Our story starts with the explosion in the port of Beirut on August 4, 2020.
At that time, we were still a group of five students from Berlin who heard about the tragedy in the news and, shocked by the pictures, wanted to help in a quick and pragmatic way. We rounded up our friends and made the plan to set up an airlift from Germany to Lebanon. Within ten days we found a way to transport donations in kind, such as toys and clothes, to Beirut: we were allowed to use the vacant cargo hold of a German scheduled and charter airline.
Impressed by how easy it was to put this uncomplicated approach to helping into practice, we kept trying out new actions: sending more donations to different places around Beirut, contacting local NGOs (non-governmental organisations) and asking how we could support them. Soon we were no longer doing this only in Lebanon, extending our activities to projects in Northern Iraq, Greece and Sierra Leone. The destination changed, but our approach remained the same: building close collaborations with local NGOs and jointly developing pragmatic scaling opportunities, such as through new logistics solutions. The goal is to help our partners reach their full potential.
Since the first airlift to Beirut, Aid Pioneers e.V. has evolved into a registered humanitarian association that supports local NGOs and institutions in low-income countries by procuring and transporting materials and donations. We also provide consulting and networking services that are useful in achieving their goals.