Since 1958, LM International has been operating in the world's highly vulnerable communities in response to the most dire needs of the impoverished communities in more than 80 countries.
Our ultimate goal is for healthy and empowered people to create a future for themselves in ways that do not compromise the planetary health and lives of future generations.
We believe that all people are unique and of equal value regardless of belief, gender, ethnicity, or anything else as basis for discrimination. In all our work we are guided by the Golden Rule In everything, do to others what you would have them do to you”.
We build relationships with governments, partner organisations, donors, civil society, nonprofits, private sector, academia, individuals, and grantees to drive sustainable change by bringing in resources, expertise, and vision. The on-the-ground expertise and deep understanding of the issues we care about exhibited by our local partners plays a pivotal role in driving innovation and development.
We have learned the value of having our foundation locally based in key regions to help us build relationships for better understanding of the policy environment, and a culturally sensitive approach.
LM International is a signatory to the ICRC’s Code of Conduct and one of the founding members of the Core Humanitarian Standard (CHS) Alliance. Our adherence to the Humanitarian Principles, International Humanitarian Law (IHL), CHS Commitments as well as Humanitarian Charter and the Sphere Project’s Minimum Standards in Disaster Response is essential in upholding the necessary basic operational standards.
In 2019 International Aid Services (IAS)-Sweden was incorporated into LM International global foundation.
In South Africa, children of different backgrounds are often impacted by poverty and neglect, with over 64.5% living in low-income households and an estimated one in five orphaned. Understandably, children’s rights were identified by the South African Human Rights Commission as one of areas requiring a dedicated focus to effectively fulfil its mandate.
LM partners’ work focuses specifically on child and youth protection, women empowerment as well as – along with the government agencies - finding foster parents to children in need. Our support is provided at all levels from advocacy for policy making, through research and development of methodologies in child safe care, to training of other NGOs and civil society actors. Together with key stakeholders and partners e.g., UNICEF, our work has spread much farther than we initially imagined.
Almost half of Uganda's population is under 15, representing one of the youngest populations in the world. Uganda also hosts the largest refugee population in Africa with over million refugees having found asylum in Uganda over the past couple of years. These - amongst other factors such as climate-related effects, rapid population growth and forest loss - reinforce the vicious circle of poverty in the country.
Our Uganda country programme opened in 1992 and is currently engaged in development work in Abim, Agago and Pader districts in the north of the country. Humanitarian work is carried out in refugee camps in the districts of Terego, Madi-Okollo and Arua in West Nile region within Northern Uganda and Kikuube district in Midwest Uganda. Our field presence and local staff, both at regional and country level, brings us closer to targeted communities for engagement on social economic transformation and resilience.
Current operations range over a variety of interventions including programmes for children’s rights with focus on family-based care, climate smart farming, development of entrepreneurship skills and income generating activities, WASH, education, VSLA, vocational skills and mental health programmes. One of our country programme innovations is the Tool for Accelerated Community Transformation (TACT), a handbook focusing on mindset transformation of stakeholders (NGO workers, Community, Church, and humanitarian workers) engaged in delivering interventions in a meaningful manner.
Despite the government of Tanzania’s efforts to increase access to health and facilities available to the rural population, the quality of care received by patients is subpar in comparison with the urban areas. Over the past two decades, LM International has worked in support of the government’s Nkinga Hospital in Tabora region, especially the child and maternal health department as well as the Nurse Training Institute.
Our vision has been to provide health services to the rural population at a low cost and train hospital staff in medical nursing and paramedical courses while also facilitating the research function. We also work to increase male engagement and participation in reproductive health services for better maternal health and neonatal care. LM International’s aim is to partner with the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children (MoHCDGEC), to further strengthen the work by community sensitization programs, health talks and village meetings in the community.
For decades Sudan has been affected by violent conflicts and the country is listed as one out of the world’s ten most fragile states. The recent years flooding, hyperinflation and following pandemic strains the already very unstable situation for the citizens. Access to arable land and water is yet another threat and desertification remains a major persistent environmental challenge and a clear proof of the climate change.
