Frequently Asked Questions - FAQs
Our understanding of mission is based on the belief that all people are different, but created with equal value and dignity. Therefore, regardless of their ethnicity, gender, religion or geographic origin, they should be able to share equally in what the Bible calls "life in abundance for all" (John 10:10). This means two things for us:
- That we invite people to participate in our global community of partner churches and faith-based partner organizations for intercultural exchange, solidarity engagement and mutual learning (see below, Field of Action 1: International Learning Community).
- That we work together with our partner churches and partner organizations for a world in which all people and all of creation live together in peace and justice (see below, Field of action 2: International development cooperation).
The commitment to participate in a "life in fullness for all people". ► Mission 21 mission statement for us as the office of Mission 21 in Basel includes, on the one hand, providing opportunities for participation in our worldwide community of churches and faith-based organizations (International Learning Community). This field of action of Mission 21 is organically connected with a second one: Because church is not an end in itself, we work together with our partner churches and partner organizations in Africa, Asia and Latin America in international development cooperation to improve living conditions and promote peace. We believe that the churches can and should play a very important role in the further development of our respective societies, our life and coexistence: here and worldwide, based on their very own Christian mission, their broad and sustainable roots in their societies and their international networking. Thus, in respectful dialogue and cooperation with people of different religions and worldviews, we are committed to a world in which all people and all of creation live together in peace and justice.
Running through both fields of action are three central themes that have shaped our operational work for more than 200 years: The connection between religion and development, the promotion of gender justice, and the promotion of peaceful interaction between people of different ethnic and/or religious backgrounds.
Mission 21 has a long history of trusting relationships with its partners and a great deal of experience and competence in working together in these countries. Unlike in Europe, religion plays a major role in the everyday life of people in other continents and forms an integral part of their understanding of values. Mission 21 takes this seriously and promotes the peaceful potential of religions. Mission 21 works together with religious actors to initiate social change towards more justice, sustainability and peace. In doing so, we are guided by a holistic, value-oriented and sustainable understanding of development that is not dictated by the global North, but is based on the realities of people's lives. The social, cultural and spiritual aspects go hand in hand with material needs as inseparable dimensions of a life in dignity.
In 20 countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America, we are committed to long-term and sustainable development cooperation as well as emergency aid and reconstruction. Our areas of impact are peacebuilding, education, health, food sovereignty and income generation. Good governance and gender justice to strengthen our partners and civil society play a central role in all our programs.
Through its programmatic development cooperation with its partners, Mission 21 makes an SDC-recognized contribution to achieving Agenda 2030, the UN's Sustainable Development Goals. Specifically, we contribute to Sustainable Development Goal 16+: building peaceful, just and inclusive societies.
Mission 21 offers multi-year and one-year opportunities to work in international development cooperation. As an international staff member, you will work in a local project and contribute your expertise. The goal of these assignments is, on the one hand, to support the partner churches and partner organizations professionally in continuing and developing the tasks with local experts themselves and, on the other hand, to enable mutual learning at eye level with the exchange of personnel.
In our continuing education program for young adults PEP!, Professionals Exposure Program, you will work on a project in your area of expertise.
We regularly conduct trips, which enable us to meet our partner churches and partner organizations and to gain insights into our projects.
In our courses we deal with current issues in the field of development cooperation and show what consequences they have for our context.
We offer suitable courses for interested individuals, for groups from church congregations (young people and adults) as well as for other groups who want to further educate themselves for their private or professional everyday life:
- Let us know your needs - we will work with you to develop an offer that is right for you
- Our international youth network offers young adults a common exchange platform
- Young@Mission21 offers various activities for young adults up to 30 years old. ► More about Young@Mission21
- On our encounter trips you will experience our partner churches and partner organizations directly on site and gain insights into our projects
- We provide you with spiritual impulses from our partner churches, which you can use in your context.
- Project partnerships enable you to learn from each other
- Events on current topics in a global context open up new horizons for you
- Courses provide you with new perspectives for your own context and action skills for living together in a plural society
Mission 21 is an amalgamation of three mission organizations: the Basel Mission (founded in 1815), the Herrnhut Mission (founded in 1732) and the Evangelical Mission to the Kwango (1956). Many mission societies faced accusations of collaboration with the colonial powers of the 19th century. It is a fact that colonial powers made missionary work possible in many places. However, mission history also shows that missionaries intervened critically in colonial policy when the rights of the natives were to be restricted.
Mission 21's predecessor organizations campaigned against the transatlantic slave trade and saw their work as reparations for the suffering inflicted on black people by Europeans.
Mission 21 works on the history of the missions transparently and according to scientific criteria. The historical research archive is publicly accessible www.bmarchives.org
Mission 21 has not sent out missionaries since the middle of the last century. It is the partner churches and partner organizations themselves that define the requirements and needs for our international staff. The majority of missionaries come from the global South and no longer from the global North.
Around 45 employees work at the Basel site in a total of around 33 full-time positions. It is also possible to work part-time in management positions. The compatibility of family and career is an important concern for us. Around 15 international employees work for Mission 21 in our program countries.
Mission 21 is ZEWO certified and thus fulfills strict requirements for the handling of donations. The accounting requirements (Swiss GAAP FER 21), the annual external audit, and the internal control system continuously verify this. For each project, Mission 21 concludes a project financing agreement with the respective partners. The agreements with the project partners stipulate that a transfer is only made when the accounts are complete and correct. The implementation and impact of the projects is monitored through close project monitoring on site, detailed narrative and financial reports from our partners, regular on-site visits by our program managers and country coordinators, and evaluations.
In 2014, Mission 21 introduced an anti-corruption code with a complaints mechanism that is binding for all employees and volunteers (► Code of Conduct). All partner church and partner organizations are trained every year in anti-corruption measures and further measures in the areas of financial and personnel management. The implementation of an anti-corruption code is a condition for cooperation and project implementation.
Partner churches and organizations and their beneficiaries are supported in building local capacity and establishing good organizational governance. This enables beneficiaries to have better access to decision-making processes and contributes overall to strengthening civil society and achieving UN Sustainable Development Goal 16 - building peaceful, just and inclusive societies.
Protection from sexual harassment, abuse and exploitation, as well as concern for the safety of children and the protected, is an important concern for Mission 21 and therefore forms an integral part of Mission 21's Code of Conduct. ► Code of Conduct
Mission 21's total expenses break down roughly as follows:
- 76.1% Program and project work.
- 11.4% Fundraising
- 12.5% Administration (incl. continental assemblies and mission synod)
We show the exact costs each year in our annual report. ► Annual and financial reports
No. The Hotel Odelya and the Restaurant Ayledo are a joint-stock company owned by the Basler Mission, one of the three sponsoring associations of Mission 21. Mission 21 is a tax-exempt association and legally independent of this corporation as well as of the Basel Mission. No Mission 21 funds flow into these businesses.