Specialised Charity Organisations
The following specialised Catholic charity organisations (Fachverbände) were founded at the end of the 19th century by people striving to act in the spirit of social solidarity.
These organisations focus on preventive, outreach and follow-up social work as well as residential care services. They specialise in helping certain groups of people, focus on particular areas and provide a broad spectrum of qualified assistance and support. The combination of paid staff and unpaid volunteers forms the special basis of these organisations.
CKD – Caritas Conferences
CKD was founded in 1840 as the St. Elizabeth Association. CKD is a national network of roughly 80,000 Caritas volunteers who help people in need in parishes, centres, homes and projects.
IN VIA – Association of Social Work for Girls and Women
IN VIA is part of the International Catholic Society for Girls which engages in social policy and focuses on providing girls and young women with effective help for achieving fairer living conditions.
The Kreuzbund Society Incorporated is the Catholic self-help and help community for addicts, ex-addicts and their relatives in Germany. It is the largest German self-help organisation for addicts. Kreuzbund currently has 1,600 self-help groups in Germany and consists of roughly 15,000 members. Another approximately 15,000 people come to the group meetings every week. The association provides preventive and follow-up care for addicts, people with substance abuse problems, alcoholics and their relatives. The aim of the self-help groups is for individuals to achieve a stable recovery, personal growth and well-being. Objectives are the rehabilitation and reintegration of sufferers from addiction into family, work and society. Kreuzbund contributes significantly to maintaining an abstinent lifestyle by offering useful leisure time activities without alcohol.
Malteser Hilfsdienst – Order of Malta
35,000 volunteers and 3,000 paid employees work for Malteser Hilfsdienst, the German branch of the Order of Malta. Together
with its 850,000 patrons, this makes Malteser Hilfsdienst one of the largest welfare organisations in Germany.
Malteser workers provide emergency and medical services, first aid training and social care on a volunteer basis. Its International Department supports partners all over the world and sends experts to disaster areas. Malteser Hilfsdienst runs hospices for people with terminal illnesses and their families. Malteser Jugend, its youth services organisation, offers 9,000 young people the opportunity to play games, participate in sports or do charitable work.
Raphaels-Werk – Helping People on the Move
Raphaels-Werk provides counselling services to people who want to move abroad temporarily or indefinitely: Emigrants, people working abroad, refugees who want to continue to a third country or return to their home countries voluntarily, and multinational couples. Germans living abroad who would like to return to Germany may also receive assistance in one of Raphaels-Werk’s 23 advice centres.
SkF – Catholic Women's Welfare Service
The Sozialdienst katholischer Frauen (Catholic Women's Welfare Service) is a professional women's association in the Catholic Church providing help to children, young people, women and their families in particularly difficult circumstances. Above all, the SkF is involved in supporting women on the fringes of society who suffer from discrimination and the feeling of being excluded.
SKM – Catholic Association for Social Services in Germany
SKM, the Catholic Association for Social Services in Germany, is a league of action groups and associations who strive to fulfil the Christian mission of shaping the world and the Church by establishing professional counselling and support services for people in uncertain and critical situations. They provide assistance and legal advice to youths, families, homeless people, offenders, people in debt and people living in troubled areas.
VKD – League of St. Vincence Associations in Germany
VKD is a charity organisation which primarily takes care of older people and people who are lonely, offering them professional counselling and help. VKD was founded in 1845 as an association of volunteer laypeople.