|Posted on June 16, 2016 at 10:05 AM|
The Christliche Arbeiterhilfe e.V. (CAH) are a non-profit, social organization supporting unemployed residents and low income households .We were welcomed by Mr Feierler and his colleague Mr. Mühlbauer, the service advisor for energy and water saving technology. Together, they offerenergy saving assistance to low-income households in the town of Neumarkt. This service is worth 70 € but CAH offers this to the low-income households free of charge. This project has been running in Germany since 2008 and has been operational at CAH since 2010. This project was initiated and promoted by the Federal Environmental Ministry and the German Energy Agency. Together they invested 30 million € in this project so that energy saving bulbs and water saving tap heads could be supplied to these households. The jobs provided by CAH are also financed by these funds. The buildings used by CAH are hired and paid for from the proceeds of the items sold there.
The types of second hand goods that can be donated to CAH include household furniture, kitchen appliances, electric devices, living room and kitchen accessories, clothing items, books, toys, and many more. All of these items are sold at a low price and sometimes the price is evennegotiable. All donated electrical appliances are tested to see if they are working correctly and checked for any defects. If they find that there are no defects and the items are still in good working condition, they get re-sold at the company. If they find that the appliance or device is defective or broken, it gets disassembled into different parts. Those that work are re-used and re-sold and those that do not work are disposed of. Those parts that are recyclable are sent to companies that recycle them. Those parts that are not recyclable are sent to a company to be incinerated.
There are also some refugees who take part in their employment projects. Some refugees are working at the electrical recycling point where they sort the components of the devices and throw them into the different containers. The refugees receiveonly around 1 € per hour but this is not intended as payment for a real job. This is only a method to help the refugees get used to working conditions and it makes it easier for them to find work.
Mr Feierler believes that sustainability means prolonging the life of everyday objects. Germany hasa throwaway culture and often items are thrown away in perfect condition. CAH even offers free pick-ups to ensure that the second-hand goods are given a second life. This service is very popular and the collection dates are booked 3-4 weeks in advance.
We asked what the plans for the future are for the company. Currently the funds are limited and CAH would maintain their level of competency and efficiency. The goal, of course, is to continue the employment and training of unemployed residence. Even though Neumarkt and its surrounding thesurrounding towns have a very low unemployment rate (around 1.5% - 2%),it is still important to CAH that they create these opportunities for people who need them.
We wish the company all the best with their plans for the future and we say thank you to Mr Feierler and Mr. Mühlbauer for showing us around the workshop.