#kolpingworks in Argentina:
There is no internet signal in the rural area in Corrientes where the Kolping Family Colonia San Antonio is situated. Therefore, during the Corona crisis, the president, Mara Cuellar, was very worried about the children there who could not participate in digital classes. But the Kolping Family was able to organise support: A teacher helps the pupils with the tasks and teaches them in an inter-grade group.
“Thanks to KOLPING and this support class, our children don’t fall behind so much in their studies,” says Mara Cuellar. The Kolping Family has also provided a snack for the group of pupils. Like them, many other Kolping Families in Argentina have organised pupil help during the school closures.
#kolpingworks in Indonesia:
The island of Sumba is one of the driest areas in Indonesia. Clean drinking water supply is scarce. As a result, children in particular often suffer from diarrhoeal diseases. KOLPING Indonesia helps to build wells. In 2004, in cooperation with KOLPING INTERNATIONAL, MISEREOR and private donors, the association started the water programme “Sumur Kolping”, which means “KOLPING is digging wells”. Since then, about 1,250 wells have already been built on Sumba, with more than 50,000 people benefiting. The beneficiary families are helping to build the wells, which enhances their sense of ownership.
The widow Bertha Horo is proud and grateful that her village community is now supplied with clean water to be fetched freely. People can even use it to cultivate small gardens and breed domestic animals. This is an important support, especially during the Coronavirus pandemic, which KOLPING Indonesia has provided for her village and many other communities.
#kolpingworks in the Zambia:
Mr Felix Kafula is a catechist of St Margret Parish in the Archdiocese of Kasama and belongs to the local Kolping Family. He does not only convince people by preaching the word of God, but also through the testimony of his life and hard work. His fields, where he grows maize organically, are impressive.
For better harvest Mr Felix Kafula mixes pig and goat manure and puts it on the field. The manure boosts the growth of the maize thus yielding two to three times as much. Kolping brother Felix Kafula sees many advantages in using organic farming: “I save a lot of money. Organic farming is environmentally friendly and I call it ‘farming in God’s way’.” Maize is more resistant to drought than crops grown with chemical fertilizers. Organic maize weighs more and is more nutritious and much healthier for human consumption.
#kolpingworks in the Netherlands
Since the start of the Campaign Brazil in 1968, the Kolping Family Nijmegen has been engaged in the partnership work with Brazil.
The members organize flea markets, charity dinners and collections in the church services. The highlight of the activities is the annual Christmas market, where self-made Advent decorations always sell very quickly.
Over the years, a lot of money has been raised in this way to support self-help projects in Brazil, such as the construction of cisterns or KOLPING vocational training centers. Now, many activities of the Kolping Family Nijmegen are suspended due to the Corona pandemic. However, the members are eager to become active again and to continue supporting KOLPING Brazil.
#kolpingworks in Nigeria
In trainings provided by KOLPING Nigeria, Ohaeri Ijeoma Priscillia from the Kolping Family Mater Dei has learned how to cultivate seeds successfully. The smallholder farmer has specialised in cassava and has already been able to share her knowledge with many people. She now cultivates several hectares of land every year. She earns good money by selling grafted cassava cuttings to the farmers in her area. She also processes the cassava roots to make porridge dishes, which she sells. This enables her to provide for her family and give her three children a good education.
“This business has really changed the lives of my family and the people around me for the better,” says Priscillia. “I thank KOLPING for availing me this opportunity for a better life.”
#kolpingworks in Bolivia
For Judith Agrada Torrez from Sucre, the support of KOLPING was life changing. During the pandemic, she was unemployed and desperate. The energetic baker decided to start her own business in her home, which was successful thanks to a Kolping Pasanaku loan – a kind of revolving fund – in mid-2020.
“KOLPING came to my rescue. With the loan I was able to buy an oven and other materials,” says Judith. Her loaves always sell out quickly. Judith now also bakes pastries and cakes for events in her home. Today, the bakery is her main income. “I sincerely thank God and I thank KOLPING because in times of crisis, in these times of pandemic, I have a business that gives me stability,” says the Bolivian. “Today I no longer need to worry. I have food on the table, I do not lack anything and I can sustain my house. Thank you KOLPING!”
