Initiative Partners in Developing Countries Bring Joy

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In the second year of Fida’s Development Co-operation Program 2011-2013, the partner churches around the world have been even stronger in taking the lead in the development co-operation projects.

The 2012 Annual Report of Fida’s Development Co-operation Program 2011-2013 indicates that in many areas targeted in development co-operation, locally initiated independent projects have been started and Fida staff have been able to take a background role as advisors.

– Fida is a long-term partner of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland.

 

– The Development Co-operation Program covers 34 countries at present.

 

– The activities touch the lives of approximately two million people.

 

– Last year, 65 Finnish and 660 local workers as well as 20 trainees worked within the projects.

From the cycle of poverty to entrepreneurship

In Bolivia, the local partner church implemented a large campaign against drugs, and in Colombia, the partner church organised an extensive support program for the victims of floods.

Fida’s partner in the Balkans started a rehabilitation program for drug users.  In Bosnia, Fida and its partner campaigned to improve the status of children with special needs and people with hiv/aids with, for example, the widely publicised ”Rock Against Drugs” concerts.

The annual budget is 9.1 million euros.

The staff have been happy to note that with the training they have received, the young volunteer workers within the projects have been able to find employment or establish their own businesses and organisations.  They are moving forward as responsible and active agents in their communities, inspired by the values education they have received.  This has helped to stop the cycle of poverty.

The outcome of grass roots activity such as this indicates that long-term collaboration has far-reaching consequences, which are visible even after the project is completed.

Literacy brings self-esteem

Last year, 60 women participated in a women’s literacy project in Egypt.  At the end of the course, 40 of them received a personal identity document.  The women felt that their self-esteem grew significantly and that the skills in reading and writing helped them move forward in many ways.

In West Nepal, a water and sanitation project run in five villages improved the access to water and hygiene for over 6300 people.  The project actively utilised the local resources and successfully constructed five hundred toilets at low cost.

One focus of Fida’s Development Co-operation Programme is the quality work to improve the status of people with disabilities.  Fida’s disability project in the city of Da Nang, in Vietnam, helped approximately one thousand people with disabilities to leave poverty behind in 2012.

It has been calculated that Fida’s Development Co-operation Programme touches the lives of approximately two million people in 34 countries.  The impact of one Nepalese community development project gives some indication of the extent of the work:

The work of Fida and its partner churches is designed to focus on improving the living conditions of the poorest of the poor.  In future, the work will continue focusing even more strongly on the rights-based approach.

Source:  Fida’s Development Co-operation Programme 2011-2013 ”Transformed People, Transformed Communities”; Annual Report 2012

20.12.13