Social welfare work – the help for people in need given by the Church – is based on the story of the Good Samaritan told by Jesus. The Good Samaritan offered to help without asking about the background, group membership or conviction of the person concerned. The preamble of the statutes of the Diakonisches Werk Berlin-Brandenburg-Schlesische Oberlausitz, registered charity (German abbreviation: DWBO), outlines its diaconal mission: »Social welfare work gives witness to God’s love for His world that we encounter in Jesus Christ. It wants to help people suffering physically, mentally, spiritually and socially. Thus, no one will be excluded. This is based on the ministry of Jesus Christ and on the testimony of the Holy Scriptures«.
Today, the work of the Protestant Social Services is as necessary as it has been in the past. Even if need looks differently now, we shall always offer our undiminished help.
More than 52.000 full-time employees work for the 437 member organizations of the DWBO. There are, altogether, 1.420 social facilities. They help through words and action: by in-patient and out-patient care, by helping disabled persons, running hospitals, by short-term and day care, by offering a crisis hotline and running travellers’ aid offices.
Advice centres for child guidance, family counselling, marriage counselling and life counselling can easily be found within the Evangelical Church of Berlin-Brandenburg-Silesian Upper Lusatia (German abbreviation: EKBO). There are debt counselling offices and offers for migrants. The regional association of the Protestant Social Services within the EKBO also provide hospice care, women’s shelters, addiction care and psychological care.
The work of the DWBO and its member organizations is supported by a large number of voluntary workers.
The Protestant Social Services, the Berlin Mission, the Commissioner for Migration and Integration and the EKBO’s Commissioner for Pastoral Care for Ethnic Germans assist parishes in their ministry to migrants, refugees and ethnic German immigrants to Germany.
The Protestant Social Services and their member organisations have developed many offers for migrants and try to make their services and institutions available to people of all cultures.