Entraide et Fraternité / Broederlijk Delen

Entraide et Fraternité / Broederlijk Delen - History


-1961, Belgium: At the beginning of Lent, the Catholic relief organization Caritas launches an awareness and fundraising campaign under the name “Sharing among Brothers”, Entraide et Fraternité (EF/BD) in French or Broederlijk Delen in Flemish. Organized in response to the crisis in Congo, it seeks to bring famine relief to the Luba people who are fleeing their homes in the war-torn Kasaï Province. 

-From 1962, Belgium: EF/BD starts transferring funds for small-scale projects throughout the world, not only in Belgium’s former colonies (Congo, Burundi, and Rwanda) or the rest of Africa (Algeria, Ethiopia, Cameroun, Morocco), but also in Latin America (Brazil, Bolivia, Columbia, Chile, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru), Central America and the Caribbean (Guatemala, Haiti, Mexico, Nicaragua), the Middle East (Iraq, Iran, Jordan, Lebanon, Israel, Palestine, Syria), and Asia (India, Pakistan, Vietnam, Thailand, the Philippines). Usually centered around community needs for agricultural cooperatives, almost all of these projects are implemented by European missions. In Belgium, EF/BD also starts funding higher education for a small number of students from developing countries, mainly from Belgium’s former colonies. 

-1963, Belgium: Formerly an offshoot of the Church, EF/BD is recognized by the National Conference of the Catholic Bishops as a non-governmental organization. From then on, it will launch fundraising campaigns each year during the period of Lent. 

-1967, Belgium: In line with the first UN development decade and Pope Paul VI's Populorum Progressio Letter of 1967, EF/BD focuses on capital and technical assistance to developing countries. From 1968, Belgium: In the context of student strikes studied by Benoît Rihoux and Michel Molitor, EF/BD radicalizes its agenda. It tries to eradicate its colonial era-inspired development projects, indicts western capitalism and demands political liberation for the so-called “third world”, in line with the most progressive elements of the Catholic Church in Latin America. As a result, EF/BD engages in awareness-raising campaigns and the formation of North-South solidarity groups. Deriving its inspiration from the liberation theology, it now argues not just for “having more” but “being more”. EF/BD also evolves into funding local partner’s programs to support their capacity building.