In 1989, seven veterinary NGOs from different European countries joined together in Lyon, France, to create a “European coordination of non-governmental veterinary organisations for development”, under the name of VSF Europa. This was the first step towards a more and more coordinated approach, a common identity and strategy and joint actions. The importance of creating a coordination network was felt as a priority for all members, allowing them to better exchange information and capitalise experiences.
At the beginning of the 2000s the members of VSF Europa, which by that time had increased up to eight organisations, started laying the foundations to institutionalize the coordination network as a non-profit international organisation. This was finally reached in 2002, with the official registration of VSF Europa’s statutes in Belgium. Besides offering a stronger framework for coordination activities, the fact to have a juridical recognition allowed VSF Europa to be internationally recognised and eligible for grants and project proposals.
The first project co-implemented by VSF Europa was a Development Education Programme financed by The European Commission to promote small-scale farming and raise awareness on their positive role towards climate change (more info can be found here).
The members of VSF Europa, who had been gathering together at least once per year, started realising that limiting the geographical scope to Europe was reductive: its members were and are indeed active in over 30 countries all around the world! After VSF Canada joined the association as new member, it became even more urgent to abandon the denomination VSF Europa.
The association officially changed its name into VSF International in December 2014. On that occasion the statutes were also modified in order to be in conformity with the new Belgian legislation, but the association remained faithful to its original objectives: improve the livelihoods of the most vulnerable populations through veterinary and agricultural services.
Download our statutes: