The Foundation for Educational, Social and Economic Development (FEDES – Fundación Educativa de Desarrollo Economico y Social) was conceded official status in Chile as a non-profit entity in decree 652 on June 12, 2002. Its purpose is to overcome poverty and build stronger communities through social and economic development, and to better the lives of the disadvantaged and disabled of Chile.
FEDES’ social development programs encompass both sustainable programs for long-term solutions to poverty and unemployment, as well as emergency relief and immediate material and medical assistance to the most impoverished sectors of ten Chilean regions.
The Vocational School, founded in October 2002, in the county San Bernardo, Santiago, has a ten-year history of providing vocational education to the underprivileged in Chile, with particular focus on the empowerment of young adults and women heading up households. FEDES has trained 500-600 students in job skills per year on average, for a total of over 6000 students. In 2011 the Vocational School was moved to its current location, a newly renovated school in Lo Espejo, currently the second lowest-income zone in the entire Metropolitan Region.
Since it commenced the orthopedic and mobility program in 2003 FEDES has coordinated the donation and distribution of over 38,000 wheelchairs to disabled and elderly people living in poverty in 10 of Chile’s 15 regions. In addition, over 2,000 mobility aids (including crutches, walkers and canes) have been distributed to economically challenged persons with disabilities, who would otherwise not have access to such equipment. FEDES also works to strengthen the infrastructure of existing clinics and hospitals for the underprivileged through the provision of donated medical supplies and equipment. The total value of these donations since 2001 is estimated to be at least $30,000,000. These programs are facilitated overseas through collaboration with Direct Relief International, Free Wheelchair Mission, Vida USA and Globus Relief International, and locally through the Ministry of Health and a variety of other local actors.
FEDES has also developed a highly effective disaster relief program which was deployed in the aftermaths of devastating floods of 2002 and the massive earthquake that struck Chile in 2010. Immediate responses to meet the most urgent needs of the communities located in the disaster zone with relief aid to those most affected, and long term support in equipment and supplies for the public health infrastructure in the disaster zone which had suffered considerable damage are essential parts of this program. We maintain close collaborative ties with a network of international organizations such as Direct Relief International, Americares, and Globus Relief International, which provide services and support in emergency situations.
FEDES Foundation has received recognitions from: