Our history

In Africa, millions of people depend on their livestock. With healthy animals they can build a sustainable future without hunger and poverty. Vétérinaires Sans Frontières Belgium supports animal healthcare and livestock farming in Africa with training, materials and medicines.

Veterinarians not only save animals, but also humans. We believe in that.

 

How was Vétérinaires Sans Frontières Belgium established?

In the 1980s, a famine in East Africa causes a ravage among the population. Families have no more grain, they no longer have cows giving milk. Images of starving children with bloated bellies and flies on their faces penetrate each living room.

Three young Belgian veterinarians are struck by this injustice, and they do not just throw in the towel. They want to use their expertise for a better world, a world where there is no place for hunger and poverty. They pull along other veterinarians with their story.

In Rue des Vétérinaires in Anderlecht, they put their heads together. In 1985, they establish Vétérinaires Sans Frontières Belgium. They are inspired by their French colleagues, who founded Vétérinaires Sans Frontières two years earlier in Lyon. One of the Belgian veterinarians leaves for Ecuador, where he supports the first local veterinarian on behalf of the newborn organization.

A few years later, Vétérinaires Sans Frontières Belgium is growing rapidly. Sudan is torn apart by a civil war. Families suffer under the violence; they no longer have any food and their cows are dying from rinderpest. “If our animals die, our children have no future”, they say. As long as their cows are dying, they also do not want their children vaccinated against polio. Only veterinarians can solve their problem.

This is how Vétérinaires Sans Frontières Belgium reaches African soil for the first time, to save animals and humans with veterinary expertise. We train community animal health workers and vaccinate herds, which is our core business to this day. We reach the most outlying villages in remote areas where nobody else goes. Our courage is rewarded, because with blood, sweat and tears, we help to eradicate rinderpest from the world.

Up to this day as well, we continue to fight against animal diseases in Africa to give families a better future without hunger or poverty.

If the herd is sick, the village dies

Vétérinaires Sans Frontières Belgium is a fantastic human adventure, between field workers, but also in Belgium, between people who, as a result of simple and real values, want to engage themselves towards a better world.

Madeleine Onclin, honorary member and first director

Milestones

1985

July 24, 2017

Three Belgian veterinarians submit by-laws to the Belgian Statute Book and establish Vétérinaires Sans Frontières Belgium...

1994

July 24, 2017

18 Belgian veterinarians breathe new life into the organization with the support of the Dean of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of the University of Liège and submit new by-laws...

2008

July 24, 2017

Activities in Mauritania and the Comoros are completed and transferred to the local population...

2012

July 24, 2017

Belgian veterinarian Julien Binard becomes ambassador and visits our activities in Rwanda...