bread for the World

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Opening of the first "Bread for the World" campaign
The motto of the 50th campaign: "There is enough for everyone!"

Bread for the World (BfdW) is an aid organization of the Protestant regional churches and free churches in Germany. The foundation provides help for self-help for the work of church, church-related and secular partner organizations. The organization supports more than 1300 projects in Africa , Asia , Latin America and Eastern Europe . Its work focuses on food security, the promotion of education and health , the strengthening of democracy , respect for human rights , equality between men and women and the protection of creation .

The work justifies its work with the Christian faith and sees itself as part of worldwide Christianity. In addition to providing financial support for global projects, it also supports its partner organizations by sending development workers and volunteers and by awarding scholarships . There is a division of labor between mission and development organizations. In Germany and Europe, too, Bread for the World tries to influence political decisions in the interests of the poor through lobbying , public relations and educational work and to create awareness of the need for a sustainable way of life and economy. For the work Bread for the World also includes the DKH , the humanitarian emergency aid in acute crises guaranteed.


On December 12, 1959, the Protestant churches opened the first Bread for the World campaign in Berlin's Deutschlandhalle in front of 12,000 visitors . The reason for this first fundraising drive was a famine in India that affected around 12 million people. The reason given was the generous help from abroad for the reconstruction after the Second World War . Initially, only a one-time campaign was planned. The first collection brought in 19 million marks in the west and five million marks in the east. During this first Bread for the World campaign, collecting cans were used on which the famous “Hunger Hand” by the Berlin artist Rudi H. Wagner can be seen.

In the first year of action, 1959/60, 15 project applications from more than ten countries on three continents were proposed for approval. The focus of the work at that time was in India, where three projects on child feeding and agricultural development were funded. Due to its great success, the campaign was repeated in Advent 1960 and finally became a permanent institution under the umbrella of the Diakonisches Werk.

Also in 1960, an "overseas register" was set up in the Protestant student communities , which informed interested young academics about important tasks overseas. This resulted in the establishment of the “Working Group for Overseas Services of Protestant Churches in Germany” on November 10, 1960. In 1961 the first five skilled workers were placed overseas. By 1962 there were 45, with the focus on health and craft professions and technical personnel.

In 1962 the Evangelical Church founded the Evangelical Central Agency for Development Aid. In doing so, like the Roman Catholic Church and the Catholic Central Agency for Development Aid, it responded to the offer of the federal government to provide the churches with public funds to support their partners' development projects.

In 1968, at the Synod of the Evangelical Church in Germany , the theologian Helmut Gollwitzer called on the Church to stand up for the interests of the poor vis-à-vis the powerful in politics and business. The synod recommended that the regional churches provide at least two percent of the income from church taxes for combating poverty in the world. Many Protestant regional and free churches took part and then founded the Church Development Service as a joint work.

In 1970 the "Working Group on Church Development Service" was founded. In this association, the Bread for the World of the Diakonisches Werk worked together with the Evangelical Central Agency for Development Aid, with “Services in Overseas”, with the Evangelical Working Group for World Mission as the predecessor of the Evangelical Mission in Germany and the Church Development Service of the Evangelical Church in Germany . This assignment was also made against the background of the assessment that the work of the mission agencies, due to their interdependence in colonial dependencies, their concentration on a few partner churches and their primary orientation towards faith-inspiring proclamation, required an institutional supplement.

In 1986 the EKD Synod in Bad Salzuflen confirmed the option for the poor , embedded in the ecumenical solidarity of the churches, as a fundamental target perspective for the church's development service. She advocated strengthening education and information work on development issues at home and continuing the dialogue with the government, parties and associations. In 1995 and 1996 the EKD Synods again dealt with the prospects for church development cooperation. In order to use the available funds effectively, the evangelical development organizations were asked to work out proposals for a structural reform.

In 2000, the EKD's plan to pool its strengths in development cooperation began to bear fruit. The Evangelical Development Service emerged from the merger of the Evangelical Central Agency for Development Aid, the Church Development Service, Overseas Services and the Ecumenical Missionary World Service of the EMW . In 2003 the Ecumenical Scholarship Association joined him .

In October 2011, Bread for the World Austria was introduced as a development policy action by the Evangelical Church in Austria .

In 2012 the Evangelical Development Service and the Diaconal Work of the EKD merged with Bread for the World and together they formed the Evangelical Work for Diakonia and Development (EWDE). International development work and national social work should be brought closer together in this way. One of the two sub-works of the Evangelical Work for Diakonie and Development is Bread for the World, which also includes Diakonie Katastrophenhilfe for immediate emergency aid. In October 2012, the plant started work at the Berlin location.

