Help - help for self-help

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Help - help for self-help
legal form registered association
founding July 15, 1981 in Frankfurt am Main
Seat Bonn ( coordinates: 50 ° 43 ′ 21.4 ″  N , 7 ° 5 ′ 50.4 ″  E )
purpose humanitarian aid , development cooperation , disaster relief
Chair Rudolf Bindig
Managing directors Karin Settele
sales 27,697,381 euros (2018)
Employees 37 (2018)
Members 26 (2018)

Help - Help for self-help is a non-governmental humanitarian aid organization based in Bonn. She has been committed to helping people in need around the world since 1981. The focus of the work is on helping people to help themselves . Help is also involved in emergency and disaster relief and is regularly deployed in the event of earthquakes, tsunamis and hurricanes.

It is not to be confused with other organizations with a similar name (HELP - Human Environment Life Protection, Helpalliance, HelpAge or "Help for self-help").


Help was founded in July 1981 by members of all parties and personalities from science and the church that were represented in the Bundestag at the time. Even today (as of 2016), the board of directors is made up of representatives of these social groups, including Rudolf Bindig (former member of the Bundestag / SPD) and his representatives Klaus-Jürgen Hedrich (former member of the Bundestag / CDU) and Georg Kippels , Member of the Bundestag / CDU.

The reason for the establishment was the wave of refugees that triggered the Russian invasion of Afghanistan in 1979 . Help worked exclusively for refugees in Pakistan in the first few years.

The association has been involved worldwide since 1990. Initially in Romania, then in Africa, Southeast Europe and various Asian countries. After natural disasters or armed conflicts, Help expanded its offers of assistance to new project countries. The triggers were e.g. B. the wars in Bosnia and Iraq (2003), droughts in Africa, earthquakes and tsunamis in Asia.

The first emergency aid is usually followed by a long-term commitment to rebuilding all areas of life through health and water supply, food and livelihood security, education and training. The aim was and is to strengthen the independence and resilience of affected communities.

In April 2018, an employee of the organization was kidnapped in Niger, apparently by Islamists .

Working principles

Regardless of their origin, religion or worldview, Help supports people who are in need due to disasters, persecution or other reasons. According to the principle of " helping people to help themselves ", Help promotes the efforts of those affected to improve their living conditions on their own. This includes measures to secure livelihoods as well as stimulating economic activities and strengthening civil society forces. That is why Help cooperates with local partner organizations and involves local project participants in the planning and implementation of programs. A special obligation of the humanitarian work for Help is to support refugees all over the world.

Through long-term aid projects, Help enables people in need to take care of themselves. In cooperation with those affected, living conditions are sustainably improved.

In addition to emergency, reconstruction and development aid, the subject areas of Help's work also include water supply , food security and health care, as well as education, income and climate protection .

Aid projects

Help is involved in aid projects in 23 countries. For example:


In 2016, the aid organization concentrated its operations in Syria on emergency aid for those affected by the civil war. Her main focus was on aid to Damascus and Homs counties. Help repaired the drinking water supply in several regions, distributed food and blankets as well as clothing for internally displaced persons and those particularly affected by the war.

Northern Iraq

Since the start of the refugee crisis in August 2014, people have been provided with food, schools rehabilitated, income created for families, and winter aid and rent subsidies for displaced persons.

South Sudan

There has been civil war in this country since 2013, which is why food has become increasingly scarce, but there is also a lack of clean water and sanitary facilities. Help supplies around 117,000 people in the Lakes , State, Western Bahr el Ghazal and Warrap regions with therapeutic food and drugs to combat malnutrition, vitamins and trace elements for children and pregnant women, as well as clean water and sanitary facilities. Help also strengthens self-help with seeds and plows for better harvests in the future.


After the severe hurricane "Matthew" in Haiti, the organization got involved immediately. She provided medical care and delivered aid packages with food and water to the crisis region. Subsequently, the reconstruction of destroyed houses and agricultural self-sufficiency for the residents are planned.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

In 1995, during the war in Yugoslavia, Help started the first emergency aid projects in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Today the aid organization is involved in the areas of livelihood security and income: Help supports people in need in setting up small businesses in order to secure income and create long-term jobs. (This approach is also followed in the other project countries in Southeast Europe.)

Financing and Transparency

DZI donation seal

Help finances projects with donations and public grants. Help is registered as a non-profit association at the Bonn District Court and has been recognized by the Bonn Tax Office as particularly worthy of support. The largest public donors are the Federal Foreign Office , the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the General Directorate for Humanitarian Aid of the European Commission ( ECHO ), the European Commission and the United Nations World Food Program (WFP).

Help publishes an annual report in which all income and expenses are set out, and since its introduction in 1992 has received the DZI donation seal issued by the German Central Institute for Social Issues (DZI). The organization's costs for administration, fundraising and public relations in the lowest category of the DZI are below 10 percent every year: administration, public relations and advertising are always around 5 percent at Help.

In 2020 Help was awarded the donation certificate from the German Donation Council . Help meets all the criteria of high quality standards, including advertising and data protection, and reveals structures, activities and finances. The audit was carried out by independent auditors.

The association is also a signatory of the declaration of commitment by the Transparent Civil Society Initiative . On the initiative of Transparency Deutschland e. V., numerous actors from civil society and academia have defined ten basic points that every civil society organization should make available to the public. In 2008, the club reached more than 75 percent of the points for transparency price of PricewaterhouseCoopers , but failed to reach the final.


The association works together with several partners in order to be able to provide help quickly and effectively. Help - Help for self-help is a member of Aktion Deutschland Hilft , an association of German aid organizations that jointly provide help in the event of disasters and emergency situations abroad.

The association is a full member of VENRO , a voluntary association of around 120 German development and humanitarian non-governmental organizations.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Niger: German development worker kidnapped by gunmen. In: April 12, 2018, accessed April 13, 2018 .
  2. Laura Gaida: Donations for Syria: Six ways, how you can help the local people. In: Focus Online . December 23, 2016, accessed March 1, 2017 .
  3. Interview on Iraq, Mosul Offensive - Help is preparing for new displaced persons. In: June 27, 2016, accessed March 1, 2017 .
  4. Famine in South Sudan - 7 million people in acute danger / Help looks after malnourished children and families. In: October 7, 2016, accessed March 1, 2017 .
  5. Public donors ( archive link ( Memento of the original from October 27, 2012 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link has been inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. ) @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  6. Help - Help for Self-Help eV German Central Institute for Social Issues, accessed on December 29, 2016 .
  7. Donation certificate from the German Donation Council. Help - help for self-help. Retrieved on July 10, 2020 (German).
  8. CARE receives Transparency Award 2008 , press release of November 27, 2008, accessed on July 31, 2011.
  9. For a living culture of transparency in the non-profit sector. (PDF) (No longer available online.) VENRO, archived from the original on December 29, 2016 ; accessed on December 29, 2016 . Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /