Our history

The Assisi Aid Projects story began when Sister Stella arrived in Australia from India in 1974 to learn dairy farming. Concerned about food security in her home community she returned to India with 33 cattle in the hold of a cargo ship. Retaining six cattle, Sister Stella established the Assisi Farm and Training Centre to train local women in dairy farming. Assisi Aid Projects was formed in 1985 in Victoria, Australia to provide funding and strategic planning to support the centre.

Assisi Aid Projects today

Assisi Aid Projects has grown into an expanding development and humanitarian aid organisation, focusing on the empowerment of women to bring about positive changes to their own lives, and the lives of their children and the communities in which they live. Assisi Aid Projects is currently working with communities in India and Cambodia.  Assisi Aid Projects is committed to high quality programming, and is a proud signatory to the ACFID Code of Conduct, as well as an accredited DFAT Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP) partner.  This requires us to demonstrate high quality programming, operational and risk management practices.

In India, Assisi Aid Projects has historically supported thousands of rural women to not only access income and the skills to improve family life, but also built their confidence and sense of entitlement.  Assisi Aid Projects also work with children from disadvantaged communities to improve educational opportunities, and improve gender equality.  In Cambodia, Assisi Aid Projects focuses on empowering women and youth to represent their views and issues through civic engagement, and to increase livelihood resilience.

While development initiatives in Cambodia and India are complex and present multiple challenges and opportunities, the prevailing issue of gender inequality and hierarchies of power, underscores human relations and poverty. This defines our new approach and our 2017-2020 Strategy.

The Assisi Aid Projects' Strategy works to strengthen people’s own capacity to establish, operate and manage their own development initiatives. Assisi Aid Projects aim to address the root causes of poverty – embedded in the systems and structures of power and politics – through a focus on fostering equal gender relations and by working with women and men.