We are a global family

KOLPING INTERNATIONAL considers itself a proactive global family with all members showing solidarity for one another. No matter whether they live in Europe, Africa, Asia or America: In more than 9000 Kolping Families people have united to help one another and to make a difference for the benefit of all people.


Active around the globe

KOLPING INTERNATIONAL is a Catholic social organization founded in 1850 by the priest and social reformer Adolph Kolping. Meanwhile, we have grown into a strong global family and community of solidarity with Kolping sisters and Kolping brothers being active in 60 countries. A large number of our 400,000 members are actively involved in the Church, society and in politics.

KOLPING INTERNATIONAL is both a community of all Kolping members throughout the world and a partner in development cooperation for Kolping associations in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Europe. We join our members all over the world in fighting for a strong civil society, for justice and peace. KOLPING INTERNATIONAL is also represented on the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) in New York and at the International Labour Organization (ILO) in Geneva where we take a stand for the implementation of social standards in the world of labour and the respect for human rights.


Christian faith and the ideals of Adolph Kolping are the common basis for our actions. In principle, we are open to all people. Anyone who is sharing our values and perceptions is invited to become part of our global family. Joining a local Kolping Family would be the first step to take.

SUPPORTING EACH OTHER in a family-like community

We are a democratically organized association with Kolping Families being the smallest local units. These groups define themselves as family-like communities that offer support for their individual members and help them to discover and develop their talents. This is to empower them to help themselves and to improve their living conditions. KOLPING members are encouraged to take responsibility for others and to get involved in society and politics. In doing so, members can give something back to KOLPING as a community that supported them.


Kolping Families in a country constitute a national association that is often subdivided into regional or diocesan associations. On all levels we aspire to cooperate with the Church, government and society.

Numerous vibrant partnerships between the various Kolping levels in Europe and those in other continents are particularly stimulating and rewarding. Many Kolping Families and diocesan associations in Europa have been untiring in their efforts to support their partners in the Global South for decades. They regularly raise funds for projects in the countries and build personal relationships by visiting each other. This is how a global network of solidarity has developed which is unique in its size: It does not only encourage development but also cultural exchange and communication. Literally, a global family.