The Association for Community Development (ADC) was formed in 1990 to establish the legal and material conditions for the appearance of a foundation. The ADC was concerned that Mozambican community development agents, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and community-based organizations (CBOs) were almost totally dependent on external funds. This meant that Mozambicans did not assume primary responsibility for establishing priorities and taking decisions on improving the standard of living of poor communities. There was thus a need to establish a Mozambican civil society institution that would support local initiatives by investing in communities and by building of the capacity of communities and grass roots community organizations. As a result of the preparatory work by the ADC, 1994 saw the birth of the Foundation for Community Development.
The FDC is a private, non-profit organization that works to combine the efforts of all sectors of society to promote development, democracy and social justice. The FDC arose from the conviction that poverty is not inevitable. It is the result of a complex process where the needy are marginalised and exploited. They do not have access to scientific and technical knowledge, to information about appropriate technologies. They have limited access to resources and to information on how to make the best use of the resources they do have. They do not receive sufficient support from the country's formal institutions, including education, health, agricultural, transport and financial services. The combination of this set of circumstances influences people's attitude to nature and life, in particular their belief that they have limited prospects of improving their situation. It is these structural and psychological obstacles, the root cause of poverty, that the FDC intends to change.
Over the last 15 years the FDC has implemented and supported a wide range of interventions in priority areas such as education, health, food security, income generation, water and sanitation and HIV/AIDS, with particular emphasis on the most vulnerable groups such as women and children. Throughout the country over 100 civil society organisations and networks have been strengthened and the FDC and its implementation
partners have been active in over half of the country’s 128 districts. At the same time it has been constantly working to build its own institutional capacity and financial strength.