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“Volunteering keeps me down to earth”

Six women explain why and how they work in aid organisations in Germany and around the world.

Aid workers are active worldwide.
Aid workers are active worldwide. © Arpad Csaba Majoros/Malteser Ungarn

Humanitarian assistance would be inconceivable without hundreds of thousands of aid workers. Six women explain not only why and how they get involved in Germany and around the world, but also how this work enriches their lives.

Regine Reim, Voluntary Helper, German Red Cross:

Regine Reim
© Sören Krampe

“I’ve worked as a volunteer worldwide – as manager, trainer, in an Ebola ward in Africa, testing for COVID 19 at Easter and Christmas in care homes in Germany, following the flood disaster in the Ahr valley and quite routinely as a paramedic at festivals and sporting events. My contribution in summer 2022 involved patient transports, first-aid courses and distributing emergency supplies in Ukraine and neighbouring countries. My voluntary work keeps me down to earth, teaches me gratitude and allows me to meet impressive people.”

Irena Straub, Doctor and Team Member, Malteser International:

Irena Straub
© Malteser International

“This work doesn’t make my life easier, but more beautiful. The duties I take on at Malteser International are exciting and sometimes demanding. Since I’m not available elsewhere during the time I invest in voluntary work, I have to rely on the willingness of colleagues, friends and family to perform my duties – my effort is therefore one that involves many people.”

Petja Pucci, Executive Board Member, UNICEF Germany:

Petja Pucci
© Unicef

“It’s UNICEF’s mission to realise children’s rights for every child irrespective of skin colour, religion or origin. I attempt to do justice to this mission every day. The outstanding commitment shown in voluntary work, which can involve between two and ten hours a week, constantly impresses me and demonstrates not only that civic engagement works at all levels, but can also be very effective.”

Karola Ordnung, Plan International:

Carola Ordnung
© Plan International

“I’d like to contribute to ensuring that children do not have to suffer poverty, that they can grow up healthy and develop freely, and that children’s rights are protected and children treated with dignity and respect. I’ve met lots of wonderful people at Plan. And project visits and visits to sponsored children have taken me to countries where I would perhaps otherwise never have been.”

Sarah Easter, Emergency Communications Officer, Care Deutschland:

Sarah Easter
© Care

“My job in emergency communications entails broadcasting the voices of women and girls out into the world from our projects. What’s most important to me here is the visibility of people in need and the important work that CARE emergency relief teams perform every day. Most recently I was in Afghanistan and spoke to women who are founding small businesses to be able to feed their children.”

Ha-Na Schulz, Disaster Management Coordinator, World Vision:

Ha-Na Schulze
© World Vision

“Working in humanitarian assistance confronts me every day anew with the complexities and inequalities of the world that I do not want to turn my back on. Although poverty is often oppressive, I don’t want to look away, but do my best to contribute towards people being able to live in dignity and towards reducing hardship.”


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