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Diakonia’s History

Diakonia was established in 1966 under the name of Swedish Free Church Aid. Ever since, its focus has been on people exposed to injustice and their opportunities to change their situation. In 1984 the name of the organization was changed to Diakonia. The word "diakonia" is Greek, meaning care and service.

Humanitarian focus

In 1966 the people of India suffered a severe drought. Some of Sweden's churches came together to organise a joint relief effort. The following year, similar efforts took place in the Middle East, where people were affected by what was known as the Six-Day War. After that, in 1970, Bangladesh was struck by heavy rainstorms and floods. Once again, the churches joined forces to provide help.

Long-term efforts

Following these experiences, the churches wished to establish a more long-term development work in order to help people afflicted by disasters and poverty. Within the Swedish Free Church Council, a new organization was formed: Swedish Free Church Aid.

In 1984 the name was changed to Diakonia.

Change as a goal

The word "diakonia" is originally Greek, meaning care or service. In the Christian tradition, it is used to describe work for a just distribution of our common resources – the riches of Creation. The aim is to be at the service of those who need our help, to work for change and to have faith in people's ability to make changes – not wait for things to happen by themselves.

Work grounded in policy

The five basic themes of our work are human rights, democracy, social and economic justice, gender equality and conflict and justice. These areas are stated and outlined in our global policy, which forms the foundation of our work.

A woman looking into the camera, trees in the background.

Diakonia's policy

Diakonia’s work is regulated by our policy, which is a product that has taken into account the views from both our denominations and partner organizations.