Mon, 22 Jul, 2019

Finn Church Aid – Action for Human Dignity

By Shibesh Duwadi

Photo Courtesy: Shibesh Duwadi 

Finn Church Aid is one of the largest Finnish development organization in the world. It operates in about 15 countries all around the world, including 3 in Asia – Cambodia, Nepal and Myanmar. They consider Africa and Asia to be their main targets where poverty is by far the most crucial issue. They base their work amongst three priority areas: Right to Livelihood, Right to Education and Right to Peace.

The 15 countries that they work in are:

Africa - Somalia, Liberia, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Uganda, Kenya and the Central African Republic. Asia – Cambodia, Nepal and Myanmar. Latin America – Haiti Middle East – Israel, Jordan, Lebanon and Palestine.

Finances

Being an international non- governmental organization, FCA raises its fund from various sectors which includes parish and church contributions, private donations, government funding and institutional funding. To ensure that the FCA has been utilizing the funds effectively it conducts an internal audit which is done by KMPG. Government has been supporting the FCA in significant manner. Almost 40% of the Fund is generated by the aid of Government.

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Finn Church Aid takes pride in its values and vision. They contribute to positive community change by helping those communities who are in the most vulnerable situations within fragile, disaster affected regions and poverty stricken regions. FCA believes in the essential human dignity and equal value of every human being, and is committed to a rights-based approach.

Permanent change in developing countries can only be achieved through persistent cooperation with local communities and people. Finn Church Aid is committed to working until the people in need can independently secure their livelihood and satisfy their basic needs.

FCA IN ASIA

With 4.6 billion people, Asia is the most populated continents on the planet. It is also home to the world’s poorest regions. Along with Africa, FCA spends most of its revenue on helping Asia. Political instability, natural disasters and inconsistent economic situations have ravaged the continent for decades. Asia has one of the most rapidly growing economies in the world. However, the uneven distribution of wealth has not only caused economic crisis among more than 80% of the population but also caused a massive growth in poverty rates.

FCA IN NEPAL

Nepal is undoubtedly one of the poorest countries in Asia. More than a quarter of the population lives below the poverty line. Agriculture is the main source of income in the country.  As majority of the country’s population live in the Terai Region (near the India-Nepal border), it has given rise to a host of problems like human/girl- trafficking, smuggling etc. The literacy rate is quite poor in Nepal. That is undoubtedly the root cause of all the problems. FCA’s work in Nepal Broadly focuses on 3 areas:

> Supporting Discriminated Population Groups > Empowering Women and Children > Natural Disaster Relief

Women have been socially excluded for years. Women are still faced with discrimination and infringement of their rights. Our goal is to get women involved in the decision-making of communities and ensure their rights with regard to land ownership, education and sustainable livelihood. FCA also provides the ostracized Dalits – i.e. ‘untouchables’ – with education on human rights and exert pressure on the administration to weed out human rights violations against these people.

Domestic Violence is another pressing issue in many a village in Nepal. FCA has been working with local Woman’s Bank Cooperatives in different villages in order to help the victims of domestic violence. By giving the victims a place to go to for help, it has decreased domestic violence cases by more than 80%. Earthquake Relief

Nepal was hit by a major earthquake in April 2015 which claimed thousands of lives and destroyed half a million homes and properties. As Natural Disasters are very common in this part of Asia, FCA have a dedicated team working for relief in these parts. Building temporary homes and temporary learning spaces and children-friendly spaces, providing schools with supplies and teaching materials, providing psycho-social support to the people who have been mentally scarred by the effects of the earthquake – these are just a few of the work that FCA is doing in Nepal with the help of several NGOs. Going to school and interacting with other students helps the children to recover physically and mentally from the catastrophe. Till date, FCA has built over a hundred temporary Schools all over the affected areas while the re-construction of schools continues.