The greatest impact on people’s lives today in Sudan is the lack of stability. Political wars in the Darfur region and wars in neighbouring countries has exacerbated the refugee situation in Sudan straining the available limited resources, in particular water and land. Heavy rains and flooding has caused property, schools and health centres being destroyed and lives have been lost. Peacebuilding is a crucial component in all interventions to make change sustainable.
The work in Sudan started in 1989 as a response to the needs of displaced people in Central and Western Equatoria following the civil war. In 2002 the programme expanded to Nuba Mountains in South Kordofan which later paved the way for the formal registration in Khartoum in 2003. While access to clean water has been our focus, solar driven solutions and IWRM puts us at the forefront of providing the best technical and sustainable solutions. We are registered and operate in 8 states; Khartoum, Red Sea, West Darfour, South Darfour,Blue Nile,South Kordofan, West Kordofan and North Kordofan coordinated by the country office in Khartoum. At national and state level we are part of the WASH, Education and Protection clusters and we collaborate with various organisations, alliances and consortias in Sudan. The need to build resilience in communities, private sector and government systems and structures has urged us to apply the Triple Nexus Approach. Our humanitarian, development and peace activities are designed, planned, and implemented to more effectively and coherently meet human needs, mitigate vulnerability, and promote peace.
Approximately 80% of the greater Meru region population relies on agriculture and livestock production as its main source of livelihood. Due to unreliable rainfall in the area the concentration around a few water points has contributed to spread of communicable livestock diseases as well as land degradation. In addition, the two communities Tigania and Tharaka are involved in a long continuous conflict related to rivalries on access to and control of the scarce water resources. The greater impact of the conflict is disruption of livelihoods, food production and other economic activities. The conflict also influences displacement of people, physical harm, and death.
As a response, LM International in collaboration with its local partner IAS Kenya* has been working with the aim to achieve sustainable management of the natural resources (water, trees and arable land) and, subsequently, enhanced resilience and improved livelihoods. Close to 800 members of self-help groups and 3000 community members residing in the area benefit from access to better services, including better water supply, tree planting and environmental conservation, environmental days and improved social-economic conditions.
The peacebuilding project, aligned to Kenya’s Vision 2030 and conducted in collaboration with local partners and government officials works towards attainment of social cohesion by enhancing democratic processes through advocacy at the grassroots level. It is adapted and guided by the principles of Do No Harm and through a Peace and Conflict Impact Assessment. We also work towards the much-needed change of structures and frameworks that cause inequality and injustice, as well as longer term relationships and improved attitudes among the conflicting parties. We are convinced that processes and systems that promote empowerment, justice, peace, forgiveness, reconciliation, and recognition need to be established and developed for sustainability reasons.
Over half of the Mozambique population are children who - despite sustained improved economic growth -still face a life full of hardships. Approximately 2.1 million of Mozambique’s children are orphans - one third of them having lost their parents due to the persistent HIV/AIDS pandemic. Orphans are vulnerable: they are often forced to take on household responsibilities, drop out of school, become malnourished, end up in child marriage, prostitution, human trafficking and child labour. An estimated 1.2 million of Mozambique children do not attend school at all.
As a response to the acute situation for the many orphaned and vulnerable children LM International along with UNICEF and Give a Child a Family (GCF) South Africa developed a pilot project building on an elaborated child safeguarding model. Under the model, children undergo a brief rehabilitation where they also are prepared for life in a family. Parallel to work with the children, families, biological or foster, are trained and prepared to receive the child. After placement the family is followed up for two years and support groups are formed. The work is done in close collaboration with the government and local authorities and the idea is to create a role model to later hand over to the state to replicate.
As part of a horizontal-learning, LM International adapted its successful literacy model from Latin- and Central America to Mozambiquan context and rolled it out. The model’s objective is community, social and economic empowerment of poor and vulnerable communities, especially farmers. Participants are trained on small business management and savings, as well as improved farming methods. The interventions pave way for the social audit process which allows community members collectively, to evaluate the effectiveness and transparency of local, municipal, public and national management, to hold the duty-bearers accountable.
Since its foundation by Dr Denis Mukwege in 1999, the DRC-based Panzi treatment centre for survivors of sexual violence has benefitted more than 70,000 women who suffered from rape or birth-related complications. In 2018, Dr Mukwege received the Nobel Peace Prize for his global efforts to end the use of rape as a weapon of war. Panzi provides survivors with compassionate, holistic care that includes medical treatment, psychosocial support, access to legal services, and socio-economic reintegration activities.
