History of the AWO District Association Kleve

Arbeiterwohlfahrt in the District of Kleve

The first re-foundations of local committees of the AWO took place in 1946 in the old district of Kleve, specifically in the towns of Kleve and Goch. In 1947, the local committees Kalkar, Grieth and Bedburg-Hau were added. In Altkreis Geldern after the war, there was only a loose merger of the local committees Geldern, Kevelaer, Nieukerk and Wachtendonk, intially. In 1971, the Kreisverband Geldern was re-established. At that time, Heinrich van Rissenbeck, who had made a great effort to build the district association, was elected district chairman. On the right side of the Rhine, a local committee was founded in Emmerich in 1946.

Due to the municipal reorganization on 23.6.1975, today’s district association of the AWO Kleve was extended to the borders of the new political district of Kleve. As a result, its current catchment area covers 1,230 square kilometers with 16 municipalities and about 300,000 inhabitants. Meanwhile, in 15 of these communities, there exists a local association of the AWO today, with approximately 1,200 members.

In the starting years, the work rested solely on the shoulders of volunteers. The focus of the work was the care of the elderly and the children’s daycare work, but also the versatile personal help and counseling in social emergencies. In 1977, a full-time office was set up in Kleve, where the increasingly versatile tasks of the district association were organizationally combined. From 1975 to 1978, Gerd Hölzel was the district chairman. He was followed by Helmut Gröhl, who held the office until 1995. Then Irene Möllenbeck was the first woman to head the district association from 1995-1999. The present chairman, Bettina Trenckmann, replaced 2000 Irene Möllenbeck in the chairmanship.

„Meine Herren und Damen…“ Wie AWO-Frauen die Gesellschaft verändert haben – ein Film des AWO-Bundesverbands