Diakonia - People change the world
Tep Vanny in Cambodia was imprisoned while fighting for her community’s right to the land they have lived on all their lives. Her struggle has led to important changes and given many people hope that you can make your voice heard. Photo: Stephen Welch

Core values

Diakonia has identified six core values to guide us as an organization and as individuals within the organization. These values are firmly rooted in the Christian tradition and our way of interpreting the Christian faith, but are not exclusive to Christianity. We believe that they guide us as we work together with people of different faiths and worldviews. They make us open to all people who show goodwill.


Understood in terms of Christian belief, freedom means that no individual, group or power structure has the right to violate the human rights of another individual. Throughout Creation humans were given the freedom to choose between good and evil, and to take responsibility for their choices. From this perspective, Diakonia works for human rights. Each individual has the right to develop according to his or her own capacity without being limited by prejudice, gender inequality or the stereotypical expectations of others.

Thus, we uphold, respect, promote and protect human rights by recognising and appreciating diversity and by treating people equally and equitably.


We have chosen to side with marginalised people living in poverty and work for their right to determine their own lives. All sustainable change takes place through the joint efforts and will of many individuals. The God of Creation is also the God of history, who chose selfless love to bring about change and who works throughout history through people, both individually and collectively. Our belief is that long-term work performed in love and solidarity, with the vision of a just and dignified life for all will, in fact, change the world.

Thus, we believe in using power with integrity and for empowerment. It is crucial to recognise that power relations, whether on a global or local scale, are structured around different hierarchical categories, such as gender, ethnicity, class, sexuality, religion and age. For Diakonia, it is appropriate to consider power within our organization and in our relationships with partners. We promote and safeguard the right to participation and non-discrimination. We promote good leadership, team spirit and solidarity.


The Christian message indicates both individual and shared responsibility. Each person is responsible for his or her own life, and for that of the community and Creation at large. Democracy is the form of governance that best expresses the fundamental ideals in the Bible regarding the equal worth, rights and obligations of all people. It is therefore our task to work for more widespread democracy, both in the formal sense and in terms of a culture of democratic values that should permeate society at all levels.

Thus, we believe in the equal worth of every individual, and we strive to practice and promote transparency, qualitative participation, inclusion, non-discrimination and accountability.


Underlying the Christian claim for social and economic justice is the belief in God’s righteousness. Injustice arouses the anger and sorrow of God. All people should therefore have the right to lead a worthy life, irrespective of economic and social status. Thus, we Diakonia strives to be fair and transparent in all our work.


In a world torn apart by conflict and injustice, the contribution of the Christian faith is the hope that a better world, the Kingdom of God, is possible and will one day become a reality. Christian hope concerns not only life after death, but also the fulfilment of God’s will today. Hope provides motivation and helps people to persevere in a chaotic world. It is a force that is already creating change.

Thus, we inspire and support those working to change unequal and unfair structures.


Peace is used in the Bible to describe peoples’ relationship with God, other people and Creation. Peace involves safeguarding the life of each person, physically and mentally, and preserving Creation. It is our task as Christians to strive for peace for all people on Earth. This is the basis of our work with peace building.

Thus, we believe that peace is a requirement if people are to live dignified lives.