Central and Eastern Europe

Promoting democracy and education

From Portugal to Ukraine, from Lithuania to South Tirol – Kolping in Europe is as colourful as Europe itself. 20 Kolping Associations exist in Europe, and every association has different focus areas. Diversity instead of simplicity. What they have in common is the Kolping idea.

The situation of the people

Already in the 19th century, Adolph Kolping set out and travelled across Europe. An expansion of the Kolping Association was impeded because of the World Wars and the decades-long socialism in many countries of Eastern Europe. The Kolping Associations survived even during the difficult years in all these countries and gained new momentum after the fall of the Iron Curtain. Many National Associations have been re-established since 1990.

How we help


Through training activities Kolping qualifies young people in many countries of Central and Eastern Europe. Kolping wants to support peace and democracy and strengthen civil society in this region. Special attention is paid here to the assistance of disadvantaged people who are not sufficiently supported by the government: socially vulnerable families, unemployed, people with disabilities and elderly people. In Central and Eastern Europe, Kolping has the following focus areas:


A vocational training is the perfect start into life for a young person. Kolping operates own training centres in which young people are trained by professionals.

In many countries Kolping offers further training to adults. This way, they can react to new challenges in the labour market.

Associational work

Young people from all over Europe meet regularly in workcamps and for excursions, discuss about political and social topics across borders. The International Kolping Peace Hike also contributes to peace and the understanding among nations. For more than 50 years, the hike has been organised by a different European country every year.

Social aid

Kolping is there for everyone and helps disadvantaged people and groups: employment advice for unemployed people (Poland), a university for senior citizens, aid for internally displaced people and autistic children (Ukraine), assistance for children from poor families (Romania) – to name just a few initiatives.