History and Philosophy

The international director of Shelter Now Georg Taubmann hands a certificate on to an Afghan graduate.

In the early 1980s, a humanitarian disaster was looming in Central Asia. Years of unrest and civil war in Afghanistan followed by the Soviet invasion prompted more than 3 million people to flee to Pakistan, where they were left to vegetate in huge refugee camps. Images of the camps were broadcast around the world. A small group of Christians in different countries were so moved by what they saw that they decided to set up an aid organization for the refugees which they called Shelter Now. The founder was Douglas Layton. Georg Taubmann was Assistant Director since 1984 and International Director of the whole organisation since 1990.

The word “Shelter” in our organisational name literally means that—a house, a tent or a refuge. It arises from the command of Jesus that we are to “love our neighbour...” This additionally implies providing food, clothing and drinking water to the poor and needy as well as a roof over their heads. For almost 30 years we have assisted with humanitarian and developmental assistance in Pakistan and Afghanistan. We have provided emergency relief for war effected refugees as well as those who are victims of earthquakes, floods, drought and other natural disasters. We have provided reconstruction, rehabilitation and long term development co-operation in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Conducting development aid in the Islamic world is particularly challenging for a Christian humanitarian aid organization. However, with many years of experience, familiarity with the local culture and a deep love for the people of Afghanistan and Pakistan, we have developed the necessary sensitivity to carry out the work that we do.

Shelter Now is an international organization

Handing out food items to the needy

... with the international office in Germany (Sulzbach-Rosenberg) and national offices in Germany (Braunschweig), Netherlands, Britain, USA, and Australia, as registered charities.

The representative for Germany is Udo Stolte, the Director of SN Germany, based in Braunschweig. He is married, has 4 children and has made repeated trips to Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Georg Taubmann, from southern Germany, oversees the work of SNI as the International Director. He is married to Marianne and has 2 children. He lived with his family for 16 years in Pakistan and 8 years in Afghanistan.

The work in Pakistan was going on for more than 30 years. In 2015 we closed it down for now.

We started to work among "IS" refugees in North-Iraq-Kurdistan instead.

The work in Afghanistan is led by Mayli Tourn from Uruguay.

Some 20 international staff are involved in Shelter Now projects in both countries along with a varying number of Afghan and Pakistani employees.

Shelter Now finances its aid projects primarily through private donations which can be offset by tax deductions in Germany, the United States and the Netherlands. In addition, we occasionally receive public funding for specific projects from sources like the United Nations or from the German Government.