Vision and missions

Iles de Paix is a Belgian development NGO founded in 1962. It is a pluralist association, with no religious, philosophical, ideological or political ties.

Vision

Iles de Paix aspires to a world where everyone can live decently and develop their potential; a mutually supportive world that promotes universal access to human rights in a well-preserved environment.

Missions

Iles de Paix’s general mission is to contribute to researching and testing alternative development models.

The choice of which models to promote is based on these values:

  • a focus on the human person;
  • harmonious balance and respect between individuals, for others (family, community, the human race) and for nature;
  • quality of life for all.

These models must also respect certain conditions. They must:

  • support the environment; reduce poverty and/or inequality;
  • increase resilience in populations, promote access to fundamental rights etc.;
  • be scalable and reproducible;
  • be rooted in a location with real, measurable impact.

To ensure it remains realistic and concrete, Iles de Paix focuses on a specific mission that is both broad and relatively limited: the promotion of sustainable food systems. This choice is justified by the important issues it encompasses at local level (particularly for the rural families in the Global South that Iles de Paix supports) and at global level (food security and resilience in the face of climate change).

The values of Iles de Paix

Solidarity

Iles de Paix bases its activities on the will and the ability of each individual to come together and support their peers, near at hand or more remote – culturally, socially, geographically, physically and in terms of age, religion or convictions – and future generations.

Empowerment

“Give me a fish, and I will eat for a day. Teach me to fish, and I will eat for a lifetime.”

“If we find ourselves faced with the poverty of others, let us help them as much as we can, from a position of knowledge, in the direction of self-help, by awakening their spirit of initiative and respecting their dignity.”

Dominique Pire

Iles de Paix seeks to empower people as much as possible. The association’s activities are founded on ideas and proposals put forward by local players, partners and colleagues.

Empowerment makes it possible to forge people’s autonomy and increase their self-esteem. On the ground, this enables beneficiaries to take charge of their own development by choosing the direction they want to take. Far from providing handouts, Iles de Paix emphasises the engagement, initiative and responsibility of beneficiaries, who commit to projects and take part in making them happen.

This conviction is reflected in a proverb that sums up the Iles de Paix approach: “Give me a fish, and I will eat for a day. Teach me to fish, and I will eat for a lifetime.” Training, knowledge transfer and continuous learning are the ideal tools for the purpose, for Iles de Paix staff as much as for beneficiaries and partners.

Respect

“Peace is a positive thing: it is the creation of a climate of mutual understanding and respect.”

Dominique Pire

Respect for others and for differences in the workplace, and in society in general, is a fundamental value for Iles de Paix. It is expressed through attitudes and behaviours of tolerance, understanding and kindness. Respect leads us to make concrete commitments to:

  • our beneficiaries, the ultimate recipients of the association’s work, to enable them to live in dignity and develop their potential;
  • our partners, with whom we strive to build close relationships of trust for the long-term;
  • our employees, to promote their personal fulfilment;
  • our donors of time, talent and money, to ensure we draw the maximum value from their commitment and their donations while ensuring they make a clear contribution to Iles de Paix’s missions.
  • the environment. Being respectful and responsible also means anticipating major social and environmental challenges and issues, using them as a guide for our actions to support the development of a sustainable society that respects the world around us.
  • other human beings.

This respect is manifested through fraternal dialogue, which means discussing issues transparently rather than imposing solutions, taking the time to listen to others and being ready to accept different points of view.

 Deserving trust

The initiatives organised by Iles de Paix are not funded by profits comparable to those generated by a commercial company, which would invest them back into its activity to sustain itself. Its funds come solely from the sale of modules, donations, legacies and public funds set aside by the authorities based on taxes received. In other words, 100% of Iles de Paix’s resources come from external sources, from people and organisations that have deliberately chosen to support the association due to the trust they place in it.

Similarly, the partners and beneficiaries who choose to get involved in projects with Iles de Paix do so based on their trust in the association.

Iles de Paix makes it a point of honour to deserve the trust of all these people.

That is why rigourqualityeffectiveness and integrity are the pillars of Iles de Paix’s activity, and the association is deeply committed to them:

  • All projects undertaken result from a serious analysis and a detailed planning process to ensure they meet the needs of the organisation and/or a real aspiration on the part of the beneficiaries, with the aim of achieving the desired results. All these projects are also subject to rigorous monitoring and regular review.
  • The constant search for effectiveness involves managing the association’s resources responsibly, efficiently, rigorously and transparently.

In Africa and South America

In the countries where it operates, Iles de Paix facilitates local, reproducible, sustainable development driven by disadvantaged populations with their representatives and local authorities.

It provides methodological support, equipment and finance. The aid provided is temporary. It is based on dialogue and self-help. It can be summarised with the famous proverb:

Give me a fish, and I will eat for a day. Teach me to fish, and I will eat for a lifetime.

Fish represents the money or food that could be provided in these disadvantaged areas. This temporary support is not effective in the long term.

Learning to fish means learning techniques to improve agriculture and livestock breeding sustainably, providing additional food and increasing revenues. It means learning how to maintain a borehole or a well for access to drinking water all year round. Quite simply, it means developing independence.

In Belgium

Iles de Paix provides information and awareness to help everyone feel connected to the condition of all humanity and act to promote their dignity.

Iles de Paix carries out information, awareness-raising and education activities about the reality of life in disadvantaged countries. It produces educational materials, exhibitions and documentaries. It offers events for school children, youth movements and adult groups.

Iles de Paix helps to shape a public opinion that is more enlightened, supportive and active in relation to people in the Global South.

Funding for the association’s activities comes from fundraising campaigns, donations, legacies, co-funding and grants.

Where does the name Iles de Paix come from?

An “Ile de Paix” or “island of peace” is a limited geographical area, such as a large municipality. Its people face the same problems. It is large enough for actions to be taken at a level that will generate significant results. At the same time, it is not too large, so that the association can work with individuals on a human scale.

There is perhaps no surer way to achieve peace than to start with little islands and oases of kindness, which constantly multiply and, together, encircle the world. (Dominique Pire, founder of Iles de Paix)