The Finnish Lutheran Overseas Mission (FLOM) is a Christian mission and development organization affiliated to the Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Church. We are a Bible-based organization whose aim is to share the Christian message in word and deed, particularly in those areas of the world in which there are not currently Christians or in which local Christian communities are still small in size and in need of external support.
FLOM is committed to a holistic view of mission work, according to which mission work includes both Christian proclamation work and work aimed at improving people’s living conditions and reducing poverty. Since 1979 FLOM has participated in numerous development cooperation projects in various countries in Asia and Africa. In addition to development work carried out with local development NGOs, we also encourage the local congregations we work with in developing countries to demonstrate their faith in a practical manner by serving the poor and needy within their local communities.
- FLOM was established in 1974
- The Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Church accepted as FLOM as one of the it’s official mission organizations in 1979
- FLOM currently works in Bangladesh, Mongolia, Ethiopia, Japan and in several different Muslim and Jewish communities
- Our organization has about 40 mission workers
- Each mission worker is supported both financially and in prayer by his/her own support group
- FLOM cooperates with national Lutheran Churches, other like-minded organizations and also local and international Civil Society Organizations
- FLOM’s work is funded by support from the Finnish Lutheran Evangelical Church’s “general fund”, through missionary support agreements with individual Lutheran congregations and through private donations
- FLOM’s development cooperation work is implemented with funding from the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs
The following values are central to FLOM’s development cooperation work:
We believe that every individual is a unique physical and spiritual being and is created in God’s image. Since that is the case, we believe that every person deserves the right to live a decent, worthwhile and fulfilling life.
Love for one’s neighbour
We believe that our neighbours in developing countries should be able to enjoy the same rights that we in so-called developed countries do and are committed to working towards that end.
The world’s resources are not divided evenly. Inequality is a huge problem both globally and within countries. We believe that this does not need to be the case and the ultimate aim of our development work is to tackle global inequality and create a fairer world for all of mankind.
FLOM’s development cooperation work is founded on the following principles:
Partnership and cooperation
Our development work is founded on the principles of partnership and cooperation between FLOM and the local partner organizations with whom we work. Partnership refers to a relationship between equals founded on mutual trust and respect and joint responsibility. The principle of partnership is adhered to throughout the life of our projects, from the initial project planning stage through to implementation, monitoring and evaluation.
Our development cooperation work is founded on a rights-based approach to development. In such an approach the human rights of vulnerable communities are placed at the centre of development. Development interventions focus on working together with ‘rights holders’ to ensure that their voices are heard and their rights upheld and, at the same time, working with duty bearers in local government and elsewhere to create an environment in which people are able to fully realize their rights.
Focus on the poorest and most marginalized
Our development work seeks to improve the situation of the poorest and most marginalized members of the societies in which we work.
We believe strongly in the principle of empowerment, meaning helping people to help themselves. Our development cooperation work seeks to give people the tools to act themselves to improve their living conditions and advocate for their rights.
We always seek to ensure that our development work is appropriate to the local cultural and social environment in which our projects are situated. This is done through working together with local partners and communities and through ensuring that all ex-patriate workers employed in our projects have a thorough grasp of the local language and culture.
Local people always understand their own situation better than outsiders, be they foreigners or people from other areas of their own country. Our development cooperation work aims to ensure that local people genuinely feel that they ‘own’ the problems our projects address as well as the means of addressing those problems. In this way, we believe that local communities will be motivated to work together with project staff and to carry on maintaining structures set up through our projects following their completion.
Sustainability and Long-term Approach
FLOM development projects are designed to make a lasting impact that will be felt beyond the immediate project implementation period.
We seek to build networks with other development organizations both in the developing countries in which we work and in Finland. Currently FLOM is an active member of Kepa, Kehys and the Finnish Mission Council’s Development Cooperation group.