diakonia & solidarity team

work in the regions



dignity of children

uprooted people


wcc homepage

Russian Orthodox Church farming school near Smolensk

Relief for Bangladesh flood victims provided via Action by Churches Together (ACT) (1998)

1986 world consultation on Diakonia 2000, Larnaca, 1986.

Camp for Internally Displaced People southeast of Kenema, Sierra Leone (2001)

Click on a region for information on the work of
the wcc's regional desks

The aim of the Diakonia & Solidarity team is to empower marginalized groups, including uprooted people, in their struggles for dignity and sustainable communities.

It works towards this aim by attempting to strengthen ecumenical cooperation and witness in diakonia and solidarity, and to nurture just relationships within the ecumenical family.

With this overall aim, the team's activities are directed towards four specific objectives:

  • sustaining relationships among member churches, regional ecumenical organizations and ecumenical development agencies for common witness, particularly in the area of diakonia and solidarity;
  • creating spaces for reflection, analysis, mediation and action on ecumenical diakonia and development at the national, regional and global levels;
  • empowering communities in their daily struggle for dignity and life, both "abundant" and sustainable;
  • building the capacities of member churches and partner organizations to use sustainable and holistic methodologies in their diaconal ministries;
  • developing a coherent and holistic approach to meet human needs that integrates relief, rehabilitation, development and reconciliation.

    principles and values:
    The term "diakonia" refers to service as a permanent activity of the church throughout history. Diakonia is essential and foundational to life in faith. The very existence of a fellowship of churches is impossible to imagine without compassionate service and solidarity for all, based on God's love.

    Over the years, the concept of diakonia has expanded from being viewed solely as a service of compassion to include working for change in relationships and social structures.

    The 1986 consultation on "Diakonia 2000: Called to be Neighbours" broadened the meaning of diakonia. The concept became more comprehensive and holistic, taking into account spiritual as well as material needs, and stressing the importance of local expressions of diakonia.

    The 1987 consultation on Kononia: "Sharing Life in a World Community" focused on the conjunction of diakonia and koinonia, of service and communion, in the sense of solidarity and mutual commitment.

    Reflection continues on the meaning of diakonia in today's diverse world. It can be said that ecumenical diakonia today

  • must respond to our contexts, global and local
  • is a call to participate in God's mission
  • is prophetic diakonia
  • is transformative and justice-seeking
  • is inseparable from koinonia
  • is global diakonia and is for all people and all of creation
  • is about healing, reconciliation and reconstruction
  • is about building just relationships, mutuality and sharing.
  • partners:
    Our main partners are churches and ecumenical organizations and agencies, but also secular NGOs and structures. We foster relationships between churches and ecumenical agencies, and encourage coordination and cooperation among the latter. We initiate and support lasting regional and international partnerships and networks among all who share a common vision of human dignity, including secuar NGOs and other organizations where appropriate. We coordinate and cooperate closely with Regional Ecumenical Organizations (REOs) in each region to ensure coherence and an appropriate division of labour.

    external: capacity-building, empowerment, networking and advocacy; practical actions of solidarity; ecumenical cooperation (coordination, mediation, accompaniment); information-sharing.

    internal: reflection and analysis; planning, monitoring, evaluation and reporting; administering ecumenical resource-sharing; publishing.

  • round tables
  • regional groups
  • other consultations and workshops
  • specialized ecumenical structures:
  • ACT - Action by Churches Together (in cooperation with the Lutheran World Federation) for emergency relief
    - Ecumenical Church Loan Fund

    Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance

    contact us!








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    © copyright 2004 World Council of Churches. Remarks to: webeditor