#kolpingworks in the USA
It is also the small things that bring great joy – welcoming a surprise visitor or receiving a small gift that shows you are remembered. During the coronavirus pandemic, the Kolping Families around the United States sought ways to bring a sense of purpose and community to their members. For example, the Board of Directors of the San Francisco Kolping Family distributed Covid Kits including not only sanitary products like disinfectants and masks but also a drink ticket for the local Kolping bar – for social evenings after the crisis. The homemade Christmas cookies of one of the members were also a great source of joy. Volunteers helped decorate, bag and deliver these.
Kolping U.S. also initiated a scholarship program for members and family members in high school, college/university or trade school. This program is intended to not only to encourage further education by assisting with some of the cost, but also to expose the younger generations to Father Kolping’s life story and values.
#kolpingworks in Vietnam
Joseph Nguyễn Văn Bá, Kolping president in the diocese of Vinh in northern Vietnam has changed through Kolping from a timid, introverted man to a committed Catholic who is actively involved in the Church and society. Through the trainings on the Catholic Social Doctrine he received many impulses and through the vocational training he was able to increase the income for his family.
“Before I got involved with Kolping, I did not care much about my family and raising my children, but now I love my family even more and have become a good father and husband,” he says.
He travels a lot to provide advice and encouragement to other families. As a result, many, not only the like-minded but also many non-Catholics, have changed their behaviour to take more responsibility for society. The Kolping Family has developed society through education and work, so that the economic situation of many has improved, and social cohesion has been strengthened.
#kolpingworks in Croatia
Also during the pandemic, the Croatian Kolping members from the Archdiocese Zagreb and the Diocese Varaždin were active e.g. by supporting elementary schoolchildren with their online classes. Through the sale of self-made candles and lanterns in Advent, the Kolping seniors financed a scholarship for a blind student, an extended family and a community kitchen.
The families affected by the earthquake in winter also received very big support. Kolping collected food and clothes to help the people in particular need. Some voluntaries are also planning further aid activities on site during summer.
#kolpingworks in Kenya: vertical bags against hunger
For many Kolping Families in Kenya, it is difficult to get fresh vegetables. They live in arid areas, and there are only few fruits and vegetables to buy at the market. Therefore, KOLPING distributes vertical bags to the families so that they can grow their own vegetables. The vertical bags are made of high quality, UV treated shade nets lasting up to 7 years. The bags come in various sizes and can hold 50, 80 or 120 plants. The families fill a mixture of manure and soil into the sacks and plant the seedlings. After two to three months, the Kolping members can harvest their vegetables. The project has helped the Kolping members grow healthy food at low costs. Through the sale of surpluses, they have an additional income.
#kolpingworks in Ecuador
Retreats on the topic of “Social Doctrine of the Church” have motivated Kolping youth groups from Portoviejo to take care of migrants and their problems.
In the neighbourhood, the young Kolping members collected food and clothes, which they distributed to refugees from Venezuela. This migrant group not only suffers a lot from poverty, but also from exclusion. Through their commitment, the young people from Ecuador learned more about the reality of these people and gave them the feeling of being welcome. KOLPING Ecuador works for integration and a society based on solidarity.
#kolpingworks in Albania
The situation created by Covid-19 has greatly affected the whole world, mostly the poor families. Isolation, difficult living conditions and unemployment have affected these families without a prosper future, not being able to provide even the minimum living conditions. In the framework of the project “Relief Activities in response to the COVID-19 pandemic – Supporting the most vulnerable during the time of corona crisis” supported by KOLPING INTERNATIONAL, KOLPING Albania tried to ease a little this economic problem by offering food to poor people. In total, the aid was offered by donating food to 350 families in need, mainly situated in the northern part of Albania, as the poorest area. 8 tons of food have been distributed in 7 parishes of the Shkoder – Pult Dioceses, Lezha Dioceses and Sapa Dioceses.
