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Hivos was founded in 1968, inspired by humanist values. Their founders held the conviction that development work should not be linked to missionary work, and true cooperation presumes respect for differing beliefs. These convictions are still reflected in their work.

They believe that human life in its many forms is valuable, and that people are filled with potential. Living a life in freedom and dignity, with respect for each other and the planet, leads to greater individual wellbeing and fair, vibrant societies.

Hivos are a member of the SIX Global Council. They also partnered with SIX for the Africa series, with events in Johannesburg in 2014, Nairobi in 2015 & Harare in 2016.