Entraide et Fraternité / Broederlijk Delen

Entraide et Fraternité / Broederlijk Delen - History


-1970-1971, Belgium: EF/BD launches two sister organizations to eradicate poverty and exclusion within Belgian society. Welzijnszorg is for the Flemish; Action Vivre Ensemble, for the Walloon and the German-speaking communities. As with EF/BD, these NGOs organize awareness and funding campaigns during the period of Advent with the support of the Conference of the Catholic Bishops of Belgium and famous people like the Brazilian archbishop Hélder Câmara. 

-1972, Tanzania: EF/BD supports the socialist villagization policy (ujamaa) that promotes collective farming in tandem with the nationalization of banks and industry under the aegis of President Julius Nyerere. 

-1973, Belgium: During Lent, EF/BD commences a three branches operation (“Opération Trois Troncs”) that seeks to finance development projects, sensitize people to development problems, and support liberation movements. In the next two years, these three branches get respectively 50%, 30% and 20% of the funds collected by the NGO. Yet the support for armed liberation movements seems to condone the use of violence and is consequently criticized by the Catholic Paper La Libre Belgique and some parishes. 

-1974, Belgium: Despite its progressive stance, EF/BD remains close to the church and starts organizing annual discussions about faith and development, first with abbot Barthélemy Tchuem from Cameroon. 

-1977, Belgium: EF/BD decides to decentralize its Lent campaign. 

-1978-1979, Belgium: EF/BD splits into two NGOs, Broederlijk Delen for the Flemish and Entraide et Fraternité for the French and German-speaking communities. This process, initiated by the Flemish members of EF/BD, follows the federalization of Belgium and puts and an end to internal discussions that proposed to reinforce the autonomy of each constituency within one organization. From then on, the two NGOs will have different targets and programs. Yet they will continue to cooperate within the Catholic platform CIDSE (Coopération Internationale pour le Développement et la Solidarité, formerly known as Coopération Internationale pour le Développement Socio-Économique). Moreover, they will both evolve from project-based to development aid organizations that aim to provide structural aid. Their activities will thus morph into sustainable development programs, underpinned by a genuine recognition of the importance of local community participation.