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Our Story

We build ladders. Unique ladders. On these ladders people climb to a better life.

Strømme Foundation is a development organisation with an ambitious goal: We want to eradicate poverty! The ladders are the means by which we reach this goal.

Many people use our ladders. Every single year. In Mali, Sanou climbed back to school and safety. Maria in Bolivia took the vocational training and microloan that made her able to work and provide for her family. In Bangladesh the teenage girl Rupali took the initial steps that gave her control over her life, and an escape from a life as a sex slave. Every year stories like these, and the stories of more than six hundred thousand others, show us that our battle against poverty is worthwhile.

Our ladders are not «Made in Norway». However, the financial resources that enable us to make a difference may come from Norway. But the ladders are built around the world in the very same places that they are going to be used. The plans are also drawn there, by our local staff together with those who are going to use the ladders. Those who daily carry the burden on their backs are also those who know best how to build the ladders. When we succeed in our work, it is because each programme is so well anchored in the local context. . The stamp of quality on our ladders is «Made in Uganda» or «Made in Nepal».

The work that we do creates lasting change. The tools used are education and microfinance in the form of small loans, savings opportunities and insurance. Together, knowledge and financial opportunities contribute to more than merely meeting people’s material needs. This also helps people to see their own talents and abilities, and gives them the strength to make use of them. And this allows for good things to happen. Not just for every individual who takes that initial step on the ladder. Often, the whole community will follow. Our model of local involvement makes the ripple effect continue even after our work is done, because the capacity and knowledge stay behind.

In order to build many ladders, we depend on small and large donations from private donors, the corporate sector and other partners. The public sector is another important contributor. We keep costs down, partly by employing only local staff. We strive for transparency and continuously evaluate our efforts to ensure lasting results. This way we find out what works, and we change what doesn’t work. 

It all started with Reverend Olav Kristian Strømme and his burning commitment to help his fellow man. From this one-man enterprise Strømme Foundation has matured to an international and professional development organisation. But this remains the same: From the start to this very day, the inspiration for our work is Jesus’ life and example. This, and a passionate commitment against injustice.

That is why we continue to build ladders. So that yet more people can climb out of poverty. We provide them with the opportunities. Join us!