The foundings and idea behind the ASB
Our mission is to help!
The Arbeiter-Samariter-Bund e.V. (ASB) is a German charity organisation. It services include first aid training, emergency rescue services, assistance for childeren and youth as well as foreign aid.
Back in the 19th, working conditions in Germany, but also in most other European countries, were very bad. Upcoming industrialisation spared only little room for the well being of workers the focus was put much more on mass production and profit maximising. Health and safety risks were extremely high for the workers who were very often forced to work under dangerous and life threatening circumstances. In Berlin 1888, six carpenters subsequently took the initiative and enforced the first 'training course in first aid for accidents'. This is usually seen as the foundation of the ASB. However, despite the obvious necessity of implementing better health and safety regulations at working places, it took over 20 years, until in 1910 companies became legally required to have at least a first aid kit at disposal.
The ASB chronicles show that foreign aid was started as early as 1921 when an ambulance convoy left for Russia in order to distribute food to the hungry and to help fight cholera and other epidemics. During the troubled period of the Weimar Republic, the ASB extended its work to becoming an advocate of the weak and the disadvantaged. When the Nazi party outlawed the organisation in 1933, the ASB had grown to a total of 1800 local groups.
After the war, the ASB remained illegal in the Soviet occupied zone (lated GDR), but it could resume its work in Western Germany. Once Germany was re-unified in 1989, the ASB continued to rise in size and presence. By the end of the millenium, the ASB welcomed its one millionth member and is now in Germany one of the biggest non-governmental charities.
Today the ASB is best known by its presence on the street. In Germany the main fields of action of the ASB are
- rescue services
- out-patient medical services
- transport services for the handicapped
- meals on wheels
- training in first aid
- housing for the eldery
- assistance for ethnic-german immigrants and asylum seekers
- assistance for children and youth
Since 1921 the ASB is also engaged in Foreign Aid. Since then this sector has grown significantly in importance and today the main fields of action include
- Aiding the return and rehabilitation of refugees
- Epidemic control in disaster areas
- Supporting local infrastruacutre
- Setting up long-term sustainable help projects
To get more information about the ASB, please follow this link: http://www.asb.de