World Service is the internationally recognized Humanitarian and development arm of The Lutheran World Federation (LWF). World Service (DWS) works with marginalized and disadvantaged communities in areas of greatest vulnerability and endemic need. In these efforts, World Service cooperates closely with churches and related agencies, and in the framework of Action by Churches Together (ACT) International, as an instrument of the ecumenical movement.
FAITH-BASED AND RIGHTS-BASED
World Service is faith lived out in action. World Service—as part of the global diakonia of the church—intends to take up the challenge from Psalm 82:3: “uphold the rights of the poor and oppressed.” This phrase summarizes the conviction of World Service that the poor and needy are not objects of charity but have the right to a life in dignity. In this respect, a “rights-based approach” is Scripture-based and is connected with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenants on Civil and Political Rights, as well as on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
HUMANITARIAN ASSISTANCE AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
World Service provides humanitarian aid and assists in rehabilitation and development in more than 30 countries. With programs in Africa, Asia, Latin and Central America, and Europe, World Service has a distinguished record of linking compassionate and professional emergency response with competence in rehabilitation programs and effective long-term development efforts.
EMPOWERMENT AND SERVICE
World Service reaches out to marginalized and vulnerable poor people whose livelihoods are threatened by the effects of natural and human-made disaster, with special regard to internally displaced persons (IDPs) and refugees. World Service staff is committed to building people’s capacity and competence to make informed decisions about their own lives. Empowerment is a key concept for World Service. World Service extends its services without discriminating on the basis of religion, ethnicity, race, sex, caste, nationality or political conviction.
INTERNATIONAL AND LOCAL
World Service actively participates in global networks and cooperates with ecumenical partners, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and UN organizations as well as with governments. It is an important strength of World Service that through the network of churches and congregations, local and international efforts are connected. World Service primarily works in remote areas in regions and countries with high vulnerability to disaster, where adequate local capacities and services are not available and which other agencies have difficulties reaching.