What is the Kaiserswerther Generalkonferenz?
The Kaiserswerther Generalkonferenz (general conference) is an international protestant network of about 100 Deaconess Mother Houses, operations of Diakonisches Werk and diaconal institutions. Since the General Conference was founded in 1861, they meet on a regular basis. Their common history goes back to 1836, to Theodor and Friederike Fliedner in Kaiserswerth (now a part of Dusseldorf). The couple responded to the great hardships of their time with new training programs in health and social sectors and they set new educational standards for child care. The Fliedner’s initiative led to the founding of a Deaconess Mother House and shaped the deaconesses’ model of life of in a community of life, faith and ministry. From their work and from similar approaches developed a great number of communities and institutions based on the Kaiserswerth model.
The goal of the Kaiserswerther Generalkonferenz is to bring their members together, and facilitate transfer of know-how and life in the community. The member houses can be found on four continents (Africa, Asia, Europe, North and South America) and they maintain their partnership across the borders. The General Conferences, taking place every three years, play an important role in this.
In addition to the large conferences with the general assemblies, there are regular symposiums and study tours, which strengthen the network and address current developments and topics of the members.
The executive committee is responsible for the affairs of the Kaiserswerther Generalkonferenz and is assisted by a Secretary General. They elect a President and two Vice presidents.