Our roots go back to work undertaken in the 1970s and 1980s by the Paris-based INODEP (Ecumenical Institute for the Development of Peoples), whose founder and first president was Paulo Freire, and in particular to Filip (Philippe) Fanchette who worked for INODEP and later followed in Paulo Freire’s footsteps to become director of adult education at the World Council of Churches.
Filip Fanchette worked around the world training grassroots groups. For example, he contributed greatly to the development of the DELTA training programme in Kenya, organized by Anne Hope and Sally Timmel, later written up as Training for Transformation.
As a result of his work a small team who had participated in the training started working informally in the UK with a number of groups. Participants included church groups, community projects and workers in NGOs. The team members also applied the principles in their own work settings, including academic social policy, theology, community work and industrial mission.
There was a need to make the work more systematic and place it on a more formal setting, hence the establishment of the Freire Institute. The frameworks and models used by INODEP and in our informal work in the UK, supplemented by related models from around the world, form the basis of the Freire Institute’s training approach today, updated and adapted to reflect current circumstances.