Our guiding principle


Schulkinder im Irak

Focus on Empowerment

Empowerment is the basic principle of Help's work. Since our foundation, we have followed this simple but effective concept: enabling people to improve their lives through their own efforts. 

We are convinced that this is the only way to achieve sustainable development. That is why we have “Hilfe zur Selbsthilfe” – the German term – in our name.

What is Empowerment?

When disaster strikes, rapid aid is vital for survival. But to achieve long-term development success, support must go further. That is why empowerment a basic principle and an integral part of Help's work.

For us, this means enabling people to take their lives into their own hands. We support them in their own efforts and encourage them to become active themselves and take responsibility.

Overcoming poverty through one's own efforts

A sewing machine, seeds, a school book -– it often doesn't take much for a family to break the vicious circle of poverty. Help provides people in emergency situations with everything they need to build a self-determined life.

The most important resource, however, is knowledge: To ensure the sustainable success of our projects, we always combine empowerment with training, education and information campaigns. For example, people learn everything they need to know about sustainable agriculture, are trained in the maintenance of wells and pumps or learn how to save their hard-earned money for the future.

For us, empowerment also means treating others with respect and as equals. For us, the people we work with are partners for sustainable change in line with our vision. For this reason, we involve the beneficiaries in the processes of our global projects, take their concerns and advice seriously and rely on cooperation with local partner organizations.

Effectiveness of Empowerment

Moses Makombe auf seinem Feld

Moses Makombe lives with his wife and six children in a small hut in Zimbabwe. For a long time, the family's life was characterized by poverty and hunger. They were dependent on food donations for many weeks of the year.

Empowerment changed everything: Mr. Makombe received seeds from Help to grow vegetables and was trained in sustainable agriculture. The family was finally able to escape poverty and start a self-determined life.

Today, Moses Makombe passes on his valuable knowledge to other farmers. In this way, more and more families are able to increase their harvest and escape poverty. 

We can provide for ourselves and we are proud of that. I can even sell part of the harvest and pay the school fees for my children. This teaches them what it means to build a future through their own efforts.

Moses Makombe

Hilfe, die weiter wächst. Help – Hilfe zur Selbsthilfe
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Support people in building a self-determined life.

How we empower people in need

Empowerment has many forms and faces, just like Help's project work. You can find an overview of our areas of activity here:

Help provides effective emergency aid in the greatest need. We support people with vital relief supplies such as food, water, clothing and medicine. In this way, we ensure the survival of those affected and create the basis for sustainable development success.

Hunger and malnutrition threaten the survival of millions of people worldwide. The situation is getting worse as a result of climate change. Help supports families in the fight against hunger: with adapted seeds, sustainable water supplies and training in resource-conserving agriculture, we give farmers the chance to stand their ground against the consequences of climate change and secure their food and income in the long term.

More than 760 million people worldwide live in extreme poverty. Without any prospects, many have no choice but to turn their backs on their homeland and find a foothold elsewhere. Help supports people in freeing themselves from poverty through their own efforts: With start-up aid for small businesses and vocational training, we help young people in particular to earn a living.

Education is the key to a self-determined future. However, many children and young people can only dream of attending school or getting an education. To make this dream a reality, Help builds and renovates schools, creates training places and equips children from particularly needy families with learning materials.

After disasters such as earthquakes or floods, Help actively involves those affected in the reconstruction process. We provide tools, building materials and expertise so that people can repair their homes themselves. We also combine reconstruction with preventive measures such as earthquake-proof construction methods, which we always pass on to the local population.