Our vision is a world free from poverty.
Our two most important tools are education and microfinance. By providing people with knowledge and skills, the possibility to save and access to small loans, we give them the ladder leading out of poverty. But the poor have to climb it themselves.
This is what we call "Help for self-help".
Strømme Foundation is a Norwegian international development organization helping poor people in the global South climb out of poverty through microfinance and education.
Strømme Foundation was established in 1976, as a result of the fundraising initiated by Olav Kristian Strømme, a former minister of the Cathedral in Kristiansand, Norway. He was known for his bold personality and passion to make the world a better place.
Reverend Strømme started placing ads in the local newspaper to raise money in order to help the poor. These ads became famous throughout the country, establishing a new and creative way to fundraise.
After Reverend Strømme’s death, his work continued, and Strømme Foundation grew into an international development organization with a focus on education and microfinance. His dream to help the poor lives on, but is even bolder now: A world free from poverty. We are honored to live out his legacy.
Dignity and lasting results
We run long-term development programs, together with grassroots partner organizations in the global South. Strømme Foundation, coupled with the tenacious efforts of the poor, strives to create lasting change in the communities where we work.
We are privileged to witness people gaining a sense of self-respect and pride from what they are able to achieve through their own efforts. This is important to us, because pride, dignity and self-respect cannot be given to people—they result from the work invested by people in their own lives.
Locally employed staff
Strømme Foundation has chosen to employ local staff at our regional offices rather than running things from Norwegian headquarters.
This strengthens the organization in numerous ways. One of the positive results is that the administration costs are lower. But, more importantly, our staff at regional offices know the local culture and people. This enables them to assess where help is needed the most and to determine how we can most effectively foster positive change in these communities.
Where does the money come from?
Our work is financed through a variety of contributors, primarily Norwegian. We receive funds through public sector grants, private donations (individual and corporate) and other international organizations. We also receive funding from Norwegian authorities and foundations.
We currently have projects in 12 countries in South America, East and West Africa and Southeast Asia. All of our projects focus on either education or microfinance, with many integrating both. We have a particular focus on women and children, since they are the groups most vulnerable to poverty.
Strømme Foundation promotes human dignity, justice, participation, transparency and sustainability as strategic pillars in our fight to eradicate poverty. We strive to be:
- Challenging: We place demands on the poor, our partners and especially on ourselves.
- Inclusive: We meet all people with openness, respect and dignity.
- Results-focused: We monitor and measure the results of our work, making any corrective adjustments when needed in order to achieve our objectives.
We base our work on Christian values. However, we are religiously and politically neutral in our work and when it comes to selecting partners.
Strømme Foundation is overseen by the County Governor of Vest-Agder and is a member of the Norwegian Fundraising Control.
Help for self-help
We are working to create a world free from poverty.
Some might say that is an impossible goal to attain, but the pride and dignity we see in any person who manages to climb out of poverty is evidence that it is worth our efforts.
Everything we do at Strømme Foundation is about empowering people to overcome poverty by providing them with the training and resources needed to create a better future for themselves. In other words: We help people to help themselves.
Those who live in poverty have limited possibilities to utilize their own abilities and choose their own future. While kind gifts may provide temporary relief, they do not contribute to sustainable development, because there is no local ownership or investment of people in their own lives. This is why we provide opportunities instead—opportunities in the form of education and microfinance.