LM International has supported Panzi hospital in South Kivu from the very beginning and we are still partners today. In both Panzi and Kyeshero hospitals (North Kivu), LM International supports maternal health and nutrition programme for children. In and around the town of Beni, where the security situation is tense, we are running a humanitarian assistance program for the affected Mbuti population.
Ethiopia national Child Labour Survey conducted in 2001 with ILO revealed that 52 per cent of children aged 5 – 17 years performed child labour. Although Ethiopia managed to half the rate of economically active children, further progress proves difficult. Decades of political conflict, insecurity, and related socio-economic polarisation, paired with the effects of climate change such as droughts, flooding, and famine only exacerbate the problem. In a country where 85% of the population depend on agriculture for livelihoods, the effects are devastating – Ethiopia has today one of the world's largest internally displaced populations.
LM International’s Ethiopian operations began in 2002 together with a local partner as a response to the problem of trafficked children from the poor rural areas ending up as child labour in the capital. Since then, we diversified our programs and implemented various development, emergency response and resilience projects in different parts of the country, both through local partners and our own implementation. In 2005 we opened the country office in Addis Ababa. Our current work is carried out in the capital and the three states; Southern Nations, Nationalities, and People's Region, the Sidama Region, and the Oromia Region, and encompasses child rights projects, anti-trafficking, inclusive education, agroforestry, and WASH.
With the lowest GDP per capita in the world and only 12.5% of population and mere 7.9% of females owning an account in a financial institution, the biggest brunt of lack of fluidity faced by Burundi households is borne by women and children who often stop attending schools.
LM International works with local partners to facilitate better access to financial services and products via formation, facilitation of operations and training of women saving groups. The groups are self-managed and meet on a weekly basis to accumulate and convert small amounts of cash into savings that can be borrowed by group members on flexible terms as credits for investment, consumption, or emergencies. The beneficiaries learn the basics of bookkeeping, and - with the increased level of savings - can undertake new income generating activities and progressively achieve and sustain income growth.
As indicated within the Ministry of Planning, Investment and Economic Development’s Somalia National Development Plan 2020 - 2024 and according to the Population Estimation Survey for Somalia (PESS), 45.6 % of the Somali population is below the age of 15 and 81 % below the age of 35. This indicates that youth are the largest segment of the Somali population. However, the majority of the young population is unemployed; also, the needs of children with special needs, who are amongst the most vulnerable groups in Somali society, have been neglected.
For the past 23 years, LM International's work has focused mainly on filling the gaps that exist in the areas of Education, Health and WASH. In partnership with IAS and in line with the governments’ national development plans, LM International Somalia has been coordinating Inclusive Education (IE) and Special Needs Education (SNE) projects for enhanced access to education for children with disabilities, in different parts of the country, including Awdal, Tog-dheer, Sanaag and Sahil regions. Our focus forward will remain on access to quality education for all, skills and vocational training and employment services for disadvantaged groups as well as WASH programmes which include accessible toilets for students with disabilities. Since the world is changing, we are committed to working innovatively for sustainable development through employees’ empowerment and engagement with new technologies and other crucial innovations. In addition to these, Mobile School is one of the activities planed for 2022.
According to the 2017 Joint Monitoring Programme, access to basic drinking water services in Chad is at only 43 % while to sanitation is at 10 %. Lack of access to adequate water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services causes diarrhoeal diseases and contributes to malnutrition, often chronic, in young children.
Since the onset of the Chad Country Programme in 2009 our program in Chad is a member of the WASH Cluster, working in partnership with local organisations and the Chadian government in the field of water, hygiene, sanitation, and food security. During these years, we have gained experience in almost the entire country and have operated in parts where drinking water coverage remains low, and populations suffer from food insecurity and malnutrition. Whichever project we engage in, we always strive for innovative and sustainable eco-friendly solutions.
