A look at 2016 from DCA’s general secretary Birgitte Qvist-Sørensen

I am going to talk about some of the great events that characterized 2016, both in the world and in DanChurchAid.

©Rune Hansen

Much has been said and written about 2016, many have called it an “annus horribilis”. A growing right wing in Europe, Brexit, Trump, the war in Syria, where we powerlessly witnessed a slaughter of civilians in Aleppo, terrorist attacks in Europe, , people fleeing wars and conflicts, floods and melting of the ice sheet and, not to forget, the loss of many great artists who died in 2016.
During Christmas, the newspapers battled over who could draw the grimmest picture of the time we live in. Prophets of doom compete to outdo each other’s description of the end of the world. Everyone is talking about problems, and only few talk about solutions.

DCA in the world in 2016

I am going to talk about some of the great events that characterized 2016, both in the world and in DanChurchAid. I am going to talk about how the good events give us the strength and go-do attitude to embrace 2017 and the faith that the world, after all, is a good place to be for most people, and the faith that it will become a better place to be for those in need.
In 2016, 93% of all the world's children went to school - the highest number ever.In 2016, global hunger was at the lowest level in 25 years.In 2016 the Paris agreement - the greatest UN agreement ever - entered into force and became international law.In 2016 - after 52 years of civil war - FARC and Colombia's government signed a peace agreement.For the first time, death penalty is now illegal in more than half of the world's countries.In 2016, the global development budget increased by 7 per cent.
If you want to read about 93 other amazing global news, follow DCA on twitter.
In DCA, 2016 will be the year that we collected most funds in Denmark and from international donors.
This means that we have been able to do challenging - but life-saving - efforts in Syria. We have expanded our activities to provide security to local communities in areas of conflict. We have been able to do vital cash distribution to people in war-torn Sudan and South Sudan.
We have focused our work around the world. This has resulted in a steadily increasing number of visitors in Nepal, Malawi and Cambodia and a steadily growing turnover in Ethiopia, South Sudan and Uganda.
We have succeeded in ACT mergers with joint DCA / NCA offices with the approval of country programmes in Myanmar and Palestine. We have new and innovative country programs in Cambodia, Uganda, Malawi and Zimbabwe.
We have continued humanitarian efforts after the earthquake in Nepal, where we raised funds for reconstruction activities. This has been possible because donors, the Nepalese government and especially local people have appreciated the efforts delivered by DCA and our partners.
We have achieved great results in our advocacy and lobbying, not least significant impact on the Danish Government’s new development strategy. We are recognized in Denmark and around the world for our quality management, competence development, anti-corruption and innovation capacity. We show that we “walk the talk” through the Core Humanitarian Standard certification, we obtained in December.

DCA in Denmark in 2016

We have demonstrated our strong position in Denmark as an organisation that wins hearts and minds through our campaigns and communication.
We had three of eight nominations for ISOBRO's fundraising award in 2016. 1) Wefood crowdfunding campaign in cooperation with Roskilde Festival Foundation; 2) the momentum campaign “People in need must get help” regarding the refugee in Europe; and 3) “Give a Goat coin-offers”. Instead of winning an award for one of the campaigns, we received the jury's ISOBRO Honorary Award for our engagement work as a whole, "for persistently setting new standards for fundraising. This is real craftsmanship that through innovation, creativity, agility and relation building is entrenched in the whole organization, while maintaining a focus on the World’s poorest people”.
With the campaign “Clear the Pitch”, DanChurchAid and Grey Group put a focus on landmines worldwide. First, the campaign was awarded with a silver medal at the Cannes Lions in the category Entertainment for Music, and later it got the main award, 2016 Grand Global Award by Global Awards in New York.DCA has been busy with the second-hand work and opened four new stores in 2016 – now we have 123 stores in total across Denmark. The revenue from the stores increased by about DKK 2 m., which is the largest increase since 1985, and the DKK 25.1 m. revenue is in itself a record.
Wefood - the idea that spread like a wildfire all over the world. One of the world's most talked about brands! Globally, 1,200 different media mentioned Wefood in just 14 days. The Washington Post described Wefood as the most interesting supermarket in the world. The first Wefood shop opened in February and another store opened in November, and by the end of November the Wefood stores reached a turnover of DKK 1 m.
Our volunteer driven cafe “Nutid” had record sales in 2016 and reached a DKK 1.3 m. turnover.
And then there is the goat – well, I know that some roll their eyes, but probably mostly with envy, for with the goat in front, we have collected DKK 4 m. that will make a great difference to many people around the world.
DCA is known for more than goats, however. This year we managed to get celebrity economist Jeffrey Sachs to the Bornholm People’s Meeting, and we shed light on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), the global community and global responsibility. Companies, ministers and many others committed to the idea that an active civil society is a prerequisite for reaching the ambitious, but necessary, World Goals.
We have managed to make 2016 a year of successes and we have managed to send more funds to the world’s poorest and those in need.

DCA in 2017

In 2017, we will work on our narrative and our values. I am sure that with our courage and vigour, we will strive to bring about positive change in the world. With innovation and willingness to try new ideas, we will also challenge rigid systems and bureaucracy, so that we help where it is needed the most. With our professionalism and strategic providence, we will continue to be a relevant and preferred partner for the Danish people, for donors and for others.
To help us achieve these goals in 2017, we have the best budget ever with the largest amount of unmarked funds directly to projects.
Thank you for the year 2016 - a good year for DCA and for the many people we were able to help.
The year 2017 will be another exciting and certainly challenging year, but we are not driven by fear. We are driven by hope and the courage to act together with others - to create a more equitable and sustainable world and to shed light on the many people who are in need, so that their hopes too can be realized.