The RELX Group Environmental Challenge was launched in 2011 to contribute to the Water for Life Decade, an initiative launched in 2005 by...Read More →
Who we are, what we do, why we do it
We are the Alternative Indigenous Development Foundation, Inc. (AIDFI): a social enterprise that tackles the problem of rural poverty by designing, fabricating, and promoting environment-friendly technology which is accessible and income augmenting, for the poor.
Building technology to serve the poor is a major challenge in the world today. Technology's benefits must be brought to people, whatever their status, wherever they are, and in ways they can own and sustain. This is essential to promoting development, addressing poverty, and empowering communities.
AIDFI is dedicated to excellence in the development and for promotion of appropriate technology and social enterprises for sustainable development;
AIDFI is committed to effectiveness and efficiency in development management;
AIDFI is committed to help facilitating empower communities, gender equity and cultural diversity.
AIDFI was initially born out of the social turmoil that accompanied the collapse of the sugar industry in Negros during the 1980s. Hundreds of workers and farmers were displaced and the survival of peasant families was severely threatened. In the wake of this crisis, a small group of social activists decided to form AIDFI to address the basic needs of the affected farmers.
The term Social Enterprising (SE) in the Philippines is rather ‘new’. In the past people and organizations engaged in development work implemented projects with as objective socio-economic improvements for the poor people involved. I remember from the time 1980’s that I worked in the socio-economic section of the National Federation of Sugar Workers (NFSW) that we very much focused on the Return of Investments (ROI). Impact in whatever form besides direct financial benefit was not measured or even considered in this ROI thinking.
When we (me and three other staff from NFSW) organized AIDFI in 1991 we had lots of combined experiences in observing poverty, absences of basic services and attempts to create alternatives. One of our main learnings was that money was not the key to solving problems but just one of the instruments. We had observed the mushrooming of NGO’s and Foundations in the province because of the influx of foreign aid. How many are still there today? What happened with all their hastily implemented projects or white elephants?