History of FOS

International solidarity is not a new concept for the socialist movement in Belgium.

Between the two world wars, for example, it organised many activities of solidarity with the victims of Mussolini in Italy and for the Republican Spain. Later, these activities acquired a more structural character. In December 1947, Entraide Socialiste was set up. In the beginning, this new organisation mainly focused on receiving political refugees. As from the sixties, Entraide also received students from developing countries. The United Nations proclaimed the sixties to be the development decennium. A reason for Entraide to adopt another two activities: emergency relief and structural development cooperation.

The successor of Entraide, Socialist Solidarity, continued to receive political refugees in the seventies (especially from Chile), helped African students and trainees, and set up a Fund for Development Cooperation (FOS, in Flemish) to provide social and economic support to initiatives in the South. The FOS of those times helped different organisations, social movements and also governments of recent independent states or new regimes with a wide range of activities. One of the central underlying motivations was the tradition of the struggle for emancipation of European workers and the propertyless.

In 1986, the FOS as we know it today was set up. The unitary organisation was then split up into Solidarité Socialiste-FCD / Socialistische Solidariteit - FOS and the currently existing VZW (non-profit organisation) was created.

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