DanChurchAid

DanChurchAid

DanChurchAid is a faith-based and ecumenical, non-missionary organisation rooted in the Danish National Evangelical Lutheran Church.

DanChurchAid carries out its work with the objective, "To help and be advocates of oppressed, neglected and marginalised groups in poor countries and to strengthen their possibilities of a life in dignity."

Our programmes
DanChurchAid works within four interlinked programme types:
- Active Citizenship
- The Right to Food
- Humanitarian Response and Disaster Risk Reduction
- Humanitarian Mine Action and Safer Communities

Working with local partners
DanChurchAid’s work is based on cooperation with local partners, who are generally in the best position to know and assess the local context. The partnership model ensures that our emergency and development work effectively targets the poorest and that activities become locally sustainable.

We implement our own humanitarian mine action programmes and in some cases emergency aid activities, but in most cases we work through local partners who are often members of the ACT Alliance. Ensuring high quality, capacity building and organisational development of local partners is an important cross-cutting component of DCA’s work.

Rights and gender equality
DCA is committed to promoting rights-based development and gender equality in all of our programmes. The drive to promote the interests and rights of the poorest, most marginalised and discriminated men and women is interlinked with our core values. Being accountable towards rights holders is a key priority for us.

In practice our focus on rights and gender equality means:
- Support poor and discriminated men and women’s political and social chances of changing their own situation, focusing on equal access to active participation and influence as regards decision-making processes and mechanisms on all levels
- Support the responsible authorities and institutions’ chances of and obligation to act in a positive manner and to respect the interests and rights of the most marginalised men and women
- Actively promote equality for marginalised groups, focusing especially on gender issues, and prevent all kinds of discrimination against poor men and women
- Support poor men and women’s access to legal counselling and justice
- Support the use of international human rights standards and mechanisms in order to promote respect for poor people’s rights
- Make it possible for the partners and teams we collaborate with to participate in an active and meaningful manner in all decision-making processes regarding our working relationship
- Ensure that rights and equality principles apply to all of our organisational principles and procedures

At a Glance

Innovations0
Members 1
Partners 0

Organization Type

  • International non-governmental organization (INGO)

Contact

DanChuchAid
Nørregade 15
DK-1165
Copenhagen K
Denmark

T : +4533152800
E : mail@dca.dk

Organization Mission

 

Area of Focus

DanChurchAid works within four interlinked programme types:

Active Citizenship
We work to strengthen democracy
Women who are systematically raped in Congo. Maya Indian families in Guatemala whose water supply is destroyed by contamination. People without caste (Dalits) in India who are excluded from certain jobs. They are all among the poorest or most marginalized in their societies, and their fundamental rights as human beings are being massively violated.

Challenges
Working with active citizenship comes with numerous challenges:
- Violence and outrages against women
- Lack of political influence 
- Lack of fair trials
- Lack of knowledge about rights 
- Corruption
- Restrictive laws on NGOs – often violating the freedom of speech

What we do
DanChurchAid’s work with active citizenship is about reinforcing the foundations of democracy. We focus on democratic values, strengthening civil society, ensuring human rights and influence.We work, specifically, with the following:
- Helping battered women
- Creating equal rights for everyone to a fair trial and conflict handling
- Giving influence to discriminated groups, especially women, in political processes
- Educating on democracy and rights
- Strengthening civil society

The Right to Food
In 1948, when the UN’s general assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the world’s countries agreed that food is a human right. Even though enough food is produced to feed the world’s population, daily, gruelling hunger remains one of the most basic conditions for people in many poor countries. And every 7th human being in the world is starving.

Hunger hampers human and social development
When humans go hungry they can not unfold their physical and mental potential and they are excluded from participating as active citizens in development. In the long term, both individuals and states lose out. Moreover, hunger is a violation of the right to food.
90% of all hunger-related deaths are caused by chronic undernourishment. Famines and wars are responsible for merely 10%. Hunger is the greatest obstacle for development, progress, prosperity and peace in the world.
Currently, the world produces enough food to feed everyone. However, inequality prevents over 800.000 fellow humans from eating every day as they have no access to food or money to buy it. At the same time, an estimated 30% of global food production is wasted, and over a billion people are severely overweight because of excessive food intake.

