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Haitian kids playing in front of a children's center. (Source: Jakob Studnar)

Our humanitarian assistance

Earthquakes, hurricanes, floods, droughts and armed conflicts can rapidly destroy what it has taken generations to build. People on site need rapid and effective support. But providing emergency relief is only the first step in our humanitarian assistance. We also pave the way for people to overcome their plight over the long term. This allows them to prevent new crises.

The top priority of our humanitarian assistance is to rescue and protect children and safeguard children's rights because society's youngest members are especially vulnerable to disasters. To ensure that help is provided as efficiently as possible, we involve people on the ground in the planning and implementation of all activities, and we work within a network of experienced partners.

Emergency assistance and child-friendly spaces

Three boys in Pakistan. (Source: Hasnain Kazim)

Our emergency assistance focuses on the needs of children.

Emergency assistance is provided as quickly as possible after a disaster. Victims need food, clothing and everything else that is essential to survival. We pay special attention here to the unique needs of children and do whatever it takes to ensure that the aid gets through to youngsters.

Nutrition is one area of focus. Children who are already malnourished require high-energy foods to survive such emergency situations without causing long-term damage to their health. Special foods for infants are made available and mothers are helped to nurse their babies. What's more, special steps must be taken to shield children from violence and disease amidst the turmoil and squalor of emergency shelters.

To give children the best possible assistance during and after disasters, we establish child-friendly spaces, which are essentially special areas – often within emergency shelters – where children receive protection, food, lessons, opportunities to play, and medical and psychological care. The goal here is to provide the children with a structured daily routine and create a foundation of trust that allows them to feel safe in an unsafe situation.

  • Restoring livelihoods

    In the wake of disasters, we help restore livelihoods, principally in the areas of income-generating activities and educational structures. The sooner children have an opportunity to return to school, the sooner they have a chance to lead a normal life again and prepare for a better future. All of our activities are planned and organised in close cooperation with the relevant government agencies in the target countries, and with the involvement of the people directly concerned.

  • Prevention and sustainability

    Already during the initial crisis management stage, we take the necessary steps for subsequent long-term development projects. People on the ground need to become self-sufficient again as quickly as possible to avoid a long period of dependence on external aid. For instance, we help them safeguard their means of subsistence. We also promote the establishment of institutions for health and education, provided the people and their government can sustain these independently over the long run. Promoting such development is also an integral part of our disaster risk reduction. After all, earthquakes, crop failures and other calamities have particularly serious consequences for people whose poverty and lack of opportunities for participation have left them weak and unprotected.

  • Partnership and professionalism

    When disaster strikes, Kindernothilfe works with experienced local partner organisations for the same reasons that we collaborate with them in non-crisis situations. They are intimately familiar with the culture, the people and the special needs and problems of the population. Furthermore, local partner organisations remain on the ground over the long term, even after a crisis no longer attracts international attention, and their proximity to people in the disaster zone engenders trust.

    Closely cooperating with other aid organisations is also important for the success of humanitarian aid, which is why we join forces with others, for instance, in the Alliance Development Works (BEH). Additional members include Bread for the World, Christoffel-Blindenmission, medico international, Misereor, terre des hommes and Welthungerhilfe.

    All organisations in the alliance base their work on internationally recognised recommended courses of actions for humanitarian aid, the most important of which is the Code of Conduct, which was established by the International Red Cross and the International Red Crescent in collaboration with leading international NGOs in 1994.

How our child-friendly spaces work

How our child-friendly spaces work

Child-friendly spaces constitute the key tool for our humanitarian assistance: Oases amid the chaos where children receive protection, food, lessons and medical as well as psychological care.

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Our objective: Realising child rights

Our objective: Realising child rights

Any interventions aimed at a long-term positive impact on children's lives must contribute to realising and safeguarding their rights. This is the focus of our work, both in Germany and abroad.

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Our Project Partners

Our Project Partners

We implement our projects exclusively via local project partners, because we strongly believe in their local expertise and ability to reach out to most vulnerable and marginalized target groups.

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