We Effect aligns with the values of the International Cooperative Alliance on self-help, personal responsibility, democracy, equality, justice and solidarity, as well as its principles:
• Voluntary and open membership
• Democratic member control
• Member economic participation
• Autonomy and independence
• Education, training and information
• Cooperation among cooperatives
• Concern for community
Values and principles
The basis for the work of We Effect is the perception that poverty is not only lack of money, but also lack of power. This lack of power is one of the greatest obstacles for people living in poverty to improve their situation.
By people – not for people
In order to support themselves in the long term, people who live in poverty need influence over their own lives and on their surrounding society. We believe that in order to gain that – to become empowered – people themselves must participate in the work of improving both their living conditions and their ability to exert influence in society. Thus, the development work has to be by people – not for people. This is what we call help to self-help.
We believe that the best tool to achieve economic and democratic change is for people living in poverty to get organised in cooperative organisations or other democratic associations, where each member has a vote and the organisation´s driver is to meet both the economic and the social needs of the members.
The rights perspective is central in our activities. The needs of women and men living in poverty are human rights, and it is therefore important to tackle not only the symptoms of poverty and injustice, but also the structures that cause them.