“A human being is born into this world, fully equipped not only to care for himself, but also to expand the welfare of the world as a whole. Some have the chance to explore and use their potential to varying degrees, but many others never get the opportunity during their entire lives, to reveal the wonderful talent with which they were born. They die, and the world is deprived of their creativity and contribution.”

Muhammad Yunus, Nobel Peace Price winner,
10 December 2006


“Poverty and exclusion can take different faces depending on the country, political system, economic conditions, ethnic group, and culture they are in. But in all places their roots – and thus their response – find their source in the heart of man. We cannot be fully human if others beside us, will remain disfigured by poverty. The poor require us to go to the end for our ideals of brotherhood, freedom, democracy and peace. “

Jean-Loup D’herse, former vice president of the World Bank 
and former President of Fidesco (1987-1995)


Founded in 1981 by the Emmanuel Community, following a meeting at the Vatican with African bishops, Fidesco fights poverty and despair through the development of all human beings regardless of their religious, ethnic or cultural background.  We send volunteers throughout the world to place their skills at the service of the poor by assisting with development projects, social, and/or humanitarian efforts.


Our Timeline: 

1980 – Following the Synod on the Family at the Vatican, a group of West African bishops requests that lay volunteers be sent to Africa to collaborate on development projects and give a testimony of hope through their service.

1981 –  In order to respond to this request, Fidesco is created and sends a family to Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of Congo) on a medical mission.

1999 –  90 volunteers are sent on mission.

2007 –  Fidesco continues to expand by sending two groups of volunteers each year, in the spring and fall.

2009 –  The US branch of Fidesco officially opens its doors

2013 – 180 Fidesco volunteers are working around the globe, including 7 Americans.

2017 – 150 Fidesco volunteers are working around the globe, including 7 Americans.