With the support of Mother Theresa, Father Kevin Doheny founded Vita in 1989. Originally called Refugee Trust International (RFI), it focused on providing support to refugees in the Horn of Africa. As the area’s refugee issues decreased, RFI began to focus more on reducing extreme poverty and vulnerability and increasing the sustainability of people’s livelihoods. Reflecting this change, RFI changed its name to Vita in the early 2000’s.
Today our mission is to bring about lasting positive change in the living conditions of poor and marginalised people in our priority countries of Ethiopia, Eritrea and Kenya.We achieve this by developing and supporting income generation activities. At the heart of Vita’s work is the core belief that supporting livelihoods necessitates the participation by poor people in the analysis and improvement of their own situations.
Vita is delighted to acknowledge the vital contribution of Department of Foreign Affairs, through Irish Aid, to Vita’s Sustainable Livelihoods Programme in the Horn of Africa. Vita also acknowledges the funding contribution of the European Union to Vita’s Eritrea Livelihoods Programme through EuropeAid’s Forestry and Environment Programme.
Vita is honoured to have, Mother Teresa, as a named patron. She offered great inspiration to the work of Vita’s founder, Fr. Kevin Doheny.
Community Led Development
Vita supports a new model of development wherein the local community is supported to create a plan for development based on their own needs, abilities and vision of the future. This approach empowers the population to become self-reliant, and ultimately eliminates their need for outside assistance. Therefore local people as well as civic and governmental organisations are involved in all stages of planning, implementation and evaluation of the programme.
Promoting Sustainable Livelihoods
Vita’s expert staff work with families and communities on agriculture, water, income generation projects to ensure that they have enough food, water and income to survive and become self-reliant.
Projects include tree planting, well digging and water harvesting, drip irrigation, improved seeds, beekeeping and poultry, bakeries, latrines and solar panels.
Irish Supporters of Vita can participate in supporting and monitoring community projects, and have access to families they support and their wonderful cultures through online media and visits to the country.
Climate Change Focused
Working with families affected by climate change, Vita applies an environmental, carbon-neutral approach to tackle hunger and poverty in their communities. One instance of this approach is our support of the prize winning fuel efficient cooking stove which provides thousands of women and families with better health and livelihoods while reducing tree cutting and improving the environment. Donations to such projects can allow individuals and companies to offset their carbon footprintand become carbon neutral, addressing personal and corporate social responsibility.
The value of a donation to Vita is multiplied by up to four times through the Irish Government and European Union’s co-financing schemes.
Carbon credits for sale in Ireland generated by the stoves installed double again the value of a donation, bringing more benefits to come to African families suffering the effects of climate change.
Vita upholds the values upon which our charity was founded in 1989; respect for people and cultures, partnership to bridge gulfs which divide Irish and African people and their governments, and empowerment of African communities.
Vita brings values of professional management to our work; impact at household level, accountability showing minimisation of administration costs for our Irish donors, and learning for us and our partners.
|Vita – Equity House, Upper Ormond Quay, Dublin 7, Ireland|
|Phone: +353 (01) 8734303 Fax: +353 (01) 8734325 Email: email@example.com Registered Charity No: 9670|