Young idealistic people were sent on exchange to developing countries. FK participants had to be experts or academics. The aim of the organisation was to contribute economically and professionally in developing countries and to promote cultural understanding across borders.
About 1500 Norwegians were sent out on mission between 1963-1999.
Mutual Exchange starting from 2001
The original version of FK Norway came under pressure both politically and professionally during the 90s as the old idea of FK Norway was based on traditional donor-led development aid.
FK Norway reorganized and re-established their profile in 2001 ensuring a younger profile, emphasizing values of solidarity, equality and reciprocity. The present FK Norway is an integrated but independent agency, placed under the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and is no longer part of Norad.
Partnership and reciprocity is central to FK Norway’s exchange programmes. The organisation do not recruit its own participants, but funds mutual exchange between various organisations and businesses in Norway and developing countries, and South-South exchange.
Through exchange, FK Norway is contributing to equality, reciprocity, inclusion and solidarity between people in the North and the South.
One of the tasks appointed to FK Norway was to improve citizen’s knowledge on development and contribute to international collaboration with developing countries.
Essential to FK Norway’s work is to increase cultural understanding and knowledge about the necessity of a just distribution between North and South, through mutual learning. FK Norway is working on network-events across Norway to increase awareness and insight about the North-South debate.
FK Norway has radically changed since the re-establishment of the organisation in 2001. The portion of South-South projects have increased, as exchange between countries with similar challenges is perceived as highly fruitful. Focusing on young leadership and participation is also at center. Several countries have high unemployment rates and a population of 50% below the age of 25. Entrepreneurship, education and local role models can contribute in solving challenges met by these countries.
In 2009, the agreement was shut down and the regulations were replaced with instructions from the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. These instructions emphasize FK Norway’s role in contributing to implementation of policy on Norway's collaboration with developing countries. In particular, FK Norway is aiming at working towards a world where basic human rights are met. FK Norway is contributing to collaboration and contact between individuals, organisations and institutions in Norway and developing countries based on solidarity, equality and reciprocity.
One of FK Norway’s mandates is to generate interest on human rights and international development, focusing on youth. To promote global networks and bridge individuals and organisations is important for future growth. Our partners include individuals. Encounters between countries expand perspectives and opinions and increases knowledge and experience, which in turn encourage greater collaboration.
The core of FK Norway is to encourage development and bring people together to understand, share and learn from each other.
Since the re-establishment in 2001, 8290 participants have exchanged (figures from 31.12.2016). In 2016, 543 participants went on exchange through 190 businesses. These are divided by 60 projects. For more details, read “facts and figures”.
FK Norway’s priorities are education, health, private sector and civil society. Our partnering countries is limited to 25 countries in Asia, Africa and Latin-America.
To read more, please search in projects.
Tor Elden was the first Secretary General and later Director of FK Norway in the period of 2000-2009. In August 2009, Nita Kapoor stepped in as the new Director, followed by Hege Hertzberg from August 2017.