#kolpingworks on the Philippines: Cohesion and commitment bring about change
On the Philippines, the young Kolping Family “Sagrada Familia” is a successful example for the work of the association. The Kolping Family grew from originally 28 to 392 active members who are organized in 9 parishes. Through their way of living, their community spirit and their commitment, the Kolping members are known in their communities as competent initiators for changes. Together they set up a cooperative store that was financed by KOLPING microcredits. It allows small businesses in rural areas to buy at a better price. Moreover, they opened a bakery which now bakes more than 10,000 loaves of breads every day. These businesses have provided work for many members – and bread for the Kolping community. At the same time, the Kolping Family shares its faith during the joint prayer and lives the values of Kolping. Thus, the “Sagrada Familia” has become a model and impetus for grassroots ecclesial communities.
#kolpingworks in El Salvador: In order to help their members with the marketing of their self-made products, the Kolping Family Jucuaran in El Salvador participates in local fairs or organizes them itself.
In this way, the Kolping farmers and small entrepreneurs can personally present and promote their products. Sales and profits are increased and at the same time, the local economy is strengthened. In the previous years, KOLPING El Salvador has repeatedly organized coffee and cocoa festivals during Christmas season or on feast days. They also serve to offer an additional marketing platform to the small entrepreneurs who cultivate and produce in the area. Typical food of the country, beverages and costume jewelry, clothes and handicrafts are exhibited here.
The events are also used to distribute coffee and cacao seedlings and other plants so that people can plant them and render a contribution to reforestation at the same time.
Kolping in Benin:
A WOMAN’S TESTOMONY ABOUT THE BENEFIT OF ALPHABETIZATION
“My name is Noëllie SEVEDE, I am married and mother of five children. My main activity is the commercialization of agricultural produce like maize, soy and rice. Sometimes I also sell locally produced brooms. I am a member and president of the Kolping Family Za-Doutin (diocese Abomey).
One year ago, the Kolping Association established an alphabetization center in our village. After attending the course for six months, we were evaluated. And I must admit that the alphabetization courses have done me good. In the past, my incomes were not administered very well: I put together all the money earned from my sales without distributing it according to the different types of merchandise. Or, when I returned from the market, I counted on my fingers what I earned. Often I was totally lost with these calculations. It was also difficult for me to remember all the people who bought on credit as well as the respective amount the client owed.
Since attending the alphabetization courses, I note each credit sale in a notebook: the amount and the name of the person. Moreover, when I have sold all my goods, I take stock of the income and expenditures and then deduct the balance. This way I know whether I have made a profit or a loss.”
Contribution by David Efraín, Villarrica, Paraguay
My name is David Efraín and I have been a member of the Kolping Youth “San Blás” in the city of Villarrica for five and a half years.
The idea to clean the community stream came to us after a heavy rainfall in our town. It rained so much that the stream filled up and even overflowed its banks. Sadly, this happened as a result of the immense amount of rubbish clogging the waterway. In our Sunday meetings, we reflected on this situation that caused a lot of damage in the community. Together we decided to organise ourselves and invite other people outside the Association to clean up the stream and put up rubbish bins at certain places in the community so that people would stop throwing their rubbish on the ground.
Quite a number of people have joined this initiative. We set a date for our volunteer work, and a number of people made their tractors and trucks available. We cleared 70 tonnes of rubbish.
To this day, we still cooperate in cleaning up the community. Awareness raising should be an ongoing task as people in general should show more interest in the cleanliness of the community.
#kolpingworks in Austria
Integration in practice: Garden project in the Kolping House Vienna-Meidling
A wonderful roof terrace belongs to the amenities of the Kolping House Vienna-Meidling, which was re-opened three years ago. Students as well as families with a refugee background find a “temporary home” there. The Kolping Youth initiated a garden project with the title “Young vegetables” to promote the encounter of these two groups. Together with the residents of the house and representatives of the Kolping Family Meidling, vegetables and fruits were planted in raised beds and pots. The children had the possibility to paint the pots colourfully and were supported by the members of the Kolping Youth. Cool beverages and snacks were also provided.
