The Salvation Army is known for all sorts of activities. It could be the brass bands, the cup of tea during a crisis, its history, or the multiple social programmes it has around the world. The fact is that all these activities work towards one mission and it is through building relationships that our mission is achieved.
In our experience we have seen that poverty is more than a lack of food or money. We see poverty as a breakdown of relationships. Relationships between people, relationships with financial systems, relationships with the ecological environment and ultimately relationships with God. We believe in an integrated mission that supports individuals and communities in tackling poverty by helping them rebuild these relationships.
The International Projects and Development Services Section is part of the International Programme Resources department and exists to serve local Salvation Army personnel in developing countries who, day by day, extend a hand to their neighbours to help them out of this poverty, whoever they may be. This support can take a variety of forms:
- Providing support for Salvation Army territories in developing countries needing international funds for their work with communities, whether related to church based infrastructure (Mission Support Projects) or development work (Community Development Projects). This support is vital to improve accountability and coordination of resources.
- Training in Faith Based Facilitation tools that enable The Salvation Army to work more effectively with communities of any race, gender of religion. The aim is to help the communities identify where relationships have broken down and what they can do to rebuild them.
- Providing strategic support to the Salvation Army supporting offices based in more developed countries through sharing of good practice and coordination of resources.
- Support the work of The Salvation Army’s International Social Justice Commission in their mission of advocacy on behalf of the poor.
- Work with the International Emergency Services section in helping The Salvation Army support communities prepare for, and recover from, hazards.
The Salvation Army, through this community engagement, is working towards the Millennium Development Goals. The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are eight specific goals to be met by 2015 that aim to combat extreme poverty across the world. The goals were created at the UN Millennium Summit in New York in 2000, which was the largest gathering of world leaders in history. The MDGs are drawn from the Millennium Declaration which was adopted by 189 nations and signed by 147 heads of state.
The eight Millennium Development Goals are:
1 Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
2 Achieve universal primary education
3 Promote gender equality and empower women
4 Reduce child mortality
5 Improve maternal health
6 Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases
7 Ensure environmental sustainability
8 Develop a global partnership for development
In designing projects with communities, The Salvation Army aims to be making progress towards these goals and IPDS is here to help The Salvation Army do this effectively.