Lutheran World Federation / Department for World Service
LWS is the main implementer of overseas aid for ALWS. The Department for World Service (DWS) is the relief and development arm of the Lutheran World Federation and is ALWS's major partner in the implementation of its overseas aid and development program.
Rooted in Christian values of love, reconciliation and justice, DWS responds to human need throughout the world, serving all people irrespective of ethnicity, gender, religion, race or political conviction.
Drawing on a firm commitment to uphold the rights of the poor and oppressed, DWS works together with local and international partners to alleviate suffering, combat injustice and poverty, and lay the foundation for a life in dignity for all.
It has a global program embracing over thirty developing countries in Africa, Latin and Central America, South Asia, South-East Asia, Europe and the Middle East, with a staff of over 5000. Peter Schirmer (ALWS former Executive Secretary) is a member of the LWS Standing Committee.
DWS is committed to an empowering, rights-based and integrated approach. Such an approach enables communities to find long-term solutions to the problems they are facing, and informs all people of their rights and responsibilities. It strives to link different program aspects such as emergency intervention and disaster preparedness to reconstruction and development.
Whilst ALWS benefits from and contributes to the collaborative strengths and experiences of the international network of LWF/Department for World Service and LWS Field Programs, it is an autonomous organization within that network. The benefits of this network membership are many and include:
- access to a well established and long term partner in the field projects
- the application of a transparent and accountable financial package to all program/project financial matters
- the sharing of professional development opportunities and materials.
- access to a wide range of resources and expertise.
- the shared use of LWF/LWS facilities, staff and other necessary infrastructure in project areas which enables the donors' dollars to achieve the maximum.
DWS focuses on six priority areas, adapted to local contexts and informed by local communities. The global struggle to overcome poverty and ensure human rights forms the framework for all DWS work. DWS priority areas are:
- Responding to and preparing for disasters
- Creating sustainable communities
- Combating HIV & AIDS
- Promoting peace, reconciliation and human rights
- Transforming gender relations
- Protecting the environment
ALWS works through LWF/DWS in Burundi, Sudan, Mozambique, Kenya, Nepal and Cambodia.
However, as the official overseas aid/development and resettlement agency of the LCA, ALWS does support projects in countries where there is a strong link with the LCA through its Board for Mission, but where there is no established LWS program. e.g. PNG and Indonesia.
Read more about LWF /DWS here
Australian Lutheran World Service is a member of ACT alliance, and work through ACT alliance in times of natural disasters that occur around the world.
About ACT alliance
Basic facts about ACT alliance
- ACT alliance is an alliance of 140 churches and church-related organisations that work together in humanitarian assistance and development.
- The alliance works in 130 countries and mobilises US$1.5 billion annually in its work for a just world.
- The alliance has over 30,000 people working for it globally.
- Members employ around 30,000 staff and volunteers working for it globally.
- ACT alliancewas created on 1 January 2010 by bringing together the efforts, resources, people and organisations who have been working together since 1995 as ACT International and since 2003 as ACT Development.
- The alliance is supported by an international Secretariat of 18 staff based in Geneva, Switzerland
ACT alliance works towards a world community where all God’s creation lives with dignity, justice, peace and full respect for human rights and the environment.
Members of the alliance work together for positive and sustainable change in the lives of people affected by poverty and injustice through coordinated and effective humanitarian, development and advocacy work. We work with and for people of all faiths and none.
International networks and standards
ACT allianceis a member of the International Council for Voluntary Agencies (ICVA), the Steering Committee for Humanitarian Response (SCHR) and the Humanitarian Accountability Partnership (HAP).
ACT alliance is a signatory to the Code of Conduct for the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and NGOs in Disaster Relief and is committed to the Sphere Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Disaster Response and the Global Humanitarian Platform’s Principles of Partnership.
Members and official observers of ACT alliance are:
- related to the World Council of Churches and The Lutheran World Federation
- work in the area of humanitarian assistance and/or development as their primary mandate (for church-related organisations)
- committed to high quality work
- approved by the actalliance Governing Board
What does ACT alliance do?
Members of ACT alliance work together for positive and sustainable change in the lives of impoverished, marginalised and vulnerable women, men, girls and boys through coordinated and effective humanitarian, development and advocacy work.
ACT alliance supports communities to find sustainable ways to:
- overcome poverty
- adapt to changes in their environment and reduce the risk of future disasters
- cope with and be better prepared for emergencies
- recover from major setbacks due to conflicts or war, and
- influence their governments and other decision-makers to fulfill their duties in protect basic rights.
They work with and for people of all faiths and none. ACT alliance give priority to the poorest and most vulnerable people in areas of the world with the greatest need for external assistance, and work to enable and strengthen existing capacity and resources, putting communities at the centre.
ACT alliance work to uphold ethical and professional standards of transparency and accountability to the communities we serve, to those whose resources we are asked to be stewards of, and to each other. In all of this, they are committed as an alliance to learning, coordinating and collaborating with each other and others to increase the difference people make.
For a wonderful visual of the work of ACT alliance download the following video clip:
One Rhythm, One World - ACT alliance video clip (25MB)
Evangelical Lutheran Church - Papua New Guinea (ELC-PNG)
Through the Church Partnership Program (CPP) in PNG, ALWS works to strengthen the Evangelical Lutheran Church of PNG’s capacity to improve the livelihoods of people in PNG. The CPP works closely with the departments of the Lutheran church to conduct workshops and trainings on capacity building in areas such as good governance, management, health, education and skills training.
Both Australian and Papua New Guinean governments recognise that working through the churches remains the most effective and transparent way of reaching those most in need in PNG. The program is largely funded by AusAID and involves seven PNG mainline churches and their Australian faith based NGO partners.
The overall goal of CPP ELC-PNG is to strengthen the institutional capacity of the Church so that it can support and challenge its people “to participate in God’s economy; to engage in the management of the household and to promote responsible stewardship and good governance that provides sustainable development.” (The late Rt Rev. Dr Wesley Kigasung, CPP Church Leaders Forum, Port Moresby 2008)
Through the CPP, ALWS are able to offer support through the following Departments of the ELC-PNG:
- Capacity-Building – Financial Services & Administration
- Lutheran Development Service
- Human Resouce Management Division
- Office of General Church Secretary
- Women and Youth Divisions.
Centre of Disaster Risk Managment & Community Development Studies
The Lutheran churches in are strongly committed to living their faith through service to their neighbour. A key challenge is to assist them enhance their capacity to carry out their ministry, especially in response to disasters and endemic poverty. As part of the LCA support, ALWS offers training and expertise to help Indonesians develop their lives, and be more prepared for disasters.
A major initiative is supporting a training centre at a Lutheran University in Medan that offers professional training in development and disaster-related issues. ALWS, in cooperation with Board for Mission and Lutheran Education Australia, is also supporting specific development-related activities implemented by LCA partner churches in Indonesia.
The CDRM & CDS offers Indonesians opportunities for learning, and empowers people to improve their own lives.
Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance
The Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance is an international network of churches and church-related organizations committed to campaigning together on common concerns. Current campaigns focus on HIV and AIDS and Food. Advocacy includes raising awareness and building a movement for justice within the churches as well as mobilizing people of faith to lobby local and national governments, businesses, and multi-lateral organizations. EAC partner with many organizations who share common goals on these critical issues, believing that the more people work together, the stronger the voice is for justice.
Alliance members represent tens of millions of Christians around the world who share the conviction that advocacy against unjust structures, practices and attitudes should not be a task to engage in when it is convenient, but must be a fundamental requirement of living out Christian faith. The Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance includes large international organisations such as the Caritas Internationalis, World YWCA and Lutheran World Federation, as well as large and small national organizations such as Madras Christian Council of Social Services (India), Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Mission, Tearfund (United Kingdom), Presbyterian World Service and Development (Canada). ALWS are members of the Eucmenical Advocacy Alliance.
The Lutheran Church of Australia's International Mission is responsible for assisting the Church fulfil the mission command of Jesus to ‘go and make disciples of all peoples, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to keep all that Christ has commanded; and, further the mission of the Church by promoting interest in, and support for, mission endeavour at home and overseas.
A key task for International Mission is working in partnership with churches overseas to support their ministries. The focus is in our region, and the longest standing partnerships are in our own region, including:
The practical support provided by IM within the context of these partnerships includes theological scholarships, training course subsidies, provision of theological materials, financial and volunteer assistance to church-run welfare services, such as orphanages, funding mission outreach activities, as well as supporting two full-time missionaries in Thailand and PNG.