Main focus of work and goals

Funding of projects and programs in the south

The focus of the work is the promotion of projects and programs in the countries of the south. Of this, around 93 million euros in 2017 were accounted for by 237 projects in Africa, 36 million euros for 98 projects in South America and the Caribbean, 78 million euros for 204 projects in Asia and 3 million euros for 15 projects in Europe. Close and continuous cooperation with local partner organizations is intended to ensure that help for self-help is adapted to the local social, cultural and economic conditions. With the state funds entrusted to them, they are often bound by specific guidelines from their state donors and are not allowed to promote any components that support the preaching of the word. If you use donations, you are free in the purpose and partners. In order to give women and men the opportunity to participate equally in shaping their society, all projects pay attention to the gender ratio.

The projects and programs pursue the following objectives in particular:

  • Secure nutrition
  • Promote education and health
  • Overcoming violence, promoting democracy
  • Fight HIV / AIDS

Campaigning and lobbying

On the basis of its experiences from the dialogue with partner organizations, Bread for the World draws the attention of the public and politics to grievances, suggests changes and urges them to be implemented.

Bread for the World , along with other organizations, is the sponsor of the annual demonstration at the beginning of January under the motto We're sick of it! in Berlin.

As part of the ecumenical campaign “Share with one another - act together”, Bread for the World and the Catholic aid organization Misereor present a concrete project every month.

public relation

A central component of public relations work is the education of the population about the causes and backgrounds of hunger, poverty and violence in the countries of the south as well as the acquisition of donations. The organization relies on a network of committed people, groups, parishes and schools.

Promotion of subject-specific dialogue

The organization supports an equal specialist dialogue between North and South about all aspects of sustainable development.

Churches help churches

“Churches Help Churches” was launched in the mid-1950s. According to their own statements, the program was the response of the Protestant churches in Germany to the numerous help they had received from partner churches abroad in the post-war period. According to Bread for the World / Churches Help Churches, the following goals are involved. "There are still churches around the world that are dependent on interchurch help. They have to face new challenges, want to expand their field of activity or need help to bridge sudden times of crisis." Churches help churches "supports pastoral programs as well as diaconal activities . " Bread for the World supported the project with around 2 million euros (2017).


The most important sources of income in 2017 were government funds (150.6 million euros, 52.2%), donations and collections (61.8 million euros, 21.9%) and funds from the church development service (54.7 million euros). Euros, 19.4%). In addition, there are discounts, fines, third-party funds and interest income (6.4% in total). Due to the cooperation with project partners, the donation system is "complex" Bread for the World also receives money from church taxes . The donations in the last few years have ranged between approx. 50–60 million euros.

Most of the funds (82.2%) flowed directly into the projects in 2017. Further funds are used for project support (5.5%), campaigns, education and awareness-raising work (3.2%) as well as advertising and general public relations (2.7%) and administration (6.1%).

Memberships, cooperations

The organization is a partner in GEPA - The Fair Trade Company . She is also a member of:

It cooperates with the Federation for Environment and Nature Conservation Germany (BUND) for the study Sustainable Germany in a globalized world. An impetus for social debate (2008). In addition, Bread for the World was involved in the adoption of the Maastricht Principles as part of the ETO Consortium for extraterritorial state obligations in 2011 and is committed to obliging states to respect, protect and guarantee human rights beyond their own national borders.


The organization provides regular information about its work, including the following publications:

  • Project magazine
  • Annual report
  • Promotional brochure
  • Email newsletter

For the work of the parishes, it publishes services and sermons on Thanksgiving, Advent and Christmas, suggestions for confirmation work and the children's church.



The Bread for the World campaign “Hunger through Abundance?”, At the center of which was the strategy of export-oriented agricultural policy in many “Third World” countries and thus the prevailing development policy paradigm of world market orientation, met with a broad spectrum in the 1980s Criticism. Bread for the World was accused of arguing with one-sided economic theories, of not being ready for dialogue and of stirring up hatred against Western companies and farmers. The criticism of the export orientation is shared by development activists to this day. Bread for the World continues to criticize the production methods of the agricultural industry, for example during the demonstrations We're sick of it! , and thus provokes contradiction.

