More about Connect
Connect is a development program facilitating for mutual exchange of youth between 4 organizations: NMS (Det Norske Misjonsselskap), Movimento Encontrão (Brazil), FLM (Fiangonana Loterana Malagasy) and ELCHK (The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Hong Kong).
The exchange program started in 2000 with NMS sending Norwegians abroad. One year after, Movimento Encontrão joined it and sent for the first time participants to Norway. In 2003 FLM joined and in 2019 ELCHK became the newest member of the program. From the beginning it was called Team Nettverk. The name was changed to Connect in 2009 because it communicates better, especially in English. It means different sort of connections that the program focus on (connect upwards, inwards and outwards, and making connections between individuals as well as organizations).
The Connect program’s main goal is to raise young leaders that are influencing their societies in a positive way and that are working for a world without injustice and poverty. Important elements to reach this goal is to work for increased youth participation in the organizations, training of young leaders and work for an increased awareness of global challenges.
We believe that this is achieved by challenging youth to use their talents, by sharing experiences, knowledge and ideas among young people from different countries, and by people living in the local community of another culture than their own.
The program lasts for around a year. It includes teaching and training at Hald internajonale skole (Hald international school), six to seven months internship in Norway, Brazil, Madagascar and Hong Kong, and finally a period of work in the sending organization. The participants have their internship in one of the other partner organizations.
NMS - Det Norske Misjonsselskap
NMS, The Norwegian Mission Society, is the oldest mission organization in Norway and was founded in 1842. It started by people with burning engagement for mission and the first missionary was sent to South Africa in 1843. Today NMS is working in around 16 countries in Europe, South America, Afrika and Asia.
The vision of NMS is “a living church across the earth” and the main focus of our work is to share our faith in Jesus, fight injustices and end poverty. For this mission we are partnering with national churches as well as mission and diakonia organizations in different countries.
ME - Movimento Encontrão
We are is a non-governmental organization which focuses on empowering leaders to be of practical help for the society. We develop training on urban mission and also offer formal graduation and post-graduation on this area. We are also a Missionary Agency which supports local leaders to help developing poor regions of the Brazil, offering training and financial support for adults, children and youth care.
FLM - Fiangonana Loterana Malagasy
FLM is an independend Lutheran Church in Madagascar that was founded in 1950. It was started by the work of different Lutheran missionaries. Since then, the church has not stopped to develop and now FLM has around 4 million members. FLM has the vision of preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ though words and deeds. FLM is doing that in many different ways:
Health department through its dispensaries and hospitals
Community and rural development working on different projects
Church work and preaching
Church empowerment by "use your talent" projects
ELCHK - The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Hong Kong
Our name is The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Hong Kong, in short, ELCHK. We were born in 1954 in Hong Kong. We follow the commands of the Lord Jesus Christ and have as our mission to communicate the Gospel, administer the sacraments, edify and nurture believers and to serve the community. We establish local congregations in different districts of Hong Kong, initiate school education projects, and provide social services to our society.
Hald internajonale skole
Hald internasjonale skole (Hald international school) is a vocational school situated in the southernmost city of Norway, Mandal. The participants in the Connect program are also students at this school and are studying “cross-cultural understanding and international work” during their exchange. They have six different subjects in this study:
Culture and intercultural communication
Christian faith and ethics
Bible, mission and diakonia
Communication and advocacy
Leadership and personal growth
Norwegian Agency for Exchange Cooperation
The Connect program is supported by Norec. Norec stands for “the Norwegian Agency for Exchange Cooperation” (Norec) and is a government agency in Norway under the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Norec was established in 1963, modelled on the American Peace Corps. The idea behind it was solidarity with the world's poor and the belief in internationalization and mutual understanding as the path to peace. The agency was called Fredskorpset (“the Peace Corps”) until 2018 when it changed its name to Norec.
Norec works with international partners who want to use the exchange model to learn from each other and develop. Norec's ides is to create development by bringing people together to learn, share and understand. To create engagement for human rights and international development issues, with young people as a special target group, is an important mission for Norec. Norec is also a competence centre for international exchange in Norway.
Connect is one of the youth exchange programs for volunteers that Norec supports. We receive most of our funding for the exchange program from Norec and the exchange program wouldn’t be possible without our cooperation with and support from Norec.