Laafi – Initiative for Development

LAAFI – Initiative für Entwicklung is a charitable association, registered in Vienna since 1994. Purpose of LAAFI’s activities is the support of cooperative projects in a well defined area of Burkina Faso, West Africa.

Every year, members travel to Burkina in order to discuss with local partners progress made, to solve problems encountered, and to plan the next steps. These trips are paid for by the members themselves.

Our activities in Austria serve to fund these projects, where donations are used in their entirety to pay for project expenditure only – all administrative expenses are borne by the members directly. Hands-on experience gathered on the ground and knowledge of one’s limits determine our engagement and thus influence the projects in Burkina Faso, their funding and our activities in Austria.

Project Principles

The local population often has the best perception of their requirements. However, attempts for improvements often fail due to lacking resources. At this point, we seek to evaluate and further develop proposals with our local partners and will supply the required means. The project hence stays under direct management of the local community, while LAAFI is involved from the very beginning.

  1. Initiative of the community
  2. Projects serve the common good
  3. Projects are managed by Burkinabè
  4. A proportion of the means required is raised by the community
  5. LAAFI supplies missing resources and controls their use

Funding Principles

LAAFI sees itself as a mediator between donors and the local communities. We only try to secure resources for a specific proposed project – this helps to avoid opportunistic projects. Furthermore, donations will finance those projects, which individual supporters have chosen according to their specific interest and engagement. The use of donor’s money is thus transparent for both sides.

  1. Project seeks funding, not the other way round
  2. Donations will only be used to fund projects
  3. No administrative, organisational or staff expenditure from donated funds

Project Locations 2010


Personal Principles

It would be unjust not to mention the fun associated with the work – also, we think that most of us benefit as much from our interaction with Burkina Faso as the other way round. Apart from the project-related dialogue, we participate in the daily life of the community and thereby create an informal interaction. This allows us to practice a model of cooperation which is beneficial to all. Both the first hand experience and the critical dealing with poverty are therefore important parts of our mission.

  • Practising a model of cooperation in both ways
  • Curiosity, humility and fun with the work are paramount
  • All members are volunteers