Over the years, surprisingly diverse and demanding opportunities have crossed our road for the better good. While many of them remain faith-based, the world of philanthropy has grown to a level where it becomes an industry by itself. The size and the multiplicity of philanthropic institutions has created dysfunction of crises (Nepal and Haiti are two recent examples of such aberration). What bothers me is the elitist approach that now prevails in this world.


For a great majority of well-intended, often smaller, philanthropic initiatives, a new world of corporate elite is now dominating a world of self-adulation and ego-competition. The amounts of money that can be mobilized make the visits of Bill and Melinda gates to an emerging country more important than State visits. The Red Cross has become political and absorbed by billions of dollars of internal costs. The last elite is now composed of giving corporate leaders where corporate tycoons meet in a self-congratulatory mode and give lessons to the rest of the world.


I always turn to smaller, on the ground actions where time and money are directly used form those in need.

An example of an institution I support is the “Brothers of Charity” who have set up an ONG, Fracarita International that is managed by the Catholic brothers, but reaches out to thousands of paid and volunteer people who are keen to help an area of huge deficit: mental health. Less spectacular, it is currently opening three training centers for mental health nurses of India with the support of the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Belgium) and the Tata Institute for Social Sciences. This is just an example.