Mission and vision

Poverty affects all aspects of life: it is not only about economic or material needs but also social, environmental and spiritual needs. Tearfund sees broken relationships as the fundamental cause of poverty, and these broken relationships are in turn the result of man's rebellion against God. 


Humanity went from a life in wholeness to life in brokenness: a broken relationship with God, a damaged self-image, unjust relationships between people and exploitation of our environment.These broken relationships can also lead to broken systems, causing structural problems such as unequal power relations, corruption and exclusion. 

Broken relationships with ourselves, God, others and the environment lead to selfishness, greed, powerlessness, injustice, inequality, conflict and disaster. This creates various forms of poverty and is visible in people who do not have enough income, suffer from violence or abuse, and do not have access to good education and medical care or political representation. It also manifests itself in people who are indifferent, who feel unable to take action and bring about change, or who are unaware of the effects of their own choices on other people and their environment. 

Holistic transformation 

The change we want to see is for individuals and communities to thrive in all aspects of their lives: a holistic transformation. This makes them resilient and enables them to devise and apply solutions to meet their own needs and the needs of those around them. Achieving this transformation goes beyond meeting basic needs. It enables people to fully live up to their God-given potential. To create holistic transformation in all areas of life and allow people to truly flourish, we believe that four types of relationships need restoration. 

  • Relationship with God: If people flourish depends primarily on a restored and living relationship with God through Jesus in the power of the Holy Spirit. This relationship is not a human achievement, but a gift from God. We can love ourselves and others because God first loved us. We gain a better understanding of our role in this world. 
  • Relationship with yourself: A restored relationship with yourself means a restored relationship with your body, soul and spirit. This requires a different mindset, namely: that you are aware of your identity in the eyes of God, trusting that He loves you, that you may live and work for His glory. You will learn to recognise your gifts and talents and realise your God-given potential to bring about change. A healthy self-image leads to better own functioning. 
  • Relationship with others: Having peaceful and joyful relationships with others is essential to a holistic transformation. It concerns both your relationships with those close to you and your relationships with those with whom you have no direct affinity. When these relationships are restored, people treat each other with love and equality. They take care of each other in their neighbourhood and work together to improve their situation. Restoring relationships with others also involves relationships with local, national and international authorities and with other actors in society. 
  • Relationship with our environment: The relationship with our environment must also be restored and this requires good care for our natural environment and animals. It is about the way we deal with local resources, such as ecosystems and biodiversity, but also how we manage our natural resources, such as water, land, raw materials and air. 


Theory of Change 

Tearfund has established the vision of holistic transformation as Theory of Change. This theory guides the strategy and planning of our work, measuring, understanding and proving the impact of our work and the communication about our work. 

Our Theory of Change is partly based on the various program strategies and identity documents of recent years. Parts of policy documents and research reports from sister organisations within the Tearfund Family are also included because their mission, vision and approach are closely linked to ours and we are working increasingly closely together.