Contributing to a just society

Seventy-five years ago, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This landmark document enshrines the rights of all human beings, and its impact and ongoing influence will be celebrated on 10 December 2023: Human Rights Day.

Human rights are intricately woven into what Dorcas is and does. In a rapidly changing world, we see many marginalised and vulnerable people in need whose voices often go unheard. We meet their needs, but we also work hard for their participation in a just and fair society where everybody is included. We stand up for safety, dignity and the right to contribute. We stand up for human rights for all!

We highlight stories of various stakeholders that stand up for human rights. All in their own way, as every contribution matters in the mission to safeguard these rights.


Agnes Kroese

Agnes is......

Together we stand up for people who live in poverty, are excluded or are caught in a crisis.

How does Dorcas stand up for human rights?

Sargon: 'I stand up for the rights of internally displaced persons in Iraq'

Sargon is a Programme Manager at Dorcas Iraq.

Sargon: 'I am deeply committed to advocating for the safety and protection of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Iraq, as well as ensuring that their fundamental human rights are respected and upheld. These individuals are facing an incredibly challenging situation as they've been compelled to leave their homes for various reasons...

Eva: ‘I stand up for food security in crisis areas’

Eva works as a Humanitarian Assistance Expert at Dorcas.  
‘The conflict in Yemen often seems like a never-ending story: people have been trapped in a hopeless situation since 2014. A situation that also makes it quite challenging to find donors who aren’t fatigued by the circumstances. I’ve been to Yemen twice, and I’m deeply impressed by the resilience and optimism of its people.

Victoria: 'I stand up for mental health protection'

Victoria is Programme Manager at Dorcas Ukraine. 

Victoria: ‘Every person has the right to a dignified life, especially those who have experienced a traumatic experience and need support. In my work, I assist people in accepting reality and gaining confidence in their future, regardless of their circumstances. Our support is effective when an individual starts to dream again and is equipped with a goal and concrete steps to achieve it. Unfortunately, our country is currently experiencing a lot of grief due to the conflict. With the help of psychologists, social workers, and relevant projects, our country can avoid becoming a victim and instead be in a position to support other individuals globally who require assistance.’

Marie: 'I stand up for protection and safety'

Marie (70) is a project participant of Dorcas Lebanon.

Marie: 'Due to the massive blast in Beirut and the crisis in Lebanon, my situation became more dire, and my needs increased. I had no idea where to find assistance. Thankfully, in 2020, Dorcas' outreach team visited my neighbourhood. I connected with a social worker from Dorcas and was enrolled in the programme. I was supported through hot meals, the cash project, and food parcels, and I am currently also attending a club for older people. I stand up for safety and protection because this can secure a person's well-being. I also want to urge humanitarian actors to take older people and people struggling with illnesses into consideration more.’

Florencio: ‘I stand up for access to clean water’

Florencio is the Country Director of Dorcas Mozambique.  

Florencio: 'I stand up for the human right of dignified access to clean and adequate water, sanitation and hygiene. This issue is important to me because over half the population in Mozambique (14.8 million people) doesn't have access to clean water, even though water is crucial for good health. Water, sanitation and hygiene is one of our three strategic pillars, and we aim to strengthen this human right in Mozambique through our programmes. We do this by, for example, promoting and influencing policy development and implementation with the parliament, government leaders, local leaders, national platforms, media and other NGOs.'

Addisu*: ‘I stand up for the rights of older people’

Addisu (69) is a Granny Association Chairman in Ethiopia at the Samaritan Vision Charity Organisation. This is a partner of Dorcas Ethiopia.  

Addisu: ‘I stand up for older people in my country because they are often marginalised due to neglect, abuse and exploitation by society. Older people face many challenges, for example: accessing health care, social services and legal protection.'

Joyce: ‘I stand up for empowerment and protection’

Joyce and her family are involved with Dorcas Kenya through their daughter, who is part of the sponsorship programme. 

Joyce: ‘I stand up for empowerment and protection because I want to claim my rights and shape policies that affect my future. Before I got involved in the Dorcas programme, I was not involved in major decision making and struggled to do so as a woman. I did not feel empowered and was not able to access markets.'

Abdulhakeem: ‘I stand up for a life of dignity for all Yemenis’

Abdulhakeem is a Humanitarian Programme Manager at the International Training and Development Center (ITDC) in Yemen. ITDC is a partner of Dorcas Yemen.  
Abdulhakeem: ‘I stand up for a life of dignity for all Yemenis, because over the last decade, many Yemeni people were robbed of the right to live in dignity. They suffered from displacement, marginalisation, and persecution of all kinds. I hope to wake up one day to a Yemen where all people are treated with dignity.’

Shrooq: ‘I stand up for the rights of children’

Shrooq is student and a project participant of Dorcas Iraq. 

Shrooq: ‘I stand up against child labour because every child has the right to a fulfilling childhood and good education. No child should be forced to do dangerous work that robs them of their innocence, potential, and future opportunities. I believe it is our collective duty to protect children and create a world where their rights are respected, enabling them to thrive.’

Marah: ‘I stand up for the dignity of refugees’

Marah is a student and a project participant of Dorcas Lebanon.  

Marah: ‘As a Syrian refugee, in my community, it is hard to express my opinions and thoughts. I want people to know that Syrian refugees did not choose to be refugees and leave their country and community. I believe we need to work towards more social cohesion in our society. It would be beneficial to have more community centres create safe spaces for people from different backgrounds to meet and overcome social barriers.’

Joost: ‘I stand up for youth employment’

Joost is Inclusive Entrepreneurship Expert at Dorcas.  

Joost: ‘Young people live in a rapidly changing world. Social media has opened their eyes to a dazzling array of opportunities. But for most youth in poorer countries, such chances are pipe dreams as they struggle to find work and live with the impact of challenges like political instability and climate change.'

Lara: 'I stand up for women's empowerment'

Lara and her family are project participants of Dorcas Lebanon. 

Lara: 'I stand up for women's empowerment and rights because I want women to be strong enough to reclaim their rights and for them to be safe.' Lara lives with her husband and two daughters in Lebanon. She takes care of the household and also cares for her mother and her mother-in-law.  Lara: 'As a family, we have gone through a lot of turmoil in the recent years.'

Rosy: 'I stand up for people's rights in decision making'

Rosy is a Protection Specialist at Dorcas Lebanon. 

Rosy: ‘I recognise and advocate for individuals’ rights to express their opinions and actively participate in society. Empowerment and inclusion are crucial for everyone to engage in various aspects of community life, including social, cultural, and economic spheres. By promoting empowerment and inclusion, we can create more just and inclusive societies.’

Adia*: 'I stand up for the rights of women'

Adia is a Project Officer at Dorcas Ethiopia.

Adia: ‘I believe everyone should advocate for women’s empowerment because, in most countries, women carry many responsibilities for their families and communities. Programmes that are leaving behind women are ineffective. In my work, I assist women in developing self-confidence and promoting their right to influence social change for themselves and others. I also support them in participating in decision-making, securing a place of work, and upgrading their knowledge by facilitating training for them.’

Annerieke: 'I stand up for equal training opportunities for all'

Annerieke is International HR Advisor at Dorcas.

Annerieke: 'Learning allows you to grow as a person and as a professional. That is why we work on a good (online) learning environment and create time and space for our colleagues to take a course.  It is important that everyone gets the opportunity to participate. That is why we provide courses in different languages and for all positions within the organisation.'