Reference Work Entry

International Encyclopedia of Civil Society

pp 30-31

Arbeiterwohlfahrt (AWO)

  • Eva DidionAffiliated withUniversitaet Bamberg

Address of Organization

Heinrich-Albertz-Haus Blücherstraße 62/63 10961 Berlin Germany www.​awo.​org


Arbeiterwohlfahrt (AWO) is one of six central voluntary welfare associations in Germany. It describes itself as a “member association fighting for a socially just society and taking political influence.” This is achieved by voluntary action and professional services. 430,000 members, 100,000 volunteers and 146,000 professionals support the association and perform services in more than 14,000 facilities including about 2,100 residential homes with approximately 330,000 beds.

Brief History

In 1919, the German Social Democratic Party founded the “Hauptausschuss für Arbeiterwohlfahrt” (Main Committee for Workers’ Welfare) as a social support organization aiming at more independence for workers from bourgeois poor relief and strengthening their self-help. The organization grew rapidly: in the mid-1920s the organization comprised more than ...

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