Village Focus International was created in Laos, and is a registered 501(c)(3) organization in the United States. In 2000, we became the first international organization to be founded in Laos, and worked in Cambodia for 10 year. VFI has worked in more than 300 remote and vulnerable villages, and focuses on local leadership development to bring about positive fundamental social change. VFI operates two programs: Land & Livelihoods (land, agriculture, land investment), and the Protection and Empowerment of Women and Children (human trafficking, education, village youth). VFI’s average annual budget is USD1.5 million, with an average of 50 local staff members. VFI has remained true to our founding spirit: to emphasize and support local leadership, decision-making and ownership.
Our PEWC program focuses on counseling and care for survivors of trafficking, and on the creation of livelihood opportunities and skills to prevent trafficking. In 2020 we expanded to include support to males, with focus on both trafficking survivors and those we deem to be vulnerable to trafficking and exploitation.
Our L&L program, particularly our Rights-LINK (Land, Information, Networking and Knowledge) project, remains the national leader in land and natural resource rights in Laos. We continue to emphasize partnerships – with government, civil society, and the private sector – in addressing land issues. L&L is increasingly focused on food security as well, especially using the Green Earth Center — VFI’s 40-hectare training farm and demonstration center – as a venue for helping farmers develop practical strategies to address increasing land pressures with innovation and creativity.
VFI also operates a 40 hectare demonstration farm and training center in southern Laos, call The Green Earth Center. This facility, unique in Laos, is designed to benefit vulnerable communities, other INGO and NPA partners, the private sector, as well as our Lao government partners.