International Aid Organisations By children for children
For millions in Africa, Asia and Latin America, Aachen is more than just a name. For these people, it’s a place of assistance, refuge and dialogue – all thanks to the work of the large international Catholic aid organisations Misereor, Missio and the Catholic Children’s Mission which have their headquarters here.
“Helping people help themselves” is the principle behind the work of Misereor. Together with local partners, Misereor helps the poorest of the poor throughout the world: people of all faiths, cultures and skin colours. Each year Misereor receives around 6,000 project enquiries.
Missio came into being more or less as a “civil action group” in Aachen at the start of the 19th century under a doctor named Heinrich Hahn. Together, missio in Aachen and missio in Munich form the International Catholic Mission Society in Germany. Missio assists mainly pastoral projects in many dioceses in Africa, Asia and Oceania, for example for disadvantaged women, orphans and street children, and Aids sufferers and their families.
Star singers organised by the Catholic Children's Mission
The “Sternsinger” (star singers), young traditional post-Christmas carol singers dressed as the three Wise Men, have their roots in an old 16th century tradition, going from door to door around Epiphany (6th January) collecting money for children’s aid projects across the world. The “star singers” are organised – in a project also known as “Wise Men Singers” – in Germany by the Catholic Children’s Mission founded in 1846 by Auguste von Sartorius in Aachen. Nowadays around 500,000 “star singers” take part in this right across Germany, helping children in need across the globe.
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