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Guiding principles

In its work Tear uses the following main guiding principles:

Church and Community Mobilisation Process

The Church and Community Mobilisation Process (CCMP) is a dynamic way of helping local churches that have a vision to work together with their community in addressing local needs, using their own resources.

The local church is a long-term community of local Christian believers. It is a community that is open to everyone as a place of worship, discipleship, training and outreach. Tear also extends its definition of the local church to include groups of Christians and larger networks of churches. Contact with the local church can be mediated through these larger networks or (Christian) NGOs.

Maasai gathering ourside their church

CCMP acknowledges linkages between physical, emotional, intellectual, social and spiritual needs. It stimulates community development by recognising the potential of vulnerable or marginalised target groups.

CCMP enhances empowerment of local communities by stimulating their awareness of their own potential and building their confidence to take action to achieve a better quality of life. It mobilises local resources and boosts participation and self-organisation in local communities.

Tear cooperates with like-minded partner organisations that share this passion to empower the local church to fight against poverty and injustice for the whole community through CCMP.


Vrouwen uit Lima

Local ownership

Tear is committed to local ownership of the development process: If possible, the people themselves are initiators of their own change. Our assumption is that a process which is supported and driven by the community itself will be more in line with the needs, abilities and desires of the community. This strengthens the confidence of the people, promotes social cohesion and creates sustainable change.

This principle is applied in the following manners:

  • Tear works through local Christian partner organisations.
  • With the programme Inspired Individuals we provide space for social entrepreneurs and inspiring leaders to fertilize their ideas for the development of the local community to which they belong. Sometimes they are linked to a local organisation, sometimes the vision of the person still in a pioneering phase.
  • We also work with international Christian partner organisations, often in situations of emergency. Sometimes local organisations have too little capacity, or are not present.
  • If possible, partners work in a facilitating and participatory manner, with local facilitators, instead of just providing services.
  • Tear promotes the use of locally available resources, knowledge, capital and networks as much as possible
  • Tear promotes the setting up and supporting of grass root groups or structures, such as Self Help Groups, local development committees, women's groups, farmers' groups, etc. 
Congolese group with their administrator in wheelchair

Inclusive development

Tear is committed to an inclusive development process with special attention for the most vulnerable people in the community. Our assumption is that a cohesive and flourishing community will be promoted by properly involving the most vulnerable people in the process. This principle is applied in the following manner:

  • Relief and development programmes focus first on the people whose livelihood is jeopardised, without distinction to ethnic origin, religion, gender or political affiliation.
  • We aim for equal participation of women, people with disabilities and people who belong to a (tribal, religious or other) minority.


The equal participation is related to Tear’s quality standard of gender. Tear is committed to seeing transformation through restored relationships between men, women, boys and girls and ensuring equal value, participation and decision making by all. Global poverty often has a woman’s face. Seventy per cent of those living in poverty are women, and more than half a million women die in pregnancy and childbirth each year.

Gender-based violence causes more deaths and disability among women aged 15 to 44 than cancer, malaria, traffic accidents and war (WHO, World report on violence and health, 2000). Tear assesses project proposals on gender sensitivity. This means that a project looks into socially constructed roles, behaviours, activities and attributes that a given society considers appropriate for men and women and addresses imbalances.


The equal participation of people living with disability is important as often these people are invisible in relief and development interventions. Of the 650 million disabled persons worldwide, 80 per cent live in developing countries. Often persons with a disability have less access to social services, and they belong to the most vulnerable groups in society. In the poorest countries of the world, about 20 per cent of the population are living with a disability. Ninety per cent of disabled children do not go to school. People with a disability are more likely to contract HIV, as they have less access to information and treatment. Tear therefore believes it is important that the work it supports mainstreams disability. Projects should pay attention to access to and/or control over development and relief services for disabled people.


Vergadering in Zimbabwe

Collaboration and networking

Tear is committed to development processes and results where there is cooperation with the government; with other churches and religious groups; with other locally available structures and organisations and with the private sector. Our assumption is that by seeking collaboration with other stakeholders who have an impact on the local community, sustainable transformation will be achieved. This is applied in the following manner

  • We seek cooperation with local, regional and national government, making use of the opportunities offered by rules and laws (lobby).
  • We do not close our eyes to injustice, corruption or nepotism by governments and other organisations and structures. We help the community in identifying injustice, promoting (the Universal Declaration of) human rights and efforts to hold governments and others accountable (advocacy).
  • We seek cooperation between churches in the development process, and the cooperation of the local Christian community with other religious groups in the community.
  • We are committed to a sustainable local economy with the existing private sector. Examples are value chain development in food security programmes and cash distribution in relief programmes.

Ontwerp & realisatie: Nilsson