Johanniter’s long history can be traced back to 1099, when Christian knights formed a brotherhood to care for poor and ill pilgrims in Jerusalem. St. John the Baptist became the patron saint, lending his name to the order.
The Johanniter Order
Germany’s order of St. John is comprised of a Christian community that draws strength from the Christian faith to treat the ill, care for the needy, and administer first-aid. To fulfil this mandate, Johanniter established several agencies: Johanniter-Unfall-Hilfe e. V., Johanniter- Sisterhood, Johanniter Welfare Organisations, and Johanniter GmbH.
Johanniter-Unfall-Hilfe e. V.
Johanniter-Unfall-Hilfe was founded in 1952, and is the largest enterprise of the order. Its headquarters are located in Berlin and Johanniter-Unfall-Hilfe operates across Germany. The organisation is divided into nine national associations and approximately 300 regional and local associations. The organisational structure consists of the delegate assembly, the executive committee, and the federal board. The national associations elect delegates that make up the delegate assembly. The assembly convenes annually, and represents the highest authority within Johanniter-Unfall- Hilfe. The executive committee is elected by the assembly. It is the decision-making body regarding internal policies, and also monitors the federal board. All members of the executive committee are volunteers, and must be active members of Johanniter- Unfall-Hilfe. The president spearheads the committee. He must be a member of the Johanniter order, must have been nominated by the assembly and confirmed by the “Herrenmeister“ (master of the knights). He is also the main representative of Johanniter-Unfall- Hilfe. The federal board runs Johanniter-Unfall-Hilfe. It consists of three members, two of them must be members of the Johanniter order. Upon nomination by the executive committee, the board members are confirmed by the “Herrenmeister“. The federal advisory board, which includes a physician, a trainer, a clergyman, a youth leader, a day-care representative, and a representative for disaster relief and civil protection advises the federal board. Members of the federal advisory board may not be employed by Johanniter-Unfall-Hilfe.
Johanniter International Assistance
Providing international assistance is one of the statutory tasks of Johanniter-Unfall-Hilfe, and is implemented by the department of international assistance at Johanniter headquarters in Berlin. Johanniter International Assistance reports directly to the federal board, and is geographically divided into three sections: Africa; South Asia/Latin America; Central Asia/Middle East/Eastern Europe. Each section operates regional our country offices. In 2015, more than 35 fulltime staff members were employed at headquarters Berlin. An additional 33 international and more than 400 local staff members worked at offices around the world.