Short History ASB Germany

We help here and now


ASB is a non-political and non-denominational charity and relief organisation. We help all people – regardless of their political, ethnic, national and religious affiliation. We provide rapid and direct help to all those in need of our support.  Since its foundation in 1888, ASB – its German name means “Workers’ Samaritan Federation” – has provided services that focus on people’s needs, including care for the elderly, rescue services and First Aid, assistance for children and young people, support for people with disabilities and those suffering from mental problems, as well as Foreign Aid and adult and further education.

Arbeiter-Samariter-Bund (ASB) is a German aid and welfare organisation with 16 branches at federal-state level and more than 200 branches at regional, district and municipal level. More than 31,200 employees and some 14,000 volunteers ensure a quality service in areas such as civil protection, rescue services and social welfare services.

ASB Foreign Aid focuses on emergency relief and disaster risk reduction as well as reintegration and cooperation in Central and Eastern Europe. Anyone wanting to be involved in voluntary services will find suitable opportunities at ASB, for example as part of a civil protection team or as a paramedic, as a visitor to the elderly or a reading mentor, as a visiting dog handler, as a school nurse or a voluntary members of the First Assistance Samaritan Teams(FAST), ASB’s rapid response unit for international relief. The ASJ, the ASB’s independent youth association, promotes the social engagement of children and young people.

More than 1.2 million members support our work

More than 1.2 million people in Germany share ASB’s humanitarian and democratic principles and support our non-profit association with their membership and their personal commitment. As part of 16 regional associations, more than 200 local branches and around 120 associated not-for-profit companies. We are grateful for their support — without them many of our projects would not be possible.

What was to become ASB began in 1888 with six carpenters in Berlin. At a time when there were neither health and safety regulations nor emergency rescue services and workers often sustained terrible injuries, our founding fathers successfully established the first “Training Course for First Aid after an Accident”, in spite of considerable opposition. In 1909, the first Arbeiter-Samariter-Gruppen (Workers Samaritan Groups) from across Germany formed the ASB.

Relief, charity, advocacy

As a relief organisation and charity, ASB also considers itself an advocate for socio-political issues. ASB takes a position on current debates and is in contact with members of the Bundestag (lower house of German parliament) and the European Parliament as well as ministries and other institutions.

Our main activities

Using an integrated approach, we provideeffective worldwide aid and also support the establishment and development of local self-help structures.

Humanitarian aid

In the event of a sudden crisis or disaster abroad, we provide quick and targeted relief according to the needs of the affected population.

Disaster risk reduction

By strengthening local disaster management and self-help capacities, we reduce the local population’s vulnerability in the event of an emergency. We also assist the local population to prepare for dealing with the aftermath of disasters.

Return and reintegration

We seek to enable refugees and displaced persons to return to a safe environment. A crucial element in our work is to create socio-economic prospects to afford people the chance of a fresh start.

International Samaritan Cooperation

By enabling exchange and networking between German and international Samaritan associations, we promote the development of structured organisations and provide support for their work in Central and Eastern Europe.

Providing help – as fast as possible, as long as necessary

Our work is based on an integrated approach. In the event of a sudden crisis or disaster, we provide help as quickly as possible by, for example, deploying our rapid response teams, with the assistance of reliable partners and our own established local country offices. We regard it as a duty to support people struck by disaster for as long as is necessary. Therefore, we not only provide emergency relief but also help communities with reconstruction work, implementation of long-term measures to fight the causes of poverty and help the local population to better prepare themselves for possible future emergency situations.

Linking fulltime and voluntary commitment

Voluntary contribution is one of ASB Germany’s most valuable resources. This is why we combine our fulltime and voluntary contingents to cooperate in the provision of emergency aid to people all over the world.

Strengthening local partners

We aim to improve the living conditions of local populations and to reduce their dependence on external support. We strengthen the local population’s capacity to help themselves by systematically supporting local groups, e.g. NGOs, through consultation, further education and financial funding. Our flexibility in terms of programmes and strategy enables us to react in ways most appropriate to the requirements of the respective country.

Promoting international partnerships

Within the Samaritan Cooperation Central and Eastern Europe, we initiate, promote and encourage partnerships between German ASB branches and Samaritan organisations in other countries. Thus we help establish sustainable welfare structures in partner countries and create a range of social services for people in need.

Bundling resources

As part of a leading welfare federation, we have access to a wide range of experience and know-how. We share this knowledge with our partner organisations and cooperate in national and international networks on a basis of mutual trust. This enables us to bundle resources and make full use of their synergistic effects.

Being accountable for what we do

Part of our philosophy is to ensure the responsible and efficient use of our finances. We feel obligated to be fully accountable to those we help as well as those who fund our operations, namely our donors, supporters and the general public. Therefore, we continuously carry out internal and external quality assurance procedures as well as audits to ensure and extend the transparency and professional quality in our work.

ASB is a German aid and welfare organisation, engaged in areas such as civil protection, rescue services and social welfare services. As a non-political organisation, ASB has, since its foundation in 1888, provided rapid and direct help to all those in need of our support.

Contact Us


ASB SEE Main Office Sarajevo, Aleja Bosne Srebrene 4, 71 000 Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina


+387 (0)33 468 366


[email protected]