Despite Niger being one of the largest countries in West Africa, only 12% of its area is suitable for subsistence agriculture. On top of this the risk of climate-related natural disasters is increasing and its effects are already observable in all regions, such as flooding, desert advance and drought. The limited arable land together with a very high population growth rate result in 75% of population living in severe and multidimensional poverty with chronic malnutrition and recurrent epidemics out bursting. In addition, the country has been affected in recent years by the deterioration of regional insecurity which has led to the displacement of more than 450 000 people on Nigerian soil.
The Niger country programme opened in 2014 and is today based in Say, Guecheme, Dungass, Goudoumaria and Diffa, with its head office in Niamey. In 2016, we started implementing humanitarian projects in response to the Boko Haram crisis in Eastern Niger together with partners such as UNHCR, UNICEF and ECHO. We are today continuing our focus on areas affected by the security crisis such as the Tillaberi, Diffa and Maradi regions, and implement and support WASH, livelihood and literacy projects across both the humanitarian and development spectrum. The staff is all locally employed. One of the innovations that we aim to focus on and improve is about adding value to the WASH sector through the development of integrated response such as WASH-in-Nutrition, WASH-in-School and community gardening/tree planting as well as adding education through literacy.
In 2021 South Sudan Humanitarian Needs Overview identified that out of its a little more than 11 million inhabitants, 8.3 million people is in need of humanitarian assistance across the country.
Our presence in South Sudan dates back to 1989, long before the country’s independence. Because of our long-term presence and gained local trust we are closely rooted in the South Sudan society and enjoy a good working relationship with the government authorities. We have four field offices and a country office located in Juba. When the crisis started in 2013, we were the first organisation that responded in Bor-Jonglei state and to date it is the only WASH partner to UNICEF in Bor. We are members of South Sudan’s WASH and Food Security cluster and contribute to the country’s Humanitarian Response Plan. Our services stretch over water and sanitation/preventive health services, mitigating gender-based violence, promoting child protection and livelihood opportunities, with a particular focus on the most vulnerable.
According to UNESCO, only around 80% of the population of Guatemala age 15 and over is literate, which is the lowest literacy rate in Central America. Because public education is not free in Guatemala, attendance figures are dismal: 80% enrollment of primary-aged children, 30% of middle school-aged children, and only 10% of high school students.
For more than 20 years with the support of LM International, Alfaguat has been carrying out multiple programmes for the benefit of the most vulnerable groups of rural indigenous and peripheral populations of Guatemala, including around basic preschool, literacy and primary education, nutritional, reforestation and environmental care, HIV prevention, microcredit, occupational, vocational, citizen participation, and social auditing.
80% of the participants of the most recent programmes are women from rural and peripheral urban areas in Kechi and Quiche-speaking communities as well as Castilian-speaking mestizo communities. These recent programmes contain a component on menstrual poverty in indigenous women; all programmes have been developed with a Rights-Based Approach (HRBA) ensuring that rights holders are empowered and carry out social audits to hold the duty bearers accountable in the light of the in-country laws in force and the rights of the inhabitants. As a result, local Social Auditing Committees (CLAS) members held 20 meetings with local authorities from the Ministries of Health and Education, municipal mayors and Community Development Committee COCODES to inform them of the social audit findings.
An impressive 931 out of 1192 (78%) literacy project participants were promoted during the 3-year course of the project while 340 out of the 455 (75%) participants registered forthe Primary Education were promoted with over 20 starting new businesses.
Despite education moving up the list of government’s priorities and introduction of free and mandatory elementary education for all, many children in rural Paraguay fail academically early on. An average 8-year-old knows less than 60% of topics they are tested on and an astounding 15% of children are illiterate. This causes high early dropout rate of 21% until the 6th grade and 39% in the 9th grade.
LM International focuses on providing support to our local partner - Alfalit Del Paraguay - whose overarching objective is to eradicate illiteracy in young people and adults. The programme is carried out in 3 stages: first we offer an opportunity to finish the basic FV cycle, then we help develop social and labor competencies and skills; and last, but not least, we work to empower the communities in human rights for sustainable social development of the community.
Students from the community of the Alto Pinar Fraction, in Caaguazú, who - in order to be more competitive in the job market - decided to re-enter the school programme with us, have had a great positive impact on the neighboring communities and their example increased demand for education services. Inspired residents from neighboring community, encouraged by the example of their Caaguazú counterparts, also decided to go back to school, recognizing that only through education can they significantly improve the quality of their lives and that of their families.
