The AWO in Fulda was founded in 1946, immediately after the Second World War. The American military government ruled the roost. Food was rationed to 1275 calories and the Ami cigarette was the most sought-after currency.
Bitcoin was still unthinkable back then.
Fulda was a destroyed city. On the streets, one constantly encountered refugees and returning war veterans, as well as hordes of wandering children and young people who had lost their families.
So it came about that a few men and women got together –particularly Erna Hosemann – to found the Workers’ Welfare Association in Fulda in June 1946. They took care of the needy, provided food and shoes. And they met to sort clothes and sew new ones together from donated pieces.
Today this would be called upcycling.
Hunger reigned in the families, so school meals were introduced. The AWO took over the Heinrich von Bibra School. Mostly there was a thin soup.
So at that time there was no elegant coffee-to-go.
The early years were characterised by fundraising. The highlights were social celebrations and excursions. Even tent camps for young people were organised
Air mattresses were something new, as were nylon stockings – and the “entertainer” was an accordion player.
In the following years, there was a rapid development. Life and social counselling were soon offered, as well as homework help. Recreational stays were arranged for many women and children.
In 1965, the AWO home for the elderly opened in Ziehers-Nord, named after Erna Hosemann. A lunch table for senior citizens and meals on wheels were new.
In 1975, the AWO took over the care of Turkish guest worker families. It also provided rooms for their meetings.
And it also mediated, for example, when the police were called because of unauthorised slaughtering.
The Lohn und Brot (Wage and Bread) project for the integration of young people into society is very well known. The pilot project started in 1980. The guardianship association was recognised in 1992, the debtor and insolvency counselling in 1998.
The bicycle workshop is cool. And since 1999, there has been an annual bicycle bazaar at the university.
In the last 20 years, other fields of activity have been added. Outpatient child and youth welfare, parent and family education, social care for refugees and integration of people with a migration background play a major role.
The AWO runs a day-care centre and operates several meeting centres. More than 500 volunteers and trainers as well as 120 full-time employees contribute to the success of the services. We are glad that so many people actively support us.
AWO in Fulda: social – competent – dynamic for 75 years.