Our organisation was founded in 1964 under the name "Fraternité Africaine" (African Fraternity) and originally focused on sending volunteers to the South.
The Seventies and Eighties
In 1978, our name changed to Bevrijde Wereld (Liberated World) – a change accompanied by a shift in our approach.
Our emphasis shifted to developing partner relationships and supporting small organisations and NGOs in Latin America, the Philippines and West Africa. We included a number of topics and issues regarding developing countries in our programmes and courses, such as agriculture, human rights, trade unions, etc. Moreover, Bevrijde Wereld started doing educational work in Belgium by establishing solidarity-based organisations and following up on these groups of people who stand together against social injustice. Additionally, we started organising workshops and holding information sessions about the challenges facing our partners in the South.
With the establishment of Baobab World Class, another target group was added to our educational work. We started combining immersion programmes for primary school children with training and supporting teachers and teachers-in-training. Our operations in Latin America, however, were gradually phased out in order for us to focus on West Africa and the Philippines.
Since 2000, Bevrijde Wereld has focused its operations in the North on young people. We started working with Dwagulu Dekkente to organize immersion trips for young people. There was also a shift in the South programmes back in the 2000s, both geographically and in terms of policy. With the take-over of the Bolivia center, Bevrijde Wereld once again picked up the thread in Latin America. Our organisation continued to evolve and began to place a thematic focus on food security and (a sustainable) water supply. Capacity building of partner organisations became one of the main themes of our programmes in all our operational areas. Knowledge sharing between partners also played an important role. In order to ensure permanent follow-up on our local partners in the field, we set up coordination offices with country representative.
From 2014 Onwards…
As we wanted to focus our organisation and its operations even more, we made a number of important policy choices. Our activities involving primary schools were transferred to Studio Globo. As a result, those activities were embedded in a much larger structure that subsequently covered the whole of Flanders. In 2014, we launched our very first thematic content campaign with the theme "Right to Land". From then on, using this specific campaigning method, we have been focusing all our efforts in terms of education and raising awareness on a chosen theme or topic that is particularly important to our partners around the world, as we wanted to align our activities in Flanders even better with the experiences and needs of our partners in the South. Furthermore, we took a new path regarding our operations in the South, choosing to put local lobbying explicitly high on the agenda. We wanted to support our local partners in their political struggle for rights to food, and for rights to land for local farmers. From then on we have been active in Bolivia, Burkina Faso, the Philippines, Mali and Senegal. All of these changes also inspired us to immediately choose a new name - a name that expresses our values and our focus on food security and agriculture: Solidagro.