Aid Pioneers e.V. are celebrating their 1 year anniversary!
We can’t believe it ourselves but it’s already been one year since we registered AidPioneers e.V. as a non-governmental organization! We would like to take this opportunity to summarise all our achievements since the 18th of November 2020 and to thank everyone who was involved in the projects: Project workers, background administrators, partners and donors alike. Only thanks to the wonderfully harmonic cooperation between team members and partners, we can proudly present to you all our achievements over the past year:
1. Aid Project Northern Iraq
Since February 2021 we also managed to use the spare capacity of 6 flights with Qatar Airways to Erbil in Northern Iraq to send in kind donations. For this project we partnered up with a local NGO who informed us about a dire need for measures to battle the Covid-19 pandemic and so the first flight carried 120,000 face masks. The second and third flight carried almost one ton of stationary of different kinds to support the education of approximately 600 children in the Baba Gurgur Primary School in Erbil. Lastly two more flights enabled us to send plush toys that were distributed among children in refugee camps and public kindergarten.
2. Aid Project Lebanon
The devastating explosion in Beirut in August 2020 was the start of a social initiative that resulted in Aid Pioneers. Our Aid Project in Lebanon has grown immensely since November last year. A year ago, we focused on supporting the children of Beirut to give them back a piece of the childhood that the disaster had taken from them. Since then, we have organised a total of 24 flights from Germany and Switzerland, carrying a total of 5 tons of clothes, 125,000 face masks, stationary, hygiene products and toys. These donations provided 500 children with warm winter clothing and provided ca. 2,500 children with school equipment. From June to August 2021 we also organised a large transport with medical equipment, encompassing 29,000 face masks, 39 hospital beds, a defibrillator, one cone beam tomograph, as well as a ventilator, all of which were valued at a total of 60,000 €. This transport continues to impact more than 16,000 people directly and 29,000 indirectly.
In both June and September, several of our Aid Pioneers travelled to Beirut and deepened our cooperation with local organisations and partners. As a result, the project has further expanded and we have launched five sub-projects that aim to support the Lebanese people in different ways.
Firstly, we started a campaign that focuses on improving the availability of education and with a fundraising campaign we have already enabled more than 100 children to go to school.
Secondly, we have a project that focuses on medical procurement to support Beirut’s hospitals. This project works together with the Lebanese Ministry of Public Health, who has provided a list of required operation tools, almost 400 different types of medicine and other kinds of medical equipment. As with our other projects, our goal here is to connect donors from Europe who are willing to donate these items with the hospitals where these items are needed the most.
A third project focuses on providing schools in Lebanon with IT-equipment, such as laptops. Our vision is to maintain this close relationship with partners in Lebanon to support them in achieving their aims by connecting them with donors from Europe and by focusing on the logistics of transporting donations from Europe to Lebanon.
Our fourth project in Lebanon focuses on sustaining the airlift between Germany and Lebanon by maintaining constant cooperation with SundAir, our oldest partner to this date.
The last but in no way least project in Lebanon focuses on developing an E-Voucher system with which people in need can purchase the items they require by paying with a QR-code at a store. Not only does this system render cash donations more transparent and secure, but it also permits to provide needed goods instantly without destroying local markets. As the system is run in USD against the backdrop of high inflation, it generates planning security for participating businesses thereby securing jobs and a larger variety of imported goods available in Lebanon.
3. Aid Project Sierra Leone
Since the 18th of November 2020 the Aid Project in Sierra Leone has developed three different projects.
Firstly, we partnered up with Brussels Airlines and the Sierra Leone Hockey Trust, an NGO that works together with communities to provide a safe environment for sports to children and young adults. Between March and June 2021 this cooperation gave 1000 children in Sierra Leone the ability to train and play hockey: with a total of 9 flights we sent 247 hockey sticks, 30 sports bags, 28 parcels containing other hockey equipment, such as goalie kits and protective gear, general sporting gear (shirts, shorts, shoes, etc.). Furthermore, the Sierra Leone Hockey Trust team were able to secure a second hand hockey pitch but were lacking a way to transport it, so we also managed to ship this to Freetown.