Although education in Nicaragua is free and the Government has improved primary education coverage by conducting promotional campaign for school attendance, eliminating fees and providing intercultural bilingual education, the school dropout and child labour rates are still high. UNICEF estimates that over half million Nicaraguan children aged from 3 to 17, mainly from rural and indigenous areas, do not attend school and are forced to work. According to the last available data, only 72% of children finish primary school. Nicaragua has also one of the highest teenage pregnancy rates in the Latin American and Caribbean region and 37% of households are headed by single women.
To eradicate illiteracy amongst youth and adults, Alfanic, our partner, supports educational authorities in Nicaragua by offering opportunities to study at three levels of basic education. Alfanic also helps our students develop technical knowledge and skills through vocational technical training. Additional components of our offer are human rights education and microcredit support for our students, who, as a result, turn into self-administrators and help develop their communities.
Over the past couple of years, school enrollment in Honduras had suffered a steady decline from around 4% (81 thousand) students in 2018 to over 5% in 2019 with some 105,000 abandoning their education The country witnessed an ever-greater dropout crisis during the pandemic. This added to the historical challenges faced by the educational system which include low quality of education, relatively high illiteracy rate, small budget allocation towards in-country education, limited access to education due to financial constraints faced by the households, limited offer on practical aspects of life including entrepreneurship and financial management of small businesses. Our partner, Alfasic, supports the government in improving the educational offer and expand coverage and care for children. The employed methodology called ‘Let’s learn together’ supports the Community Centers for pre-basic education, by training the educators. Alfasic also provides vocational workshops in different areas, to promote both individual and group entrepreneurship. Participants not only learn how to produce various types of hygiene products, such as disinfectants, soaps, lotions, but also learn how to manufacture handicrafts, shoes, as well as food, including sandwiches, pizzas, cakes, etc. Alfasic also helps facilitate financial resources for family or personal enterprises through a microcredit program and trains our beneficiaries in business management. Its other work includes formation of groups of observers and social auditors in the communities, who carry out health, education and community development audits. Alfasic provides training workshops on human rights as well as legal advice.
According to the census carried out in 2020 by the National Institute of Statistics and Geography; over 350 thousand of Oaxaca, Mexico habitants do not know how to read and write, two thirds being women.
LM International’s partner COSOET (Social Contract for Education and Transformation) in an agreement with the government’s State Institute for Adult Education has been jointly carrying out actions to help reduce illiteracy and the education gap.
COSOET has trained IEEA trainers in the use of the MIA methodology that associates images with words. The educational programmes are context-based and contain innovative and creative practical dimensions. Women trainees find stimulus to learn reading and writing through provided local recipe books. As a result, some beneficiaries have developed agri-food production for economic empowerment.
COSOET is currently present in Oaxaca, Mexico’s 48 towns located in the regions of the Coast, Sierra Sur, Valles Centrales and Sierra Norte.
LM International’s partner in Panama, PAN ALFALIT Association, works in alignment with the National Youth Policy and hand in hand with the CEISA School Foundation for street children and youth at risk.
Our preschool and primary education programmes for youth and adults provide opportunity for the dropout students who come to our centers in search of opportunities, to resume or start primary and high school.
The education we offer includes basic literacy programme, primary education up to sixth grade, short vocational and income generation courses, as well as social programmes such as: Violence Prevention Citizen Awareness (HR), School for Parents, and HIV-AIDS Awareness.
The regional office in Dubai is a newly established office with the responsibility to coordinate field operations by our partner in Yemen. As we are looking at possibly expanding the work in the MENA region, the office will play an important role in mapping the region and advising for any future expansion.
With only 172 hospitals and 4 doctors per 10 000 people*, the access to health care in Afghanistan is under threat. According to UN OCHA, a third of the 37m population has no access to a functional health clinic within 2 hours of their home.
Thanks to its long-standing partnerships, LM International has a long presence in Afghanistan with work focusing on maternal healthcare and eye care (currently on pause).
As of 2019, the absolute poverty rate of families with children in Ukraine was 47.3%*. LM International partner organisations work with children from vulnerable families through after-school centre where children not only can get help with their homework or get supper but can also do laundry and benefit from art classes and therapy.