Through this project, the roof terrace was made more attractive as a place to stay, to unwind and to exchange ideas with other people. The harvest of the roof terrace is being processed in the community kitchens of the Kolping House and contributes to the healthy alimentations of the residents. And this is also in line with the third of the 17 “Sustainable Development Goals” (SDGs) of the UN that have been the focus of the associational work of Kolping Austria since 2016. “Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for people of all ages”. Through the “Young vegetables” project it was possible to take up the topics food, nature and sustainability in a practical way in accordance with the SDGs and to enjoy the fruits of this activity together.
KOLPING SOCIETY OF TANZANIA
How ideas of Adolph Kolping keep changing people’s lives in Tanzania
The Kolping Society of Tanzania under the persuasion and guidance of Monsignor David Kamugisha, Currently has more than 13,000 registered members in 315 Local Kolping Families established in 20 dioceses out of 36 in the country. Since its inception, Kolping has touched and changed the lives of many people from the spiritual, economic and social aspects.
One of the most outstanding project has been assisting vulnerable households in some low rainfall rural areas of Tanzania to get clean and safe water through the construction of rain water harvesting tanks with the capacity of 10,000 Lts.
These tanks have significantly helped beneficiaries to curb water shortage problem, to increase domestic income and reduce frequencies of water-borne diseases such as typhoid fever, dysentery, bilharzias, worm diseases and diarrhea. Besides, women have more time for other economic activities and the school going children are relieved of the tedious task of the daily routine of fetching water.
This is because in most rural areas there are no constructed networks of public water service by the Government; therefore people have to walk long distance between 5 to 10 kilometers to natural springs or locally made bore wells to fetch water for their domestic needs. In most communities in Tanzania, this strenuous task of fetching water is normally reserved for women and children. In this regard,School performance is affected since school going children have little time for rest and study after school hours for they have to fetch water for the household. More often than not they wake up early, fetch water and then proceed to school. The detrimental effect of this, among other things, is the significant contribution to increased poverty among people living in rural areas because much time which could be used in economic activities is spent in fetching water for domestic consumption. During dry seasons almost 50% of water sources (springs and wells) dry-up. Currently the situation is much exacerbated by climate change which has contributed to the drought period to be longer than normal.
This is testified by Happiness Gideon from Wembere, Singida region who is one of the benefiting neighbors; she says “….Before this assistance we had to travel more than 6 kilometers in search of water for our own use and for small stock livestock such as chicken, ducks, goats and donkey. But after Kolping has assisted us to construct the water tank at my neighbor’s house which is fairly filled by rains are able to access clean water within 0 kilometer. Incidence of water born disease have significantly decreased, our livestock are healthy; and more so, this honey harvesting season we have noticed the 50% increase in the volume of honey harvested from our beekeeping project. The bee experts told us that it is because bees are no longer travelling a long distance in search of water.”
Keeping chickens on a family farm (Talca-Chile)
Sandra Manríquez from the diocese of Talca in Chile was able to set up a small poultry farm with the help of KOLPING. She bought 30 chickens and began to market their eggs. She learned the necessary know-how for this at KOLPING, as well as everything she needed to know about keeping the animals in a manner appropriate to their species. Sandra produces in an environmentally conscious, non-industrial way, in natural harmony with the land and the people who live and work there. Today she owns 150 chickens that are healthy and lay good eggs. Their sale contributes to the family’s livelihood. “My Kolping Family knows my work,” Sandra says. “The members help me market the chicken eggs. Since I’ve been in the Kolping Family, it’s been a real school of life for me, where we’ve all been able to grow through various activities in the personal, family and community spheres.” #kolpingworks
Grażyna Rzepka-Płachta from Poland:
„ When I joined KOLPING fifteen years ago, I was in a difficult situation – I didn’t have a job. Then KOLPING helped me by giving me new skills and qualifications for the job market. At my Kolping family I was overwhealmed by the family atmosphere and that everyone helps each other . Soon I also started working in social projects and with homeless people. The Christian values at KOLPING and also the spirit of community fascinated me. I totally devoted myself to building up the Kolping socjety. Trips abroad with KOLPING were also important for me. They allowed me to open myself to other cultures, I am engaging in our aid campaigns – for examle solar panels for Uganda or the distribution of Tatico coffee from Honduras. After all these years as a Kolping member, the fascination with the person of Adolph Kolping and the admiration for the worldwide Kolping activities still continue. KOLPING helped me 15 years ago. Now, in a difficult period, I also feel that I am not alone.” #kolpingworks
Toilets at home are not purely a structure but it is more of a symbol that signifies privacy and human dignity. Proper Sanitation is considered as one of the basic necessities of human being in addition to food, clothing and shelter. India had the dubious distinction of having largest number of people defecating in the open space. Women are the direct victims of opendefecation. Absence of toilets at home, places women at greater health risks and sexual violence.
