Welcome back home in Afghanistan

HELP at a Glance

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The foundation

“Help – help for self-help” is a German non-governmental charity-organisation duly registered with the courts of law in Germany and in several host countries, such as Afghanistan and Iran. Help was founded in 1981 by concerned Members of Parliament of all parties represented in the German Parliament. We started providing humanitarian assistance for Afghan refugees in Pakistan and Iran, and soon extended to development-oriented activities. We provide aid and development-support regardless of race, creed or nationality. Priorities are set on the basis of need and upon the request from partners and vulnerable communities to cooperate fairly and transparently.

Help today

Over the past 35 years, Help has extended to worldwide operations. We are engaged both in emergency- and in development-programs. Whenever possible, we link emergency-aid with assistance for self-help. It is our aim to encourage the efforts of communities affected by disasters and political upheaval, while strengthening their capability to improve their living conditions and long-term perspectives. Typically, we offer high-standard and long term (6-12 months) vocational training in marketable skills (eg: office-management, Design& Advanced Sewing, beautician, electric, plumbing, secretary, accounting& administration and many other demanding skills); and build up the capacity of communities and key-staff in local government at district- and province- levels.

In this participatory approach, we are closely cooperating with indigenous partners and NGOs – confident that these are best familiar with local conditions, culture and needs. Thus, we complement local efforts and provide external assistance when needed. By covering immediate humanitarian needs while fighting their underlying causes, we are aiming at durable solutions and sustainable development.

In the continued effort to improve our efficiency and implement best practices, we coordinate our programs with national and international organisations, NGOs and UN-agencies. Help is a member of the German umbrella-organisation for international relief “Aktion Deutschland Hilft” / ADH”.

Actual Help activities in Afghanistan

  • Repatriation, vocational training and reintegration of Afghans from Iran and from Europe

-      This action is based on solid institutional structures and qualified staff, our groundwork in Iran and our good relations with governmental and civil society partners in the Provinces of Herat and Bamyan. It started in Jan/2008 and runs until Dec/2016 - with a high probability to be extended until 2020. Funded by Europeaid, the GoG / BMZ, and the WFP as major contributors – Help and local NGO-partners train more than 1.000 beneficiaries per year in 16 marketable skills, facilitate decent jobs and support lasting re-integration of graduated trainees in their homeland, where they are now making a fresh contribution to the civil rebuilding of Afghanistan.

  • Capacity building for core-staff of local Government and civil society leaders at provincial- and district- level in Herat & Bamyan Provinces for approx. 500 trainees / year

-      Promoting good governance, efficiency and transparency of management and accountability through 6-months courses and specific seminars in Project Cycle Management and Leadership. Funded by the GoG / AA, the program started in 2008 and will hopefully continue until 2020.

  • Partner structures: We cooperate with 2 properly registered local NGOs in all our activities, OSAA in Herat and OBTA in Bamyan. These partners either take over whole projects or components of projects.

Activities in Iran:

Help supported rehabilitation efforts after the disastrous earthquake in BAM city in 2004 – 06. Since 2007 Help is registered in Iran with the specific mandate to support the 3 Mio Afghans living in Iran (approx.1 Mio are officially registered with a so called “Amayesh-Card”, while 2 Mio refugees are staying in the country without official papers, often under very difficult conditions).

Our main focus is to provide “Training for Repatriation”. We are convinced that return to their homeland and supported socio-economic re-integration in their Provinces of Origin is the best option – for Iran and for Afghanistan, but also the Afghan Emigrants themselves. Iran cannot shoulder the actual heavy load, and even deports hundreds of “illegal” Afghans every week, unfortunately lacking coordination with other stakeholders such as Government of Afghanistan, UN-Agencies and NGOs. AFG on the other hand needs qualified workers and educated people for the growing demand in expanding sectors of the economy such as manufacturing, tourism, education, and to build up the country at large. In this perspective, Help is preparing a major project in Shiraz / Iran for the vocational training of 1.200 Afghans and 1.200 Iranians. The project includes specific courses for handicapped, operation of an Iran-Afghan Cultural Centre & Kindergarten and prevention of AIDs


As registered charity, we count on public donations for our projects and programmes. In addition, we rely on funding from Governments, the EU and third parties. Our donors include:

-       European Commission / EuropeAid

-       European Community Humanitarian Aid Office / ECHO

-       German Foreign Office / AA

-       German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development / BMZ

-       United Nations: WFP, UNICEF, UNHCR,

Financial Control

Our legal status as registered charity obliges us to highest standards of transparency. Being a member of the German fundraising community, we voluntarily undergo an annual audit by the Central Federal Institute for Social Issues (DZI), Berlin, on the transparency of our financial management and the use of earmarked funds. A respective certificate - awarded and published on an annual basis by DZI - has regularly been confirming both the reliability and good management of our organisation.

Chairpersons of the Board of Help

-                     Rudolf Bindig, (Chairman)                              former Member of German Parliament

-                     Klaus-Jürgen Hedrich, (Vice-Chairman)        former MoP, former Dep. Minister – BMZ

Executive Directors:   Karin Settele / Heinz Bitsch

HQ in Germany: Help - Hilfe zur Selbsthilfe - e.V., Reuterstr. 159,  D - 53113 Bonn,

Tel:  +49 228 – 915 290,  Fax: +49 228 – 915 2999 / website: www.help-ev.de

Regional Offices for Afghanistan & Iran:   Herat / Afg & Shiraz / Iran.

Special website on Afg. and our services for returnees in the country: www.welcomehome.af

Contact us in Afghanistan: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

We are looking forward to cooperate with you. Please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Alfred Horn, Tamim Aslamy, Zabihullah Monib Taheri / Directors for the Region, Iran and AFG - Herat, Oct/2016

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