arche noVa celebrates its 25th anniversary

08.08.2017 - 16:38 -
It was exactly 25 years ago: on June 22nd in 1992, six young and dedicated men from Dresden started with a semi-trailer truck full of donated items to a first major relief action. Their goal: people affected by war in Iraqi Kurdistan. They distributed relief supplies and launched a first sustainable project.

Today, we spring into action again where the story of arche noVa began, and provide humanitarian aid in emergency shelters and municipalities, where many refugees live. Those recent 25 years were full of challenges, experiences, successes and also some difficulties. Just what you would expect when you launched 123 projects in 45 countries.

In the meantime, arche noVa is an internationally recognized relief organization with more than 220 employees worldwide, which currently provides emergency aid in 14 countries, but is also involved in long-term development cooperation projects. Thanks to the support of numerous donors, we have been able to expand our international program and launch our own educational program for global learning.

The W 50, our legendary truck from the National People's Army of the GDR, is gone and supplies transports are rare by now. But two principles have been preserved over the years: our belief in the fact that we only can help if we enable the recipients of the aid to solve their problems and find their own solutions - help for self-help as it is called in the specialist yargon. The second is the realization that there is nothing more important than clean water.

As an expert on water, sanitation and hygiene, arche noVa is now an inquired cooperation partner of the German Federal Foreign Office, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and many international aid organizations. We are continually expanding our network and operate proactive in order to meet the latest developmental challenges. That is why we are increasingly look after disaster preparedness and resilience.

But what was the first sustainable project? In 1992 the founding team of arche noVa came into several small places near Sulaymaniyah. The relief goods were quickly distributed. But the supporters from Dresden didn’t only want to distribute the money collected by hard persuasive efforts. This would not have made any sense in the face of the "small sum" that was available. Therefore the team decided to involve the beneficiaries of the aid: in consultation with the village representatives, they decided to invest the small financial budget in a goat's herd. The supported families benefited from this even months after the Dresden helpers had left Northern Iraq.

Our humanitarian operation will remain in the future. 650 million people worldwide still have no access to safe drinking water and more than 2.4 billion are without an adequate sanitation. There is a lot to do. We want to continue to support those affected by crises, conflicts and climate change. For this we are dependent on donations. Join us!