Middle East conflict

Bread for the World has been active in the Middle East for a long time. “In hardly any other region is 'Bread for the World' longer and more continuously present than in the Middle East (...) The debate about how political 'Bread for the World' should be has accompanied the work of the aid organization from the start. Interfering in the conflict is criticized: “There has been repeated criticism from various quarters that German aid agencies in particular support organizations in Israel that take part in activities hostile to Israel. The accusation: Aid organizations like 'Bread for the World' torpedoed the Israeli-Palestinian dialogue with this funding . "The funding amounts are high, because" According to information from the Israeli register for nonprofit organizations, 71% of German support comes from Israeli NGOs, which were active in the Arab-Israeli conflict from 2012 to 2015 , from BfW / EED and Misereor . ”In addition, there is criticism that BfdW is not only committed to fighting hunger, said Bread for the World“ in 2014, two projects in Israel with 501,000 euros and twelve initiatives in the Palestinian territories with a total of 3.5 million euros - none of which are concerned with fighting hunger. "" According to the Israeli institute NGO Monitor , it is just Bread for the World and Misereor, which are "important sources of money for inflammatory anti-Israeli activities," as its director Gerald Steinberg says. "We support projects of civil society organizations," said Bread for the World of this newspaper, "which are primarily committed to democracy, human rights and compliance with international law, peaceful conflict management and the promotion of gender equality and future opportunities for young people." "There was an Arte Documentation Chosen and Excluded - The hatred of Jews in Europe , which also mentions Bread for the World and places it in an anti-Semitic context. The documentation has some errors. “What is shown is an unspeakable anti-Semitic statement by an employee of an organization supported by Bread for the World; What is suppressed is the representation of the aid organization that the man was released in 2014 precisely because of this. "

Partner organizations

Some partner organizations, such as the Church of South India, the second largest church in India, which is active as a project partner of Bread for the World and other church NGOs in India, are criticized. The case is also discussed in the church context: "In the case of the Church of South India (CSI), a system of corruption and nepotism that has developed over decades has given rise to unbearable grievances". Against the Church of South India run u. a. Investigations into the illegal use of church funds for the sale of real estate as well as the diversion of funds. The local bishop was arrested in January 2019 on charges of misusing church funds of several million euros (hundreds of crore ). There are also allegations of abuse in the church. The allegations led to an investigation by the local human rights commission.


In the 1980s, the bread-for-the-world game was created in the GDR . The parlor game for two to four people was conceived and produced in the United Methodist Church . It promoted the goals and support of the German church aid organization “Bread for the World”. One copy of the game belongs to the holdings of the Leipzig Contemporary History Forum .

The Himmlischen Kickern (Heavenly Kickers), a church football team in what was then the North Elbian Church , had existed since 1986 , which raised donations for Bread for the World for 27 years through benefit events and charity tournaments . The players' clothing took up the corporate design and had the words “Bread for the World” on the orange jerseys. In total, the church eleven earned over 120,000 euros in more than 250 games. The last game took place in May 2013.

