Development Cooperation



Holistic mission work is as much service as proclamation work.  FELM’s development cooperation work addresses both the causes and consequences of poverty.

Our work is people-centred.  We believe that people’s lives should not be threatened by poverty or other violations of human rights and that every person is entitled to live a decent life.  Our work always takes environmental concerns into consideration. 

FELM's Development Cooperation Programme 2011-2016

Guiding principles

When planning development cooperation projects it is essential to listen to people at the grassroots level and to understand the local situation, how it has developed over time and how it is linked to other processes.  All of our development cooperation projects are based on genuine needs, as identified by our local partner organisations, and on a thorough understanding of the reality on the ground.

We are committed, in our development cooperation work, to upholding international human rights conventions and to adhering to our Code of Conduct, which forbid all forms of discrimination and also includes anti-corruption guidelines.  We are, furthermore, committed to the Biblical concepts of the inviolable worth of each human being and to loving one’s neighbour.  We do not discriminate against anyone on religious, political, ideological, ethnic or sexual orientation grounds.

The vast majority of the world’s people have a religious world view through which they interpret their surrounding reality.  FELM is experienced in taking religious contexts into account as a positive resource.  Adhering to or converting to a particular religion are never prerequisites for receiving aid or participating in our development cooperation projects.

Unique partners

Our development cooperation partners are unique in terms of the cultures they represent, their areas of expertise and the geographical areas in which they work.  They are, however, united by their ability to work with and for the poorest.

The populations that our partners represent are made up mainly of the poorest and most marginalised groups, including people living with disabilities and Dalits (untouchables).  Our partners’ work is aimed at reaching marginalized people in the most remote areas: the poorest of the poor.

Our long-term development partnerships create trust and commitment to jointly agreed development goals.  The ownership of our development cooperation projects is unequivocally in the hands of our partner organisations.

The criteria we use for assessing the suitability of new partner organisations include: a commitment to national poverty reduction strategies; the effectiveness of management systems; and the goals and effectiveness of development activities.

Empowerment through a rights-based approach

Poverty entails an unequal distribution of economic, social and legal opportunities, but also human rights violations and structural poverty.  Unrealised human rights are both a cause and consequence of poverty.  Upholding human rights is, therefore, essential to reducing poverty.

The Rights-Based Approach can be said to have been successful when people participate in decision-making processes regarding matters that affect them and their communities.  An empowered person or community does not remain silent but has the courage to speak out about any pressing needs and, if necessary, to seek help.

We encourage and support our partners in employing a rights-based approach to development issues.

Cross-cutting themes in development cooperation work

FELM employs a twin-track approach to its work on its cross-cutting development cooperation themes.  On the one hand, we carry out specific projects related to these themes, and, on the other hand, we mainstream these themes into all our work.  Our cross-cutting themes are:

  • Gender equality
  • Disabled rights
  • Holistic approach to HIV and AIDS
  • Consideration of environmental impacts
  • Capacity building of partner organisations