Secondly, we partnered up with a Sierra Leonean NGO called Uman Tok, which focuses on providing environmentally and socially sustainable menstruation kits as this is a massive social issue in the West African country. We wanted to support this cause and so we decided to provide materials required for the production of these menstruation kits. The NGO informed us that due to the scarcity of flannel in Sierra Leone, they have had to cease production and so their two most urgent needs are the raw materials and equipment to produce the kits. We were able to secure 2.3 tonnes of Flannel from suppliers in Turkey and the United States, and these were sent through an existing airlift with Brussels Airlines. This initiative is projected to provide 12,600 girls with period underwear, thereby substantially raising the hygiene standards and directly tackling multiple challenges. Not only does this project address the issues around the lack of hygiene, but it also improves girls’ school attendance and provides a generally less hostile approach to menstruation through proper education on the matter.
Thirdly, our newest project in Sierra Leone only started mid-November 2021 with an explosion that killed 144 people outside of Freetown on the 5th of November. Given the desperate need for medical equipment in Sierra Leone we thought it best to reach out to Uman Tok, to provide us with a list of required medical kits. We have already been able to organise an airlift and the first flight to Freetown, containing boxes with 200kg of crucial items, took off. Two days later, the second plane headed towards Sierra Leone, containing the same amount of boxes full of items that are currently saving lives in Sierra Leonean hospitals and a third flight took off on the 17th of November.
4. Aid Project Greece
From December 2020 to February 2021 we initiated a project to support the refugee camp in Moria on the island of Lesvos, in Greece. As with our other projects, our aim here was to support a local NGO by coming up with pragmatic logistical solutions to send donations from Germany to an area of need. In this case we worked together with an NGO called Team Humanity, who were well-established at the refugee camp. They provided us with a list of required items and we got to work. In the first wave we shipped winter clothing and other sanitary products to Greece, using the spare capacity of flights chartered by the German government. Because the majority of items were aimed at improving the hygiene standards in the camp, for the second wave of donations, we reached out to several different companies and we received 10,000 litres of disinfectants and several hundreds of litres of soap. We also acquired 10,000 diapers, 2,400 colouring pencils and almost 200 litres of face wash as well as facial scrubs and creams. Having collected the goods, we organised a truck to transport the donations to Moria and on the 7th of May the truck holding 17 tonnes of donations arrived at the refugee camp, where it was received by members of Team Humanity who distributed the goods to the 20,000 people currently taking shelter on the Greek island. You can read more about this project here.
The logistics department provides the backbone of all Aid Projects, because it creates the direct link between donors from all around Europe with the areas that need help. In this department we focus on finding efficient and practical ways in which we can easily and cost-effectively transport donations from our storage units to where they are needed the most. The logistics department also provides an oversight of all in kind donations that are still to be sent currently stored in one of our warehouses. We try to leave donations as short as possible in the storage facilities before transporting them to one of our projects. Besides the transport itself, the logistics department is creating transparency on the whereabouts of each single donation with our warehouse database that we created internally.
6. Background work
As you can see the majority of AidPioneers are engaged in the forefront of our humanitarian works. They are constantly devoting their time and energy to finding pragmatic solutions that help improve and even save lives all around the world. However, the background work of an NGO is the crucial counterpart to all humanitarian projects. The reason our NGO has been able to develop into something so amazingly dynamic and truly impactive is because of all the work going on behind the curtains. While the work of background administrators doesn’t always make it to the front pages, they ensure that our organisation can run smoothly, efficiently and progressively grow. We have an amazing Legalteam, led by Benedikt Leidner, that ensures our organisation always makes the best decisions concerning any legalities. We have an incredible Marketing team, led by Martina Niesyto, who makes sure that our achievements never go unnoticed on any media platform. We have a highly specialisedFunding team, led by Constantin Gemmingen, that reaches out to potential donors, applies for grants, initiates fundraising campaigns and other events to raise funds and awareness for our projects. A department that goes hand in hand with Funding is Transparency, also led by Constantin, which focuses on updating our donors on the progress of our projects and the final destination and impact of each donation. It is the expertise and unparalleled professionalism coming from the background administrative departments that ensures AidPioneers can work like a Rolls-Royce engine and have this substantial impact all around the globe.
Special thanks to all our Partners and to our Donors
Even the most efficient and high-tech engines need fuel to operate. Our partners and donors provide the fuel that drives our work and ultimately ensures that we are able to carry out all these projects. We would like to thank everyone who has helped us raise money or awareness for these ongoing issues. It is truly incredible to see how much support we have received from our donors.
It is also amazing to see the trust we receive from our partners and their willingness to support us in our projects.
From all of us at AidPioneers e.V. we would like to say: