A young girl is holding up her hands to the shape of a heart.

Annual reports

Diakonia's annual report contains a financial report and information that sums up the work carried out during the past year.

In 2020 we had to regroup and adapt our activities to the coronavirus pandemic and its restrictions. Re-prioritisations were made in both Sweden and our partner countries to meet the needs that arose. Read some of the highlights from our work in 2020.

Campaign about how the pandemic affects people around the world in different ways

500 000 people were reached by our campaign in which we highlighted the challenges many people are facing during the coronavirus pandemic. On Diakonia’s website, we collected stories of how people in various parts of the world are being affected. To draw attention to how difficult it is to follow recommendations for people living in poverty, we asked questions such as “How do you wash your hands when you don’t have water?” The campaign took place in two phases and on both occasions reached more than half a million people. 100 percent of respondents in a focus group said that the campaign had expanded their knowledge of how a pandemic impacts people in poverty.

Two hands washing with water

More people should know what development cooperation does

During the autumn, Diakonia launched its 1 procent för världen (1 Percent For the World) campaign. The aim of the campaign was to spread awareness that 1 percent of Sweden’s GDP goes to international development assistance. We talked about how the money is used and what results it gives around the world. Diakonia is working to ensure that Swedish development assistance remains at 1 percent. To get the message out in a more relaxed way and reach people who don’t normally receive communication from Diakonia, we worked with Anitha Clemens, a well-known Swedish media personality with many followers on social media. In short videos, she discussed development cooperation, the 1-percent target and gender equality with family and friends. The video clips, watched by almost 650 000 people, were posted on both Diakonia’s and Anitha Clemens’ social media.

Companies must respect human rights

An area that Diakonia has prioritised is the respect of companies for human rights. In 2020 we reinforced our feminist perspective in this work. There are many reasons for this. Women are over-represented among those performing low-paid work, but they rarely have influence over their working conditions. In many parts of the world, women are denied the right to own the land they farm and live off. This is why they are particularly vulnerable when companies develop land. Another example is how homosexual men working in the mining industry are subjected to discrimination due to norms regarding masculinity and heterosexuality. Diakonia has therefore drafted feminist recommendations on enterprise and human rights, which we use in discussions with politicians in Sweden and the EU. Working with the Ministry of Justice, Diakonia has also helped formulate the contents of future legislation. This legislation will be crucial to companies taking responsibility for human rights, which will help increase gender equality in the world.

A woman sitting on the phone looking into a computer.
María Esther Ayala Escalante, lawyer at our partner organization, receiving calls at their phone line for female victims of violence. Photo: Centro de Derechos de Mujeres

Contraceptives were distributed during the pandemic

Honduras. Honduras is one of the most dangerous countries in the world for women. Violence has become part of everyday life, and the view of contraception is harsh. Birth control pills are not sold to those under the age of 21, and morning-after pills are prohibited. The spread of incorrect information about contraception is also a major problem. Diakonia fights for women’s self-determination and sexual and reproductive rights.

During the coronavirus pandemic, the ability of women to exercise these rights has been made more difficult. Diakonia's partners have therefore focused on distributing contraceptives, condoms and pregnancy tests to women with limited resources and opportunities to seek care. Violence has also increased during the pandemic and it is difficult for women subjected to violence to know what to do, where to turn or how to report it. For example, the courts that deal with reports of sexual violence have been kept closed to reduce the spread of infection.

Najdeh Center in Shatila crefugee camp, Beirut, november 2020 during covid19. Photo: Najdeh

Crucial play time for children in refugee camps

Lebanon. Children in refugee camps have been hit hard in the coronavirus crisis. Diakonia supports the Najdeh centre, which runs daytime activities in refugee camps in Lebanon. Children, but also adults, can come here to deal with traumatic memories of the war.

Coming to the centre is a ray of hope in many children’s lives. They get to play, do crafts, paint and meet other children. During the coronavirus pandemic, the centre has been closed. Instead, the children and leaders have met via online video meetings, held activities such as play therapy outdoors and met in small groups. During the pandemic, activities have become more important than ever for children trapped in cramped
housing in Lebanon’s refugee camps.

A group of people standing in front of a buidling with a motorcycle in front of them
Participants of Diakonia's project in Kenya for strengthening democracy and improving the justice system. Photo: Legal Resource Foundation

Smart solution to a difficult problem

Kenya. In the Isiolo district, Diakonia is working to improve the justice system, which is facing major challenges. With only one court in the area’s largest city, many rural residents rely on traditional conflict resolution methods, with elders playing an important role as mediators. But the Isiolo district is large, and the elders have difficulty making their way on the inaccessible roads to places where conflicts have arisen. At the same time, the majority of the inhabitants are livestock farmers who find it difficult to leave their animals.

Diakonia’s partner organization solved the problem by purchasing motorbikes for the elders, who can now also reach residents who have fewer resources with which to access justice.