Our projects

Help for Self-Help

KOLPING INTERNATIONAL has helped people all over the world for more than fifty years to escape poverty through their own efforts. Our projects aim for social change to overcome the structures of poverty.

Creating opportunities all over the world

Since 1969 KOLPING INTERNATIONAL has had its own professional development cooperation organization with KOLPING INTERNATIONAL Cooperation e.V. . Based in the General Secretariat in Cologne, our team coordinates, supports and monitors development projects in more than 40 countries. This work is financed with public funds and donations.

Strengthening Civil Society

Our help is not meant exclusively to improve the living conditions of the individual. Based on the principles of Adolph Kolping, we also want to contribute to overcoming the structures of poverty by helping to build active civil societies. As a democratic association, we therefore pursue a holistic approach in helping our members to receive education, giving them an opportunity to form an opinion and to become engaged in society. In many places our Kolping Families have become the voice of the poor and the underprivileged in their region. Kolping members become involved in politics and in the Church because they have been mandated to hold an office or make decisions. They are united in their endeavours to strive for fairer structures and to initiate change for the benefit of everyone.


Our projects are based on the principle of “Help for Self-Help“. We offer a variety of programs to help people develop their talents and we enable them to become self-reliant and to make a living in their home country. For this purpose, we cooperate closely with Kolping associations in Africa, Asia, Latin America as well as Central and Eastern Europe. Our work focuses on vocational education and training, programs for secure livelihoods, rural development and microfinance programs. We also support access to clean drinking water.

All of our activities originate in our Kolping Families. This means that our programs do not aim for a short-term implementation of a project for a specific target group. In fact, they are meant to have a sustainable impact and they are run locally in a family-like environment with sound structures and shared ideals. They put people in a position to become key players in shaping society. That is why KOLPING’s development cooperation work is so sustainable.


Progress thanks to goats: Kolping in Burundi


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