Grant from The Starr Foundation Supports Rural Development in Africa and Asia

Posted on December 14, 2005

The Starr Foundation has announced a grant of $250,000 to the International Institute of Rural Reconstruction (IIRR), an international training and rural development organization. The grant is to provide general support for IIRR’s programs in Africa and Asia.

IIRR was founded in 1960 by Dr. Y. C. James Yen, a pioneer in efforts to improve the conditions of the rural poor throughout the developing world. The mission of IIRR involves overcoming rural poverty in developing countries through rural reconstruction—a sustainable, integrated, people-centered and participatory development strategy generated through practical field experience.

IIRR works to strengthen local capacity in response to economic and social challenges around the world. Some examples of IIRR’s successes include: helping to establish a milk processing cooperative in Kenya, expanding the outreach of health clinics and instituting processes for infants to receive nutritional supplements in the Philippines, helping pastoralist communities to manage drought cycles for increased food security and to access quality basic education in sub-Saharan Africa, and encouraging families in Ethiopia to understand the links between poverty and family size. IIRR’s community-based work generates models for reducing poverty that are shared widely, through IIRR’s publications and training courses, with other institutions that play an important role in supporting development, including civil society organizations and governmental units at various levels.

The organization, incorporated in the U.S., has its headquarters and a regional office in the Philippines, a regional office in Kenya, and country offices in China, Ethiopia, Sudan and Uganda.