ALWS & IM Working Together
ALWS and IM have a mutual interest in both PNG and Indonesia, an emerging partnership in Cambodia, as well as exploring possible relationships in Africa. To ensure there is good collaboration, sharing of expertise and mutual support, three Coordination Groups have been established. The Groups cover work in PNG, Indonesia and Cambodia and involve staff from IM, ALWS and Lutheran Education Australia.
These Groups meet regularly during the year and facilitate excellent cooperation whereby the complementary skills and mandates are drawn together as an expression of the total ministry of the LCA.
Cooperation in Action
Since 2007, the Indonesia Coordination Group has been responsible for a program called “Strengthening Churches for Service in Indonesia.” Through a $250,000/year grant from the LLL, the program is working towards achieving its long term goal of “strengthening the capacity of the Indonesian Lutheran churches to live out the Gospel in a predominately Muslim society through effective service to the wider community.” ALWS is responsible for the ‘aid and development’ component of the program, which focuses on the . International Mission is focusing on mission outreach and theological education activities, while Lutheran Education Australia is supporting the churches to improve their delivery of education services through their many schools.
Since 2004, ALWS has been involved in a largely AusAID-funded program, called the . ALWS is partnering with the ELCPNG to assist them enhance their capacity to contribute to development in PNG and the well being of people, especially in the more remote rural areas. A critical role for the ELCPNG is the provision of education services through its hundreds of elementary, primary and secondary schools. In cooperation with International Mission, Lutheran Education Australia, as well as Lutheran Churches in Germany and USA, ALWS is supporting the ELCPNG to improve the delivery of education in all its schools. This is a major long term initiative, which will benefit from cooperation among all the ELCPNGs partners.
A new and exciting period of cooperation is currently under discussion. Watch this space for developments!
Lutheran Laypeople's League (LLL)
The LLL has operated since 1921, and assists the Lutheran Church of Australia (LCA) to reach out with the gospel of Jesus Christ to Australians and people around the world. Primarily this is done through financial support to the various ministries of the LCA.
ALWS & LLL Working Together
LLL provides support to ALWS in a number of ways:
Since 2007, the LLL has provided a $250,000/year grant to support a joint Board for Mission, Lutheran Education Australia and ALWS program called “Strengthening Churches for Service in Indonesia.” The program is working towards achieving its long term goal of “strengthening the capacity of the Indonesian Lutheran churches to live out the Gospel in a predominately Muslim society through effective service to the wider community.” ALWS is responsible for the ‘aid and development’ component of the program, which focuses on the
As funds are available LLL also provides special one-off gifts to ALWS. In 2010 it provided $20,000 to support flood relief efforts in Pakistan.
LLL – ALWS Support Fund
LLL has established permanent funds that support various LCA ministries. The has been created with the aim to fund ALWS’ operating costs through an annual allocation to ALWS of returns generated by the Fund. Donations and/or bequests can by made to the Fund, with an assurance that the capital is never spent.
LLL offers depositors zero-interest accounts, allowing them the option to allocate the equivalent of interest foregone to their ministry of choice. Thanks to this LLL facility and the generosity of LLL depositors, the LLL is able to annually allocate a substantial gift to support the work of ALWS.
Church Agencies Network
The Church Agency Network is a group of 11 Australian church-based aid and development agencies. The network is an opportunity to work together and to share experiences and practice, recognising that together we can achieve much more. ALWS is actively engaged in all CAN groups, which include CEOs, Program Managers, Program Effectiveness and Finance Managers
Australian Church Agencies
ALWS actively seeks alliances within the Lutheran family, ecumenically, with people of other faiths and others of good will in wider society who share a commitment to alleviating poverty and promoting justice.
In Australia, ALWS has developed good working relationships with other church-based aid agencies. The nature of the cooperation currently includes:
- Heads of Church Aid Agency meetings, involving eleven organisations
- Church Agency Program Manager meetings
- Caritas Australia and Anglican Board of Mission (ABM) participation on ALWS’ Program Advisory Committee
- Agreement between ALWS and ABM to cooperate in disaster response
- actalliance Australia/New Zealand Forum, bringing together the Australian and New Zealand members of the actalliance to mutually support and cooperate with each other in development and humanitarian work in the Pacific region.