72 hours - 72 Stunden

“72 hours - Heaven sends us”: In Mülheim-Kärlich, the Kolping youth and altar boys laid a new lawn at the senior center in 2013, among other things

72 hours is the title of a social campaign by the Federation of German Catholic Youth (BDKJ), the Catholic Youth of Austria and the Swiss youth associations .

All participating action groups each receive a charitable social, ecological, intercultural or political task that they should solve within 72 hours.


Logo 2009

The 72-hour campaign has its origins in the Catholic rural youth movement (KLJB) in the Oldenburg official district . There the campaign was successfully carried out for the first time in May 1993 with more than 1,000 rural youth. In the following years, other KLJB diocesan associations and other church youth associations from all over Germany joined the 72-hour campaign. [1]

The Archdiocese of Freiburg is one of the first dioceses in which the 72-hour campaigns were carried out across associations. The 72-hour relief operation took place there for the first time from October 4th to 7th, 2001. This year, supported by the radio station SWR3 , 7213 children and young people worked in 313 action groups. [2] Similar projects took place in the years before in the dioceses of Paderborn , Essen and Münster and, on a smaller scale, in the dean's office in Weinheim.

The action grew continuously. In 2004, from October 7 to 10, the campaign ran under the motto 72 hours without compromise at the same time in the six south-west German dioceses, in Limburg , Mainz , Freiburg , Rottenburg-Stuttgart , Speyer and Trier . Around 30,000 children and young people implemented 1,242 projects. In addition to the radio station SWR3, the Saarland broadcasting company was also won as a media partner . [2]

In 2008 there was an individual action by the BDKJ in the diocese of Hildesheim . From April 17th to 20th, 2008 he organized the 72-hour campaign with the motto 72 HOURS. BETTER NOW . In this action, 87 action groups, with a total of more than 1500 children and young people, worked 100,000 hours in the social field. [3]

The up to then largest regional 72-hour campaign of the BDKJ took place under the motto Uns, heaven sends from May 7th to 10th, 2009 in the dioceses of Mainz , Freiburg , Rottenburg-Stuttgart , Speyer , Trier , Fulda , Limburg , Cologne , Münster , Essen , Paderborn , Erfurt and Aachen . Around 100,000 children and young people implemented almost 3,000 charitable projects in 72 hours. [4]

Logo 2013

Nationwide campaign

The campaign was held nationwide for the first time from June 13 to 16, 2013. [5] Over 4000 project groups with over 150,000 participants put their social project into practice in these days. Then the general meeting of the BDKJ 2016 voted for another nationwide action, which took place from 23 to 26 May 2019. 160,000 children, adolescents and young adults took part in this second nationwide 72-hour campaign in Germany. [6] [7] Cardinal Reinhard Marx and Federal Family Minister Franziska Giffey were the patrons . [8] For her role model outstanding commitment was the 72-hour action under the Bambi Awards in 2019 with theBambi honored in the "Our Future" category.

Own regional social actions

The concept of the 72-hour campaign was also well received by other German youth associations. In July 2007, under the direction of the Bavarian Youth Ring, the 3-day time for heroes with 40,000 participants, based on the 72-hour campaign, took place in Bavaria . [9]


The 72-hour action of the BDKJ was awarded the Bambi on November 21, 2019 in the category: "Our Future".


Logo of the Austrian campaign "72 hours without compromise"

Spurred on by the great success of the German campaign, “72 Hours Without Compromise” took place in Austria for the first time in 2002 . 5000 young people have implemented 230 social projects. The campaign here is carried out by the Catholic Youth Austria in cooperation with Caritas and Ö3 .

In 2004, the campaign took place nationwide from October 21 to 24. More than 5,000 young people worked on 350 projects. In 2006 it was held again with a similarly large participation.

From October 22nd to 25th, 2008, the Catholic Youth Austria, in cooperation with youngCaritas.at and Hitradio Ö3, carried out what is now Austria's largest youth social campaign for the fourth time. Over 5,000 young people were involved in over 400 projects throughout Austria and across borders in Hungary, South Tyrol, the Czech Republic, Slovenia and Romania for social, developmental or ecological purposes for three days.

The special thing about the 2008 round was the focus. In the course of the “ European Year of Intercultural Dialogue ” and the “Commemorative Year 2008”, intercultural, international and commemorative projects were in the spotlight this year. The aim of the focus was to sensitize young people to more tolerance and moral courage, to counteract the forgetting of National Socialist injustice in the younger generation and to overcome cultural barriers inside and outside Austria.

Such priority projects were, for example, the restoration of a Jewish cemetery, the creation of a cookbook together with asylum seekers, the establishment of a memorial, or help in a Romanian soup kitchen.

The cooperation with the Austrian Memorial Service Association and the Mauthausen Committee enabled a well-founded discussion of the subject of “commemoration”, the cooperation with the Muslim and Protestant Youth Austria as well as the youth department of the Israelite Community, a cross-religious and cross-cultural get-to-know, which resulted in joint engagement .


Logo of the Swiss campaign "72 hours"

In Switzerland, the “72 hours campaign - and Switzerland stands upside down” was organized by the non-denominational Swiss Association of Youth Associations SAJV (umbrella association of youth organizations). It took place from September 15 to 18, 2005 throughout Switzerland. Around 20,000 young people in 700 groups from all four language regions took part. The campaign was accompanied by the regional language broadcasters of the Swiss Radio DRS .

From 9 to 12 September 2010 the “72 hours” campaign was carried out for the second time - coordinated by the SAJV and with the participation of all major youth organizations in Switzerland and again with the support of the radio stations DRS 3 , DRS Virus , Couleur 3 and Rete 3 . Around 28,000 children and young people from all parts of the country attended the second edition of the project.

When it was held for the third time in 2015, around 30,000 children and young people took part. [10]


In South Tyrol, the "72 hours without compromise campaign" was organized by four sponsoring associations that are active in youth work. It took place from October 20 to 23, 2005 in South Tyrol. The action was accompanied by the media.

There was a new edition of “72 hours without compromise” from October 23 to 25, 2008 with 280 young people in 35 projects. A youth organization from Trento also took part.


Individual evidence

  1. ↑ https://www.72 Stunden.de/informieren/die-72-stunden-aktion/geschichte
  2. a b 72 hour campaign (website of the altar boys in Endingen)
  3. Good deeds - great documentary (Diocese of Hildesheim) ( Memento from December 12, 2015 in the Internet Archive )
  4. 100,000 young people made the world a little better in 72 hours (BDKJ)
  5. 72 hours - Heaven Sends Us (BDKJ)
  6. Schedule: 72-hour campaign 2019 - BDKJ
  7. 72-hour campaign of the BDKJ and its youth associations . In: Focus. Retrieved July 16, 2018.
  8. Cardinal Marx and Giffey support a 72-hour social campaign: "Making the world a little better" , domradio.de, June 26, 2018
  9. 3 days time for heroes (BJR) ( Memento from April 28, 2012 in the Internet Archive )
  10. Facts & Figures. February 1, 2017, accessed February 4, 2017 .