had been initiated by André Kreis, the president of NAK-Humanitas, who died in 2017 after a short and serious illness. He had initiated the opening of a day care centre for 25 to 30 children in Zabrani in Romania in 2013. And in 2016, a day care centre for 35 to 40 children was opened in Razeni in Moldova. A children’s home is now being built next to this day care centre.

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Andreas Rother
Aid agencies, Social commitment