This is how DanChurchAid fights hunger
People are hungry because they can not access food for a number of reasons. DanChurchAid fights hunger in various ways. We focus on improving access to food for the poorest by:
- Promoting agro-ecological production
- Supporting income generation
- Working for poor people’s right to food through national and international advocacy
- Emergency aid and social protection schemes

Humanitarian Response and Disaster Risk Reduction
DanChurchAid and ACT Alliance work on sudden onset disasters such as  earthquakes, cyclones and floods; with  slow onset disasters caused by  drought; with long-term and complex crises caused primarily by war and conflict, as well as complex emergency  are part of a vicious circle with poverty, climate fluctuations, limited capacity of national authorities and so on – and with reconstruction after disasters.
When disaster strikes, the affected population has the right to fast and effective humanitarian assistance.  Depending on the specific situation, it can be food, relief parcels, cash for local purchases or protection of vulnerable groups, or other needs which are the highest priority.
Together with local partners, DCA works to provide humanitarian assistance that meets international standards for quality and accountability, primarily HAP benchmarks and Sphere standards. DCA is a certified HAP organisation since 2008, and is also the current Chair and a core supporter of the Sphere project.

Humanitarian Response
DanChurchAid has great experience in helping people who are affected by disasters and conflict.
As a part of ACT Alliance – one of the world’s largest international disaster networks with members in 140 countries around the world – DanChurchAid participates in providing fast and effective action in all countries where ACT Alliance has local partners and networks.
We help the populations that are affected on the basis of their situation and needs, and we work together with local partners who are familiar with the local social, economic and cultural conditions.  That means that DanChurchAid and ACT Alliance often can provide help in places that other organisations have difficulty in reaching.

Disaster Risk Reduction
The poorest are usually the most vulnerable when disaster strikes.  They often live in areas that are particularly exposed to, for example, floods and drought, and they have at the same time the least capacity to cope.
That is why DanChurchAid works purposefully to strengthen both poor people’s resistance to disasters and also local disaster preparedness in areas that are especially vulnerable

Humanitarian Mine Action and Safer Communities
It is about the people - not the weapon
Mine action is not only about clearing mines. It is also about improving access to blocked resources, providing assistance to affected people, and about strengthen local community capacities. We are assisting with resources, knowledge, and capacity where needed and with local participation we are building strong, resilient and safer communities. Making communities safer not only improves human security, it also facilitates sustainable long-term development.
We call this approach Safer Communities (1.01 MB). That is what DCA mine action is all about.

Our approach builds on the integration of the following elements:
- Clearance of Land Mines and Explosive Remnants of War (ERW)
- Risk Education
- Armed Violence Reduction
- Victim assistance
- Physical Security and Stockpile Management
- Emergency responses

Challenges
Landmines and ERW remain dormant in the ground long after wars have ended, waiting for their next potential victim; a farmer who is working the field, a woman collecting water or a playful child. Many hostilities and much fighting take place in populated areas – either urban or rural – and innocent civilians often become unintended victims of landmines and ERW.
While clearance and other mine action activities have progressed steadily over the years, communities and local capabilities still need to be strengthened, and much remains to be done.

What We Do
DCA Mine Action has been operational since 1999, working worldwide in countries such as Albania, Angola, Burundi, Burma/Myanmar, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eritrea, Kosovo, Iraq, Laos, Lebanon, Libya, Mali, Sudan, South Sudan, Syria, and Turkey.
The essential element of our work is community participation and local ownership. We are committed to national capacity building and work closely with national authorities to ensure in-country capacity remains in order to deal mine action after we exit a country. The positive change is generated locally.
We are working closely together with DCA Development counterparts and other ACT Alliance partners in order to build safer communities and facilitate sustainable long-term development. We are working to achieve this through:
Clearance of Mines and ERW conducted in accordance with community needs, national priorities and International Mine Action Standards.
Risk Education in order to keep at-risk populations safe through disseminating safety messages.
Armed Violence Reduction reduces and prevents occurrence of armed violence and reduce the social and psychological impact of armed violence through advocacy within the national authorities.
Victim assistance enables victims of armed conflict to be reintegrated into society; either through direct support – e.g. prosthetic legs – or through longer-term psychosocial support.
Physical Security and Stockpile Management removes the threat posed to communities by unsafe storage of weapons and explosives.
Emergency response means being able to deliver time-critical humanitarian responses in crisis and conflicts areas.
The diversity of our approach and the cooperation with our partners is the key to a successful transition of mine action functions to national structures since they provides us with the essential access and local knowledge.

From the Field to Advocacy
Field operations and advocacy are mutually reinforcing activities aiming to change realities on the ground. DCA is active in both areas, helping to ensure that contamination from mines and cluster munitions will not reoccur once removed through clearance operations.
We are active in the International Campaign to Ban Landmines as well as the Cluster Munitions Coalition. Through this work, we advocate for legal instruments, which are or should be in place to prevent or reduce further contamination with mines, cluster munitions and other ERW.
Only with the continued, sustained effort of affected countries, partners and donors, is it possible to build safer communities and to reach our goal:
A world without mines and other deadly remnants of war.

 

Areas of Expertise

Test an innovation and provide feedback, Advise on Financial management and operations, Suggest Partners, Grant/Proposal Writing, Government Relations, Policy, Advocacy