ECLOF International was founded in 1946 in Geneva, Switzerland. Our first mission was to offer financial support to churches throughout Europe, especially after the Second World War. The first loans were used by churches to rebuild, renovate, or expand their premises, as well as to establish schooling and health facilities.
In 1959, after a period of growth and the reimbursement by European churches of the initial loans, ECLOF opened its first international office in Myanmar. It was rapidly followed by offices in Tanzania in 1961 and Argentina in 1962. By the mid-sixties, ECLOF’s work had shifted from Europe to the Global South and from loans primarily to churches to microloans and development.
Throughout the 1970s, ECLOF developed a strong expertise in microfinance services and reached out to increasingly many countries. In parallel with the pursuit of our historic activity, ECLOF offered an increasing number of microloans to impoverished and vulnerable individuals and communities.
Today, ECLOF has become the microfinance arm of the ecumenical family and reaches out to rural areas that traditionally have not benefited from microfinance as it has developed over the past several decades. Our aim is to reach out tomorrow to even more isolated rural areas and poorer populations.
Our history in pictures
1946: ECLOF is born