AIFO -Associazione Italiana Amici di Raoul Follereau- was founded in 1961 by volunteer groups which gave a boost to constitute a grassroots organization alert in the fight against leprosy and all leprosies, meaning against all forms of discrimination. AIFO maintained its popular dimension with groups of volunteers spread all over Italy.
AIFO has chosen to focus its activities in supporting leprosy affected persons and persons with disabilities, guided by principles of respect of Human Rights of all, social justice, dignity and equality of all peoples. It expresses its mission through integrated development projects, with particular attention towards the poorest and vulnerable groups of persons, in a spirit of partnership. Moreover, its educational activities find roots in the mission to develop a better understanding of causes underlying poverty and under-development and a just North-South relationship.
AIFO implements its mission through activities in two areas: in developing countries where they focus on leprosy, community and primary health care, disability and rehabilitation, and vulnerable children and in Italy, where activities are linked to development education. The principles guiding AIFO's work center on seeking an equilibrium between activities which answer immediate needs and those which promote a durable and sustainable development. The aim is also to sustain the self-determination of persons affected with leprosy and persons with disabilities in all aspects of life.