Realising the importance of toilets and the safe sanitation practice, KOLPING India initiated Sanitation Assistance Project (SAP) in 2014 in consonance with national development priorities and Indian Government’s Clean India mission, setting a challenging task to end open defecation. KOLPING India through its innovative strategy including campaigns, targeted trainings and financing mechanism made it possible for 3,271 families to construct and use household toilets.
One such women member was Mrs. Bai belonging to Sacred Heart Kolping Family Association, Kuzhithurai Kolping Region. She was consistent in her demand for toilet with her husband. Her steadfast determination made it possible to construct a toilet with partial support of KOLPING India and thus ensured her and her daughters a dignified life style. The dream to have a household toilet became a reality which has reinforced her determination to fight for womenrights. KOLPING India continues to inspire and motivate on journey towards a dignified life.
Before being engaged in Kolping activities, farmers in Rwanda used traditional agriculture and livestock where they had been using to sow in a total disorder without using organic manure; they ignored to properly prepare their fields; their animals used to be fed in the bushes which was a big hindrance for getting cow dung for the heaps of manure. Therefore, the yield was very low and farmers were always suffering from hunger all the time.
But since they were trained in farming and livestock, they are improving their way of agriculture from traditional to modern agriculture. The animals are fed in the shelters. From this progress, the crops are very green and vigorous. The animals are well treated and are good in the shelters; hence the yield is multiplied three times the yield of before becoming Kolping members. For this fact, farmers are no longer producing for eating only, they also produce for the markets.
KOLPING Malawi: Economic empowerment by promoting livestock farming
The majority of Malawians rely on farming to provide for both their main source of food and source of income. However, the majority face food shortage each year. Poor agricultural practice has left the country with low crop yields and rampant food shortages. Self-sustainability through agriculture is absolutely vital.
The escalating prices of chemical fertilizers make it impossible for the majority of smallholder farmers to afford. Kolping Malawi saw the need for alternative low-cost soil fertility enhancing technologies and embarked on training their members in compost manure making to improve soil fertility.
Kolping International has supported towards economic empowerment by promoting livestock farming, village savings and loans through capacity building so that low earning members become independent economically.
The water program of KOLPING Brazil ensures the survival of families in the northeast of the country
The water program is implemented by local Kolping Families in the semiarid region in the northeast of Brazil, especially in the states Bahia, Ceará, Pernambuco and Piauí.
The individual activities of this program significantly improve the living conditions of the affected families as well as of the small rural agricultural producers in this region, especially through measures in the fields of water security and management, training on the management of water resources, due and efficient use of water for basic needs, food, family farming and animal husbandry.
The program includes measures for the construction of water cisterns and wells, educational and income generating activities that promote a harmonious co-existence with the environment.
On the photo, you see the couple José Edivaldo de Queiroz and Eleni Muniz de Souza Queiroz together with their son Enzo Gabriel de Souza Queiroz who live in the Flores region (state of Pernambuco). They participated in the water program and received a water cistern.
The project fundamentally improves the living conditions of the families and the small rural producers.
#KOLPINGworks – this principle holds true in Germany for 170 years now
A strong Association with dynamic local communities, with more than 225,000 members in 2,300 local Kolping Families, comprising 35,000 children, adolescents and young adults among the Kolping Youths.
In a video message the National Kolping President Ursula Groden-Kranich, Member of the German Bundestag, points out the present work of the Association and its nationwide institutions and enterprises and at the same time asks for support of the worldwide online petition “Kolping is sacred to me!“