Our Story Who we are Assisi Aid Projects is a small international development organisation with a strong focus on women – empowering women to create positive change in their own lives, in their children’s lives, and in their communities. Participants in our Single Women's project in India are empowered to make positive changes in their lives. Image credit: IDT 2019. How we work Fundamental to Assisi Aid Projects’ development approach is ‘working in partnership’ - with and through local partner NGOs. The Assisi Aid Projects strategy is to strengthen people’s capacity to establish, operate and manage their own development initiatives. To achieve this, the strategy is to work with local partners to deliver projects, utilising local expertise in the communities. Assisi Aid Projects currently works with communities in southern India, proudly partnering with Integrated Development Trust (IDT), and in Nepal, proudly partnering with the Federation of Business and Professional Women Nepal (BPW Nepal). Our current projects are: Empowering Every Woman - India Empowering Every Girl - India Advancing Women in Agro Business Enterprise - Nepal Our history Since 1985, Assisi Aid Projects has worked to empower women across the Indo-Pacific. Assisi Aid Projects’ origins trace back to 1974, when Sister Stella, a nun from India, visited Victoria, Australia to learn dairy farming techniques to help fight food insecurity. After spending seven months on dairy farms throughout regional Victoria, she returned to India by ship, paying for her trip by managing 33 Australian cattle in the ship’s hull. At the end of this journey, she retained six of the cows, and the Assisi Farm and Training Centre was established in 1975. Sharing the skills she learnt from her time in Australia with her community in Tamil Nadu, Sister Stella was able to train women in dairy farming. This act transformed the lives of countless women - one cow could produce enough milk to sustain an entire family. Left: Early days of the Assisi Farm & Training Centre; right: Sister Stella looking after a child. Image credit: IDT / Assisi Aid Projects. In 1985, Assisi Aid Projects was formed, aiming to provide support to the centre. The longstanding, mutual partnership empowered thousands of women and their families across Tamil Nadu to transform their livelihoods through income-generation and skills training. Assisi Aid Projects provided direct support to the communities in Tamil Nadu impacted by the devastating 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. Individuals from communities across regional Victoria raised funds to support the purchase of new fishing boats, replacing those destroyed by the natural disaster. Left: Board member Tom Dumaresq meets with communities in Tamil Nadu following tsunami recovery efforts; Right: a group of local fishermen with a boat named after fundraisers from Wangaratta. Image credit: IDT / Assisi Aid Projects. Assisi Aid Projects today Over time, those needs of the communities changed, and in 2015-16 Assisi Aid Projects established a partnership with our current partner in India, Integrated Development Trust. While Assisi Aid Projects is no longer in partnership with the centre, its current work with IDT enables the organisation to maintain its core objectives, while evolving to continue to meet the needs of the communities in which we work. Over the years, Assisi Aid Projects has partnered with organisations in Cambodia, India, Maldives, Solomon Island and Timor Leste. In 2022, Assisi Aid Projects embarked on an exciting new partnership with Business and Professional Women Nepal, and in 2023 with Dreamdelion Indonesia. Today, Assisi Aid Projects supports women to lead their development opportunities and as agents for change in their communities. Image credit: IDT 2018-19. Assisi Aid Projects is a proud signatory to the Australian Council for International Development (ACFID) Code of Conduct and is an accredited DFAT Australian NGO Cooperation Programpartner.