The association Fondacio finds its origins in Poitiers (France) in 1974, as a result of the dynamic apostolic movement of lay people inspired by Vatican II Council and in the spirit of the Charismatic Renewal. At the beginning, with the founder, Jean-Michel Rousseau, the activity was mainly focused on the formation of young adults, evangelization and the development of lay vocations. Fondacio was quickly solicited by the Church in other cities in France and in several countries and in a wider variety of activities, particularly with young people, families, agents of social and political life, but also with the marginalized and the poor.
Fondacio was recognized in 1995 by the bishop of Versailles (France) as a private association of the faithful. Beautiful ecumenical experiences were also taking shape with Protestant churches and with the Orthodox Church in Romania through the development of social works. The development of the apostolate at a global level and the fruit of spiritual and ecclesial anchoring lead to the recognition of Fondacio as an international association of the faithful by decree of 25th December 2008 issued by the Pontifical Council for the Laity.
Fondacio is a Catholic association with an ecumenical dimension.
While being witnesses of a spirituality born from the Gospel, the members of Fondacio develop initiatives, live a path of transformation and conversion, prayer and sharing with others, and active commitment for a more humane and just world.
The charism of Fondacio, based on the Gospel, is expressed in its DNA: The love of God through three dimensions, "Being true, Being with, Being for".
The purpose is to form and accompany builders of a more humane and just world, with the younger generations at heart. The emergence of vocations for a new world has been part of Fondacio's identity from the start.
In addition, the expression of the vocation of Fondacio also feeds the novelty of the Spirit for Fondacio in a call to renew missionary commitment at the heart of the world's challenges, in partnership with other actors.
Fondacio is headed by a President and a Council elected by a Congress. Every five years, the Congress gathers the delegates of the countries where Fondacio is present.
In a country, the Head of the Country, the Country Council and the Assembly of the persons in charge govern Fondacio. These representatives, being part of the global Fondacio Community, refer to the Fondacio Council.
In the cities where Fondacio operates, local teams have a certain form of autonomy in their organisation and activities, being in reference with their Country Council.
Fondacio is both committed in the Charismatic Renewal (registered with CHARIS) and in integral human development. It counts about twenty major projects spread over four continents, which can be divided into the following sectors: Education and youth, Social entrepreneurship, Economic and social development, Health, Water and sanitation, and Environment.
Animated by the “culture of encounter” and the “care for our common home” (pope Francis), Fondacio promotes in each continent, Laudato Si’ Centres following four pillars: inspire, train, connect, act.
At the end of the 1980s, the first Institute of Formation (IFF) was created and became IFF Europe, first in Angers (France) as associated Centre of the Université Catholique de l'Ouest, and later in Louvain-la-Neuve (Belgium). Fondacio institutes are also present in other continents namely IFF Africa, in Lomé (Togo), IFF Asia in Manila (Philippines), and IFF America in Santiago (Chile). Since its creation, more than 2000 students have attended the courses, which are taught in partnership with local universities and non-governmental organisations working in the field on specific social projects.
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