If we were to translate the Dutch name of the Brothers of Charity congregation literally, it would be called the 'Brothers of Love'; the word 'love' referring to neighbourly love. In 1815 a new enterprise was started, i.e. the care of the mentally ill in the crypt of Gerard the Devil's Castle in Ghent.
The Brothers of Charity are an international religious congregation. Quite soon after their founding in 1807, the Brothers of Charity started organizing education. Street urchins and children from poor families who had no access to existing schools were relieved by the Brothers of Charity, first in Ghent as from 1809 and later on in other locations in Belgium, and as from 1865 in Canada and other continents. Today, the Brothers of Charity perform their services in about 30 countries on different continents, where, in addition to education, they develop care for the mentally ill and persons with disabilities. As a Christian-inspired organization, they start from an unconditional respect of every form of life, in which the task resounds to improve the dignity of people with threatened life opportunities. The quality of life is of paramount importance to them and it is given shape in the care of the person in all of his life’s dimensions.