LM International facilitates food and school supplies. Some of the volunteers are youth who as children benefited from the centre’s work.
Since the outbreak of the war in Ukraine we have extended our support to include humanitarian assistance to internally displaced people. Via our Swedish partner Human Bridge we are also sending hospital equipment, hygiene articles, food and clothes to local organisations and churches in Kiev, Rivne, Uzhhorod och Korosten.
Despite solid economic performance over the past two decades, Moldova remains one the poorest European countries. With a decline in GDP by 7 percentage points in 2020, it has been one of the European countries most affected by COVID, which significantly impacted households and businesses across the country.
LM’s work in Moldova is primarily directed towards increasing children’s chances to escape the vicious cycle of poverty. In the village of Purcari (Tighina region), LM collaborates with the local authorities on decreasing the high, 40 percent school drop-out rate amongst students. Activities include after school or summer school programs with art and IT classes, as well as hot meals. Members of the rural communities are activated via trainings in the areas of environment, agriculture, fighting domestic violence and human rights.
Due to the war in Ukraine, we have extended our support to include humanitarian assistance to refugees. Via our Swedish partner Human Bridge we are sending hospital equipment, hygiene articles, food and clothes to local organisations and churches working with displaced people from Ukraine.
According to the 2020 Eurostat study, Romania has one of the highest income inequality rates in the European Union with the most prosperous 20% Romanians earning over 7 times as much as the bottom quintile.
To support the most vulnerable overcome the state of absolute poverty, LM International in Romania adopted an integrated approach model for social inclusion and digital innovation, aiming at empowering and facilitating reintegration of the most marginalized, including street children and disadvantaged members of Roma community.
Our services for children and youth include After School Club activities, remedial teaching/homework support, sport and summer camps, as well as on-going assistance such as provision of school supplies, lunches and psychosocial care.
LM International also supports the adult participants of the government’s primary education programme ‘Second Chance’. The assistance includes transportation, study materials and food packages for the afternoon and evening sessions during the entire 2-3-year time span. The adults are also trained in job-seeking and through cooperation with local businesses and employment services a way is opened into the labour market.
Our in-country WASH program components included water provision (clean water pipes), construction of better latrines and hygiene promotion.
Key factors for success are close collaboration with local authorities and civil society organisations, who are the owners of the community development projects.
The operations fit well into the directions of action of the European Union funds, including the Recovery and Resilience Plan the Operational Program for Inclusion and Dignity as well as the EU funds for 2021-2029.
Due to the war in Ukraine we have extended our support to include humanitarian assistance to refugees fleeing into Romania.
The main responsibility of LM’s office for Central and Latin America is to support the operations carried out by our partners in Paraguay, Brazil, Mexico, Panama, Guatemala, Nicaragua and Honduras. Part of the assignment is to coordinate and monitor the field work and function as the hub for exchange of learning and methods within the area of literacy.
The work at the global office located in Stockholm, Sweden, is designed to support the field operations in terms of quality control, programme and method development, skills enhancement, establishment of policies, HR, IT and financial support both from private and institutional donors. The work is directed by the Secretary General who coordinates operations via the management team of regional and department heads. The office also heads operations by partners in Afghanistan, Romania, Ukraine and Moldova.
The wide range of literacy and financial education, human rights, economy, and microcredit programmes conducted by our partners – IBRAEMA and Agencia Social de Talentos (AST) focus on the areas hit most by poverty and lack of services in the north and northeast of the country. In one of them, since 2015, prison inmates are taught to read and to write.
According to data from the National Penitentiary Information Survey (INFOPEN), carried out in February 2020, there are over 720 thousand prisoners in Brazil. Of these, 70% have not finished primary school (semi-illiterate) and 8% are completely illiterate.
The program encompassed an element of training of trainers - the most qualified inmates become facilitators who, in turn, teach other inmates to read and write.
IBRAEMA/LM International understands that literacy is an excellent path towards the resocialization and reintegration of individuals as it opens new opportunities and chances for a new life.
In 2021 alone, we worked in more than 60 prisons in the north and northeast of Brazil, teaching more than 1,300 inmates to read and write. We have also been providing a citizenship course with a social values component.