Web links

Commons : Bread for the World  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Foundation statutes | Bread for the World. Retrieved June 25, 2018 .
  2. “Bread for the World”: We do not do missionary work. idea, November 27, 2018, accessed June 22, 2019 .
  3. Picture gallery: 60 Years of Bread for the World , accessed on July 14, 2019.
  4. "Bread for the World" opens fundraising campaign | DOMRADIO.DE. Retrieved June 28, 2018 .
  5. a b c On fellowship in mission and development . In: EKD (Ed.): EKD-Text . To be the church in a globalized world. No. 125 , 2015, ISBN 978-3-87843-040-7 .
  6. Evangelical work for diakonia and development . ( [accessed June 25, 2018]).
  7. a b c Martina Hahn, Anne Dreyer, Martina Hahn, Christina Margenfeld, Mirjam Dubbert and Nina Batschke: Annual Report 2017. Bread for the World Evangelisches Werk für Diakonie und Entwicklung e. V., July 2018, accessed June 21, 2019 .
  8. The sponsors of the demo “We're fed up with it!” ( Memento from July 8, 2016 in the Internet Archive ). Accessed on December 5, 2013
  9. Bread for the World: The program "Churches Help Churches". Evangelisches Werk für Diakonie und Entwicklung eV, Bread for the World, Churches Help Churches, accessed on June 20, 2019 .
  10. Bread for the World - About Us. Bread for the World, accessed June 21, 2019 .
  11. ^ Judith Randel, Tony German: Stakeholders: Government-NGO Partnerships for International Development . Ed .: Ian Smillie, Henny Helmich ,. Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, 2003, ISBN 978-1-85383-589-6 , Germany, pp. 334 (English, The funding relations between the protestant groups are complex. EZE is receiving government funds and church tax. Brot für die Welt receives part of Church tax and voluntary contributions.).
  12. ^ Elke Schäfer: Evangelical aid organizations in Germany. fowid - Research Group for Weltanschauungen in Germany, May 10, 2017, accessed on June 22, 2019 .
  13. About us . ( [accessed June 25, 2018]).
  14. ^ Members of the Alliance
  15. ^ Right to Food and Nutrition Watch . ( [accessed June 25, 2018]).
  16. ^ Jörg Ernst: The development policy public relations work of the Protestant churches in Germany and Switzerland . Lit Verlag Münster, 1999, ISBN 3-8258-4572-9 , p. 328 .
  17. Cornelia Füllkrug-Weitzel: Reformation, Dignity and Development - Reformation Essentials and the Contribution of the Churches to Development Policy Discourse . In: Klein A., Zimmermann O. (Ed.): Impulse of the Reformation . Civil society and democracy. Springer VS, Wiesbaden, p. 273-284 ( ).
  18. Hildegard Rapin: Development Policy and Development Education . In: Writings on regional and traffic problems in industrialized and developing countries . tape 44 . Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 1987, ISBN 3-428-06333-3 .
  19. Konstanze Evangelia Kemnitzer: "The distant neighbor" Studies on the self-image of the "Bread for the World" campaign 1959–2000. In: Inaugural dissertation to obtain the doctoral degree in theology. Augustana University Neuendettelsau (Theological University of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Bavaria), 2007, accessed on June 11, 2018 .
  20. Jost Maurin: Agricultural exports from Germany: Hunger made in Germany . In: The daily newspaper: taz . August 7, 2015, ISSN  0931-9085 ( [accessed June 14, 2018]).
  21. We're sick of it! ( [accessed June 14, 2018]).
  22. ?? Dialogue instead of protest ?? We'll fill you up 3.0 ??. Accessed June 14, 2018 (German).
  23. 50 years of struggle against misery . In: Der Tagesspiegel Online . November 28, 2008, ISSN  1865-2263 ( [accessed June 14, 2018]).
  24. ↑ Accusation of anti-Semitism - Controversial German NGO engagement in Israel . In: Deutschlandfunk . ( [accessed June 14, 2018]).
  25. ^ German organizations with influence on civil society in the Arab-Israeli conflict . In: ngomonitor . ( [accessed June 14, 2018]).
  26. Central Council of Jews in Germany Kdö.R .: Church aid organizations: The poorest of the poor? | Jewish general. Retrieved June 14, 2018 .
  27. ^ Frankfurter Rundschau: Anti-Semitism documentary on ARD: The hatred of Jews in Europe . In: Frankfurter Rundschau . ( [accessed on June 14, 2018]).
  28. Robert Franz: 31:03 min. - Allegations against Bread for the World and B'Tselem . June 21, 2017 ( [accessed June 14, 2018]).
  29. Despite technical errors: ARD shows controversial documentary . In: . June 21, 2017, ISSN  0174-4917 ( [accessed June 14, 2018]).
  30. ^ Church of South India . In: Wikipedia . June 13, 2019 ( [accessed June 20, 2019]).
  31. ^ Church of South India - Partners. CSI Synod, accessed June 20, 2019 .
  32. Courage for transparency II Combating corruption in development cooperation between churches and non-governmental organizations. Forum 6: Opportunities for support from the north for transparent structures in the southern churches. In: Bad Boller scripts 2012-1. Sonja Grolig, Dieter Heidtmann / Evangelische Akademie Bad Boll, 2012, p. 80 , accessed on June 20, 2019 .
  33. Misuse of church funds: CID inspects CSI office. The new indian express, December 19, 2018, accessed June 20, 2019 .
  34. ^ Subramani: Church Of South India Caught In A Web Of Irregularities. Swarajya, January 9, 2019, accessed June 20, 2019 .
  35. ^ Church of South India Trust Association still under the SFIO investigations lens. Goa Chronicle, June 18, 2019, accessed June 20, 2019 .
  36. Theja Ram: Church of southindia harrassment. The news minute, February 2, 2019, accessed June 20, 2019 .
  37. Aditi Gyanesh | TNN | Updated: Aug 15, 2018, 3:33 PM Is: Bengaluru: CSI nursing students accuse principal of harassment | Bengaluru News - Times of India. Retrieved June 20, 2019 .
  38. ^ Reshma Ravishanker: State human rights panel visits CSI. Deccan Herald, August 24, 2018, accessed June 20, 2019 .
  39. ^ Editor according to the game instructions: Material center of the children's work of the Evangelical Methodist Church, GDR-9230 Brand-Erbisdorf
  40. Bread-for-the-World-Game - Encyclopedia Marjorie-Wiki. Retrieved June 25, 2018 .
  41. epd report from May 2, 2013: Final whistle for the heavenly kickers. Accessed on July 23, 2019