Fratelli dell’uomo

Europe – Latina America – Africa

The Fratelli dell’Uomo is an international cooperation NGO that was founded in Italy in 1969. It derives from Frères des Hommes, which was founded in France in 1965, and that is also present in Belgium and Luxembourg. It operates in Latin America and Africa with local partners, supporting projects and initiatives, with a constant focus on strengthening the processes of democratic participation and the capacities of local social players.


In 2013 the FAI supported the “Strengthening the capacities of the communities of Guatemala in the defence of land resources and food sovereignty” project. This initiative is a response to the conflicts that became more intense because of the process of readjustment of the economic, political and legal systems after the Free Trade Agreement with the USA and the Agreements with the European Union were signed.

The aim was in fact to support the local committees so they could play an active role in protecting the natural resources on which they depend, improve the level of strategic information they acquired, and their skills in negotiation and in proposing laws. This was carried out with a strong local partner, the SERJUS – Servicios Jurídicos y Sociales, that defends human rights and the rights of the Mayan communities.

The Fratelli dell’Uomo and the SERJUS have been a testimony to how valuable and useful joint work can be at a national and international level. The international visibility given to the project has in fact made it possible for the SERJUS to be even more incisive and give the local operators even greater guarantees, and therefore prevent the authorities from abusing them.

This project has brought about some important changes:

– Sustainability: because it made it possible to “meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” (Brundtland Commission – 1987).

– Awareness and the protection of resources: thanks to the training course, the local communities have decided not to sell their assets but instead use them in a sustainable way.

– Proposal for a Law on Water: the topic of water has united communities, associations and local organizations in a process that has also reached the Congress of the Republic of Guatemala, with the presentation of the proposed water law, submitted in May, 2016.

– Alliances: the process initiated through the project, funded by the FAI, has made it possible to set up new partnerships and collaboration networks between different players who will continue to work together on these issues.

FAI e CBM Italia


A relationship of trust, the result of a shared vision

Action together” has always been one of the core values of the CBM, which is the largest international humanitarian organization engaged in the prevention and treatment of blindness and disability in the countries of the southern hemisphere.

This “action together” becomes a collaboration with partners and institutions – for setting up projects on the field – with which to build lasting relationships based on planning, action, trust and concrete results.

This is how it happened with the FAI; ten years ago a collaboration was set up, it has grown over time and has become better and better with all the projects and activities that are carried out together, with a common goal: to guarantee as many blind and disabled children and adults as possible, the high quality care they need.


This collaboration started in 2008, in one of the most difficult countries in Africa: South Sudan, the youngest African country, where there was a long civil conflict that had lasted over thirty years.

Although no one thought anything could really be done here, the CBM with the FAI’s support, managed to bring high quality eye care to the population. The only eye care unit in the Juba Teaching Hospital, the government hospital, was opened and mobile eye care units were also set up.

At the time in South Sudan there was a huge need for eye care: there were only three ophthalmologist surgeons, two of whom were from the CBM, for a population of over 10 million people.

After this first project, which was carried out in collaboration with the Ministry of Health of Southern Sudan, there were more up to 2015, despite the difficulties causes by continuous warfare.

Thanks to the relationship of trust that had been created, the FAI and the CBM continued to work in the country and achieved great results: ophthalmic centres were set up in the three states of Equatoria (2,600,000 inhabitants), which offer eye care at all levels; a training programme was set up for eye care staff in the then ten states of South Sudan – the last training courses had been held in the 1980s – and the first Department for Ophthalmology Services was set up in the Ministry of Health of South Sudan.

2015 was a very special moment because it was the year when the project had such a great impact that it could be supported by the Italian Development Cooperation Agency. This was an important step, which was also made possible by the precious work that had been carried out in the previous years with the support of the FAI’s private funds.

Since 2015, thanks to the progress made in South Sudan, the collaboration between the FAI and the CBM has continued in Uganda with the support of the project run by CoRSU – Comprehensive Rehabilitation Services of Uganda for people with disabilities, a hospital of excellence for the whole region of the Great Lakes for the treatment and rehabilitation of people with physical disabilities.

The CoRSU guarantees high quality care that is accessible for the poor people of the Ugandan population and 80% of the patients are children.

The FAI and the CBM took on a new important challenge: to build the Septic Surgical Ward for the infected patients of the CoRSU hospital.

During the opening ceremony of the ward, which took place in the presence of Ugandan authorities and partners of the project, Stefania Mancini (Vice President of the FAI) said: «The new ward is a milestone in the history of health in Uganda, it is the result of a joint vision and also of the concreteness, generosity and commitment of individuals and NGOs». On the same occasion, Massimo Maggio, the Director of the CBM Italia Onlus, said: «Every day, many children come to CoRSU, even from neighbouring countries. One in five of these children is contagious: hence the importance of building a new ward for them, so they can stay in the hospital in an environment that is protected from infection. A dream that has come true, and that was also made possible by the people who, together with us, especially the FAI, believe that together “we can do more”».

Today the Septic Ward is the only ward for infectious patients in East Africa with 24 separate beds and that is also accessible for poor patients.


The following important results were achieved from 2008 to 2015 in South Sudan
– 93,657 people had their eyes tested
– 15,972 surgical operations performed (including cataract, glaucoma, trichiasis)
– 5,559 pairs of glasses distributed.

