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KOLPING International is a world-wide network with about 400,000 members in more than 60 countries.

Within the association, the members actively participate in a socially just transformation of society.

The organisation is named after the Catholic priest Adolph Kolping who founded Journeymen Associations in the 19th century to combat the misery of young crafts journeymen in the era of industrialisation. He is co-founder of the Catholic Social Teaching, which has been the basis for the work of KOLPING International to this day.

KOLPING International unites three independent legal entities: The international association (Kolping Society reg. Assoc.), the International Adolph Kolping Foundation and the Social and Development Aid of the Kolping Society reg. Assoc. (SEK e.V.).
Membership of the KOLPING Society of South Africa is made up of both individuals and nuclear families that have a passion to work together in family-like groups called Kolping families. At the most basic and local level, each Kolping family acts as a catalyst for personal development that encompasses all the aspects of Christian living (prayer, family, work, community). When all the families come together as one big, united family – as one organisation, they act as a catalyst for social change on a much larger scale.
Membership is not restricted to any age, race or life-style. The Kolping society welcomes both Catholics and Christians of other denominations that accept and support the ideals and objectives of the Society. Current Kolping families are found in rural and urban; poor and rich and formal and informal communities. There are both young and old members and membership is open to individuals and families.

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