Diakonie Hamburg
International Networking
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Guiding Principles of International Networking

With the political changes occurring in the Russian Federation and Eastern Europe as well as the new countries joining the European Union, humanitarian and structural cooperation with (new) neighbors has become an important issue in protestant churches and diaconal social welfare work. The Diakonische Werk Hamburg has cultivated partnerships for many years with Hamburg’s sister cities Saint Petersburg and Dar es Salaam. The section for Social Service Partnership Programs (Referat Diakonische Partnerschaftsprogramme) continues to develop and coordinate these partnerships. These diaconal social welfare, transnational partnerships are founded on the following principles:

Socio-political issues are approached and handled from an international perspective
Many social service areas addressed by the Diakonische Werk are rooted in international socio-political issues. For this reason we discuss departmental policy issues across borders with our partners in Eastern Europe and our sister cities. We also look for solutions to local problems together. We are aided by contacts in the partner countries and transnational social service institutions such as Bread for the World and Eurodiaconia.

International networks of diaconal social services
Social services provided by the Diakonische Werk Hamburg and its member organizations are frequently confronted by situations that have international origins and repercussions. For this reason, it is important to think internationally when looking for an approach to solve the situation. The Section for Social Service Partnership Programs and the Crosssroads Project provide advice and support for facilities run by the Diakonische Werk and its member organizations that are interested in and have a need for this type of international social services networking.

Focus on promoting human rights
A major goal of the partnerships is to support individual human rights and help people to help themselves. One example is the Nochlezhka project (Project Nachtasyl).

Create sustainability through long-term cooperative efforts
Long-term cooperation is the basis for developing ideas and carrying them out with our partners. One example of a prolific, long-term cooperation is our partnership with Saint Petersburg.