LM International is committed to combating extreme poverty and building resilience to environmental, economic and social disasters through targeted interventions focused on the most vulnerable members of the communities we serve. Our aim is to ensure economic and social inclusion for all through creation and strengthening of sustainable and resilient livelihoods.
Considering the lack of resources, services and social safety nets faced by the targeted right holders - women, men and youth living in marginalised and humanitarian conditions, LM International designs tailored interventions based on the needs of the communities and available opportunities in relevant areas.
At LM International, we believe that successful transition out of a humanitarian crisis and towards local socio-economic development is key to sustainable eradication of poverty.
LM International implements actions aimed at improving the capacities of individuals, households and communities to run sustainable income generating activities, invest in their growth and, finally, remove the obstacles to effectively access local markets.
The sustainability of incomes is intended to be not only economical, but also social and environmental. Therefore, income generation is seen as an opportunity not only for the individual, but for the whole community to grow taking into consideration collective well-being and the responsibility over common natural resources and the environment.
In our work towards tackling youth underemployment in developing countries, we apply a multi-layered approach that reaches far beyond the exclusive capacity of an individual to earn income as means of empowerment. Our strategy is not only to support our beneficiaries with new technical, vocational and on-the-job training, but also help match young people to meaningful, long-term and concrete employment opportunities, financing, and local markets. Our interventions aim at building and strengthening the capacity to mobilise and join local decision-making, both for individuals, grassroots movements and civil society. The objective is to provide the right holders/affected population with platforms, tools and confidence to claim their rights, take advantage of the services they are entitled to and influence decisions dealing with the development of their community. Local decision-making feeds into our approach of community-driven development programmes which encourage rural neighbourhoods, or other household groups to manage their own development resources.
Strengthening social and economic nets and networks as well as facilitating and supporting active participation in local decision-making helps drive sustainable change in the communities. The overarching objective is more resilience to withstand/bounce back from prospective social and economic shocks.
We use a bottoms-up approach which seeks giving both communities and local governments control over investments and planning. However, for long term impact and in order to help capacitate stakeholders to fulfil their respective roles, LM International extends its support to all levels: from advocacy for policy making and change at the government level, through research and development of methodologies in child safe care, to work with national governments and technical training centres for improvement of legislation and vocational training curricula, as well as training of partner NGOs and civil society actors.
Entrepreneurship courses are provided to strengthen the capacities of right holders to establish or develop their own businesses, share tools for business and the know-how.
To strengthen and expand the income generation capacity of the beneficiaries, we provide technical and vocational skills trainings. For relevant groups, we have included sessions dedicated to agriculture with the purpose of promoting ecological and climate-adaptive production.
LM International works with local partners to facilitate better access to basic financial services and products via formation, facilitation of operations and training of saving groups. The groups are self-managed and usually 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. Microcredit programs, loans, money transfer services and micro-insurance on the other hand, help facilitate financial resources for our beneficiaries' family and/or personal enterprises.
We also address the key need of owners of small-scale income generating activities which is access to a profitable and stable market and strengthening of local value chains via strengthened dialogue with key stakeholders and market actors.
Specific trainings on human rights and social inclusion are integrated in all LM International´s interventions as it serves as the basis for successful dialogue with local duty bearers. Formation of groups of observers and social auditors from the local communities, who have the capacity to launch, continue and carry out health, education, community development and social audit initiatives is considered key in LM International’s approach. We work in close partnership with local civil society organisations and target populations engaging tools which include behaviour change and awareness campaigns as well as community mobilisation for social inclusion and human rights.