ASB’s Foreign Aid celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2021, providing aid and assistance to people in need in more than 32 countries.
Overcoming challenges and breaking new ground are the two messages conveyed by Knut Fleckenstein, Federal Chairman of the ASB and by Dr. Uwe Martin Fichtmüller Member of the Executive Board in the ASB Annual Report of 2021.
Overcoming the most difficult challenges
The devastating floods in July and the ongoing coronavirus pandemic were the biggest challenges last year. Thanks to the heroic efforts of more than 2,000 ASB emergency responders, many lives were saved and even more suffe-ring was prevented for people in flood-affected areas. There are still Samaritans on the ground helping to rebuild, giving people new hope. Thanks to an unprecedented level of donations, the ASB has been able to launch numerous aid projects, from the construction of community housing to legal counselling. As long as people need us, we will be there for them on-site. My special thanks and respect go to all the tireless helpers.
Two years into the pandemic, the Samaritans have continued to put in full effort to contain the spread of the virus. In 200 vaccination and testing centres throughout Germany, they made an enormous effort to protect the population. The vaccination campaigns together with mobile vaccination teams and extensive prevention measures had a significant im-pact.
ASB’s Foreign Aid celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2021, providing aid and assistance to people in need in more than 32 countries. Together with our partner associations, we mastered even the most difficult challenges such as climate disasters, famines or the global coronavirus pandemic.
The events of the past year have shown that we need to prepare even better for crises, disasters and pandemics. Our most important task is therefore to further expand our civil protection capacities and recruit even more vo-lunteers.
The ASB participated in the political debate before the federal election with clear positions and made its con-tribution above all on the topics of civil protection and care. We played the role of both a critical voice and com-petent advisor. We were also able to successfully partici-pate in strong partnerships such as the Climate Alliance, the Pro Pflege initiative for better care as well as initiati-ves against child poverty.
With the implementation of the Potsdam Dialogue, the ASB is breaking new ground to make the association fit for the future. We are a strong community. With over 1.4 million members, the ASB is one of the largest aid and welfare organisations in Germany. Samaritans, both full-time and volunteer, show commitment all over the country and are always taking on new challenges. You all have my deepest gratitude for your perseverance, strength, and confidence.
Knut Fleckenstein ASB Federal ChairmanASB ANNUAL REPORT 2021
Breaking new ground
Our recipe for success for over 130 years has been peo-ple coming together who are committed to life, humanity, and help. Today, we call this social responsibility, which means actively helping our fellow human beings.
Even at its founding, the ASB was ahead of its time, when the Workers’ Samaritans first brought self-pro-tection and first aid to the factories of the 19th century. But being a modern association means more these days. We have always seen ourselves as a modern, dynamic organisation, which is why we continue to position our-selves on the pressing issues of the day.
Last year, the ASB was able to set the course for its future work in the areas of sustainability, diversity, digitalisation, compliance, fundraising, and marketing. The start of the Potsdam dialogue process marked a new chapter for the ASB. In order to make our associa-tion fit for the future, we have set sail together with our branches.
Small steps often have a big impact. For example, the topic of sustainability has become part of the everyday work in the ASB’s national headquarters. Not only is green electricity used there, but waste avoidance, waste separation, environmentally friendly work materials and sus-tainable catering are now part of everyday office life. After all, more environmental protection is also a social issue!
Our political work over the past year is coming to fruition. Two of our key demands were met in the coalition agree-ment between the SPD, the Greens, and the FDP: a uniform nationwide work exemption for volunteers in civil protec-tion and the recognition that rescue services constitute medical care in accordance with the German Social Code (SGB) Book V. There were also important milestones in the area of child and youth welfare. All of this helps us to help others.
As far as care is concerned, the German government also has good ideas, although the fundamental care reform we have called for is still not being addressed. For us, outpatient care and care provided by relatives are key, so that peo-ple can be cared for at home for as long as possible. The ASB’s pilot project Care Advisors plays a decisive role in strengthening family care. Our experts are available free of charge to provide advice and practical help in making care socially just and future-proof – in typical Samaritan fashion. In the coming years, we will continue to expand this pilot project, which we initiated in 2021.
Dr. Uwe Martin Fichtmüller Member of the Executive BoardASB ANNUAL REPORT 2021