arche noVa - Initiative-für Menschen in Not e.V

arche noVa is a non-profit- and non-governmental organisation working primarily on the field of humanitarian aid, development cooperation and education.Regardless of the victims` ethnicity and ideology we support all those who suffer from war, suppression and natural disasters.To survive the human needs water - but not alone clean water. Only those who have a proper sanitation on his disposal can be sure that his drinking water will remain in perfect condition. In addition, the hygiene plays an important part, because only the correct use of drinking water and wastewater make an efficient health care possible. All three components together make WASH to a comprehensive aid package - and to our core competence.

Company details

Weißeritzstr. 3 , Dresden , D - 01067 Germany

Locations Served

Business Type:
Non-governmental organization (NGO)
Industry Type:
Water and Wastewater
Market Focus:
Globally (various continents)

Principles of our Work
Many people get into need by crises, conflicts and natural disasters although it’s no fault of their own. They to support is since 1992 the objective of arche noVa. Here, means help to involve the affected people from the beginning to use their skills and to strengthen their independence. Worldwide, we work closely with local partners, in particular, to ensure sustainable access to safe water as well as prevention programs in hygiene and sanitation to contribute to the health of people in poor countries. Many of our projects are located at the interface between humanitarian aid and development cooperation. We support the affected population in the (re) building of a stable water and sanitation supply. We include the affected people active in the projects through so-called cash-for-work programs and we support the people to create a new life through training programs.

WASH: Water, Sanitation and Hygiene – a comprehensive aid package
To survive the human needs water - but not alone clean water. Only those who have a proper sanitation on his disposal can be sure that his drinking water will remain in perfect condition. In addition, the hygiene plays an important part, because only the correct use of drinking water and wastewater make an efficient health care possible. All three components together make WASH to a comprehensive aid package - and to our core competence.

As much high-tech as necessary – as much low-tech as possible
In our work we fall back on a 'toolbox' with many high- and low-tech solutions. Their use will be adjusted exactly to the circumstances and requirements on-site. According to the motto: Only when it is absolutely necessary, sophisticated and expensive equipment is used. This is the case for example, when speed is essential in disaster relief. Just as after the earthquake in Haiti in 2010. At a field hospital clean drinking water was needed. arche noVa flew in a reverse-osmosis treatment plant and built it within a very short time. But when we look for a long-term perspective, arche nova developed simple, yet effective solutions. This was achieved for example after the end of the Iraq war in 2003. The rural population wanted a permanent water supply whose construction and maintenance can be done without outside help. arche noVa developed from traditional clay jugs Merkana filter, these ones filter with a layer system consisting of sand, gravel and coal the suspended solids, contaminants and microbiological organisms.

Local and sustainable – on-site and long-lasting
Water is always a local challenge. For us, it is important to note the local conditions and to actively involve the affected people. For all projects, the local people involved in planning and in realizing the solutions. Who brings his own work capacity and local materials in building a water supply and sanitation, is motivated to take on responsibility for the maintenance. Whenever possible, we realize the formation of local water committees and train them specifically so they can take over the long-term operation and the maintenance of technical installations. They are important supporters of the projects and guarantors for sustainability. Often from them comes the inspiration for further development of the communities and it will be lays the foundation for local self-determination and democracy. In the end, arche nova tries to sharpen the awareness of the policy makers in the project areas for the precious resource water.

Quality securing of the projects: Cooperation and Coordination
When it has to do with disaster relief, then coordinated acting is needed. In contrast to the well-intentioned activism inexperienced volunteers who travel spontaneously in crisis areas, professional organizations can more efficiently organize effective help in consultation with each other. Because of that arche noVa does always participate in so-called cluster meetings, which are established by the United Nations and the local authorities. Clusters exist for all areas of humanitarian aid from medicine to WASH. Together can be achieved more also here in this country. Therefore arche noVa is a member of Aktion Deutschland Hilft, a strong alliance of 18 German aid organizations. Competencies are concentrated and shared here. In some cases, it is also common to act together in the foreign projects. In the project we also used to work together with local organizations. Their knowledge of local conditions, cultural backgrounds and their contacts to local institutions make an efficient and sustainable work possible.

Anybody who supports the arche nova has the right to learn what happens to his donation. Therefore we inform regularly about our work and publish annually our business report, inclusive the audit opinion of the accountant. Further certify the DZI seal that arche nova is extremely economical with donations.

Awarded with the seal of approval   
arche noVa bears since 1995 throughout the donation seal of the German Central Institute for Social Issues (DZI). The  DZI  subjects  social, particularly humanitarian  charitable  organizations  to a detailed  check  of her business  methods. For  the  awarding  of the seal  a verifiable, thrifty  and  constitutional  use  of the means  and  an obviously comprehensible  accounting  is prerequisite.

For the financing, planning, implementation and monitoring of charitable activities a corresponding advertising and administrative cost are essential, however, should be as low as possible. There are the following graduations: 20-35% (acceptable), 10-20% (adequate), 0-10% (low). In 2010, arche noVa has a share of advertising and administrative expenses, related to the total expenditure of 8.5% and thus is committed to the highest thrift.

Examination by accountants
In cooperation with a tax consultant arche noVa makes his annual accounts. The details are checked regularly by a reputable external accounting firm.

How is the management controlled at arche nova?
arche nova is a registered association. The honorary executive board controls the management. The election of the executive board takes place constitutionally every two years. The executive board is relieved by the general assembly and meets regularly several times a year.

How are employees paid by arche nova?
The staff is one of the most important resources and prerequisite for the quality of the work of a nonprofit organization. A team of 12 full and part-timers which are responsible for the control of the foreign projects and the work in the field of education, for finances, logistics and public  relations, works in the office in Dresden.

In the office, that arche nova has in Berlin, operates a person the educational work for the Berlin-Brandenburg region.

There are also office interns and volunteers (voluntary ecological year).

The education department also has a staff of more than 30 trained honorary team members which implement the educational programs in Germany.

The salaries of the employees in the office are comparatively low in opposite at these from other international aid organizations.

The level of the salaries and fee for services is leant to the rates of public service (TVÖD). It does not pay any success-oriented bonuses. The salaries are supported by project subsidies, a very low part of the salaries is financed by donations.

The field staff is hired according to the need of the respective current projects. In emergency operations arche nova has in attendance a pool of trained, technically skilled volunteers who are able to build up the drinking water treatment plants and train local staff.

Over 90 percent of our employees in the foreign projects are local workers.

They obtained for the project duration socially secure employment or honorary contracts and are responsible for planning and implementation of projects. And as well as not least the involvement of local people is the key to success.

The work of arche nova has received several awards:

  • Dresden peace prize from the AnStiftung in 1996
  • Award of the Robert-Bosch Foundation for humanitarian assistance in eastern and southeastern Europe, 1998
  • Award of the Foundation 'Lebendige Stadt-Dresden verein(t)', 2003
  • 'Best practice' - project of education for sustainable development / Global Education awarded by the Saxon Ministry of Education and Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), 2007
  • Price of Lokale Agenda 21 für Dresden e.V., 2008
  • Appointment of the educational project 'Official Project of the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development', 2009/2010
  • Democracy Award of the SPD: certificate for special commitment to the democratic educational and cultural work