In Uganda between 2016 and today we have:

– built and fitted the sepsis intensive care Unit and a laboratory for blood tests
– performed 550 surgical operations and treated 190 children in the new Unit, of whom 134 had surgery and 56 received therapy.

For further information:


The CBM is the largest international humanitarian organization engaged in the prevention and treatment of blindness and disability in the countries of the southern hemisphere. The CBM Italia is part of the CBM, an organization that has been active since 1908 that consists of 11 national associations (Australia, Canada, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, Italy, Kenya, New Zealand, USA, South Africa and Switzerland). Together they support medical-healthcare, development and educational projects. The CBM has been a partner of the WHO since 1989 in the fight against preventable blindness and deafness. The CBM operates in southern countries together with local partners with the aim to achieve local growth and development. Last year CBM reached 28.3 million people through 628 projects in 59 countries around the world.




The fight against HIV-AIDS with DREAM in Mozambique and in the Central African Republic

DREAM, the acronym of Disease Relief through Excellent and Advanced Means, is a programme for the treatment of AIDS and related diseases in Africa, based on a global approach, which was set up in Mozambique in February 2002 by the Community of Sant’Egidio.

Today the programme is present in 11 African countries: Mozambique, Malawi, Tanzania, Kenya, the Republic of Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Nigeria, Angola, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Cameroon, the Central African Republic.

DREAM’s effectiveness comes from training local health workers, free access to antiretroviral therapy and achieving excellence in treatment and diagnostics.


The FAI therefore decided to support the DREAM programme to fight AIDS first in Mozambique because it believed that even if this would only consist in financial support, it would actually be part of a much broader process of development. In fact the excellence of the Programme is that together with the treatment there is a constructive dialogue with the local healthcare services on the need to carry out measures aimed at eradicating the disease, by adopting treatment protocols and training public medical staff.

One important result achieved in Mozambique was the signing of an agreement with the Ministry of Health on 14th July 2011, through which DREAM would support the public health centres and hospitals in all the provinces in the country.

Furthermore, according to the agreement, the triple therapy is administered in order to prevent new infections and stop transmission of the virus from a seropositive mother to her child, and this approach is acknowledged as valid by the WHO.

For three years, starting from 2017, the FAI is committed to supporting the DREAM Foundation in a new challenge, which is to introduce the “DREAM model” to the Central African Republic. This involves increasing the services offered by the Bangui healthcare centre, which is run by the “Amici del Centrafrica” association, by setting up a DREAM centre, specialized in treating AIDS and related diseases; a laboratory for monitoring the patients in therapy and by ensuring a telemedicine service.

The key elements of DREAM’s approach are:

• high standard care associated with high standard laboratory diagnostics;
• free of charge services in order to maximize access to care;
• the centrality of the person;
• food support;
• computerization in order to minimize errors, improve the process of accepting new patients and obtain faster and easier identification of the patients who miss their appointments.

The DREAM programme has treated and taken care of 350,000 people up to today.

DREAM has assisted over 70,000 children, which is the largest group of paediatric patients treated in Africa. The laboratories analyse over 50,000 samples a year, for a total of HIV tests and 800,000 Viral Load tests.

The computer software is particularly important for all the activities.

Up to today about 10,000 Africans (doctors, nurses, biologists, laboratory technicians, centre coordinators, computer technicians) have taken part in the pan-African 150 training courses that DREAM organized.

According to the FAI, extending the DREAM programme is important in Africa since there is still a high prevalence of HIV; by treating the middle bracket of the population it is possible to limit public spending and at the same time trigger development and productivity.

Afrique Verte


Afrique Verte is a French NGO that was founded in 1990. It supports the rural world and food security in West Africa.

Over time, starting in 2005, Afrique Verte’s activities in the Sahel were organized as four national branches: APROSSA, in Burkina Faso; AMASSA, in Mali; AcSSA, in Niger and AGUISSA in Guinée Conakry. These national associations support groups of farmers engaged in transforming cereals in the four countries.

Thanks to the support provided by numerous technical and financial partners, the national associations are able to offer to these groups – the so-called Transformation Units (TU) – adequate training and funding opportunities.

Together with Afrique Verte, the four national associations now make up AVI – Afrique Verte International.


The relationship between Afrique Verte and the FAI started before the national associations that make up AVI were set up, with a support from 2004 to 2006 for Afrique Verte in Niger.

In 2007 the FAI sponsored AcSSA Niger, under the direct supervision of Afrique Verte.

In 2009 a direct relationship was established with AcSSA Niger and subsequently, with a three year project from 2011 to 2014, the FAI supported the four countries with which Afrique Verte works in the Sahel and also the setting up of AGUISSA Afrique Verte Guinea.

Since 2005 Afrique Verte has seen the national organizations of its network grow, become stronger and gain independence. To date there are a total of 209 Transformation Units, with 5,442 members, 99% of whom are women.

The FAI has good reason to be grateful to this organization.

Thanks to Afrique Verte and to the path taken with this organization and its local associations, which is a practical demonstration of a process of acquiring considerable independence, the FAI has been able to really see what sustainable development means.

Thanks to the work carried out together, the Foundation has been able to see what happens when there is a healthy and solid process of strengthening the local production. This is thanks to the right kind of instruments; on one hand the “technical” instruments that the organization and its network have, and on the other hand, the financial instruments, i.e. the funds provided by the Foundation.