Development Cooperation

Operation A Day´s Work Finland’s aim is to encourage young people in Finland and developing countries to build a fair and sustainable world.

The objective of ODW Finland’s development cooperation programme is to promote youth rights and the participation of young people in society as well as active citizenship in Finland and the countries involved in the programme. During the programme period 2018–2021, ODW Finland will operate in Guatemala, Kenya, Malawi, Nepal, Sierra Leone and Zambia. The common objective of all programme partners is to empower young people, promote youth participation in society and defend youth rights. Direct support to non-governmental organizations in developing countries strengthens the local civil society and increases the space for civil society actors to participate in decision making that affects them.

Global citizenship education and development communications are also key elements of the ODW Finland’s development cooperation programme. The programme aims to increase the capabilities of Finnish youth to take action in the global framework, and to promote solidarity. In Finland, global citizenship education and development communications are being carried out nationally and both in Finnish and Swedish.

The development cooperation programme 2018–2021 describes more specifically the principals and goals of ODW Finland’s activities. Programme is funded with both programme support from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland and with funds from Finnish student´s and school children´s Operation A Day´s work (Taksvärkki) collection.

More information:

Emmi Chaguaro
Program Officer
tel. +358 50 369 1790

Anna Jaurimaa
Program Officer
tel. +358 50 911 4102

ODW Finland’s Development cooperation programme 2018–2021

Read more about the operating principles and evaluation documents

Development Cooperation

ODW Finland has implemented development cooperation projects since 1967. The funds required have come from our own fundraising efforts and from project support granted by the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs.

Our earlier projects have included e. g. supporting street children in Kenya, improving the status of young indigenous people in Bolivia, teaching young people to read and write in Madagascar, preventing child sexual abuse in Guatemala, and supporting the victims of trafficking in children in Cambodia.

We currently have projects in Nepal, Malawi, Zambia, Kenya, Sierra Leone and Guatemala.


Our aim is to give youth in Zambia a stronger voice in developing their communities and society in general. 52 % of the population in Zambia is underage. Hence why the youth in plays a key role in developing the Zambian society and the economy. However, many young people and children live and work at the streets. Main reasons are poverty and orphanhood which is often caused by AIDS.

In the ODW project street children and youth will gain more self-confidence, get off the streets and get a chance for a better future. ODW’s local partner organization Barefeet Theatre in is in charge of the practical implementation of the project. 

Street theater in Kaoma, Zambia.


In Kenya, the ODW project is being implemented by Undugu Society of Kenya. The project started in early 2015 and will be realized in the cities of Nairobi and Kisumu. The aim is to promote socio-economic empowerment of vulnerable children and youth living at the streets. Undugu Society of Kenya has created a method that aims at transforming the existing groupings (gangs) of street children and youth into responsible individuals and organize their groups into formal structures. The project also provides children and youth with basic and vocational education. 

Sierra Leone

Our project in Sierra Leone aims to give youth a stronger voice by developing their communities and society in general. This is done in four districts around the country by facilitating the improvement of life skills and education and by reducing the barriers the youth face in accessing education. The project will involve supporting the basic education and vocational schooling of young people, particularly girls, living in small towns and villages.

Youth will be informed about life skills such as reproductive health. They will also learn about human rights and ways to get their voice heard in society. By organizing events and making radio programs they spread information and encourage others to join in. The project also aims to influence decision-making at a national level on youth, education, gender and disability issues.


In Guatemala, social problems are many and serious: Insecurity, poverty and corruption overshadow everyday life. Although over half of the population is aged less than 20 years, political decision-makers are uninterested in issues that concern children and youth.

Launched in early 2013, our project in Guatemala aims to give young people a voice and empower them so they can actively promote their own rights. ODW Finland’s partner organization PAMI Guatemala implements the project in six municipalities around Guatemala. Young people receive extensive training on diverse topics such as society, politics and human rights. They also learn how to search information and tackle social evils. By organizing events, discussions, parades and campaigns, these youth encourage their peers to join in.