Since 1963, we’ve expanded economic opportunities in 146 nations by tackling intractable development problems. Explore our history in the timeline.
Man giving a lecture
2015

ACIP Program Recognized by Colombian Congress’s Afro-Colombian Caucus

The ACIP program was honored with the Orden de la Democracia Simon Bolivar en el grado Cruz Comendador for institutional …

READ MORE
timeline default
2015

Kenya and Bangladesh Projects Win USAID Collaborating, Learning, and Adapting Case Competition

FOUR ACDI/VOCA STAFF PRESENT CLA APPROACHES AT LEARNING EVENT Case studies from USAID/Bangladesh and ACDI/VOCA’s AflaSTOP project in Kenya were …

READ MORE
Ethiopian farmer presents President Obama with gift
2015
Ethiopia

Obama Visits ACDI/VOCA Project Participant on July State Visit

FEMALE FARMER MEETS U.S. PRESIDENT ON ETHIOPIA VISIT During his recent two-day visit to Ethiopia late last month, the first …

READ MORE
DRC first ever Farmer to farmer assignment Nov 2014
2014
AFRICA DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO

First-ever Farmer-to-Farmer volunteer helps smallholders in the Democratic Republic of Congo

Early November marked a milestone for the USAID Farmer-to-Farmer (F2F) program: the first-ever volunteer assignment in the Democratic Republic of …

READ MORE
COL ACIP Carlos Vives first Inclusion Ambassador launch event 2014
2014
Columbia

Grammy Award-winning musician promotes Colombia’s ethnic diversity

Renowned Colombian singer-songwriter Carlos Vives has long promoted the richness of Colombia’s cultural heritage and its ethnic minority groups. Now …

READ MORE
Carl Leonard and Bill Polidoro
2014
GLOBAL

Bill Polidoro succeeds Carl Leonard as President and CEO of ACDI/VOCA

On Monday, January 13, ACDI/VOCA’s board of directors expressed their gratitude to Carl Leonard for his leadership as president and …

READ MORE
Value Chain multiplier effects graphic
2013
GLOBAL

Leveraging Economic Opportunities (LEO)

USAID selects ACDI/VOCA to implement Leveraging Economic Opportunities (LEO), a milestone project to support programming that fosters inclusive growth through …

READ MORE
2013 Empower Kenya Tan Field Visits
2013
Global

ACDI/VOCA celebrates 50 years of empowering people to succeed in the global economy

Volunteer James Thibeault in field
2013
Global

ACDI/VOCA’s 11,000th volunteer assignment completed

In April, ACDI/VOCA marked its 11,000th volunteer assignment. Our volunteers have traveled to 130 countries bringing specialized talent in areas …

READ MORE
Farmers check electronic payments
2013
Global

Worldwide switch from cash to electronic payments

ACDI/VOCA joins the Better Than Cash Alliance and commits to transition its worldwide operational and programmatic payments from cash to …

READ MORE
STICKS Farmer
2012
UNITED STATES

ACDI/VOCA wins Best Practices and Innovations Award

ACDI/VOCA receives a Best Practices and Innovations Award from InterAction and IFAD for Sell More For More™. Sam Worthington, president …

READ MORE
2012 Obama White House Photo by Pete Souza Obama Collective Land Titles Cartagena
2012
Columbia

Obama praises ACDI/VOCA’s land-title work in Colombia

President Obama praises ACDI/VOCA’s work with Afro-Colombians as part of a USAID project. Obama and Colombian President Santos handed over …

READ MORE
timeline default
2011

ACDI/VOCA Leadership and Local Governance Youth Camp participant, Diyala province, Iraq

“I truly believe the only way forward is to change people’s ideas of how to work together.”

READ MORE
2010 opportunity knocks award
2011
United States

A great place to work

ACDI/VOCA is one of the top 15 nonprofits nationwide to work for, according to Opportunity Knocks’ 4th annual People’s Choice …

READ MORE
2010
HAITI

Ayiti leve! Haiti rise!

Special Thanks: This video was filmed and edited by Bayard Jean Bernard of Jacmel’s Ciné Institute, Haiti’s only professional film …

READ MORE
Farmers with sesame plants
2010
AFRICA

ACDI/VOCA leads key food security program

USAID selects ACDI/VOCA to implement its Support for Food Security Activities (SFSA) indefinite quantity contract (IQC), a pillar of the …

READ MORE
Feb. 2010 Haiti reconstruction in Port au Prince Michelle Stern
2010
HAITI

Major earthquake devastates Haiti

After rallying to emergency response, ACDI/VOCA redoubles agricultural development work in Haiti’s Southeast Department, one of the least food-secure regions …

READ MORE
timeline default
2009

Member of association of women cocoa farmers 


“At the beginning, my husband did not want me to work in the [cocoa] nursery; he thought it was a …

READ MORE
2009
GLOBAL

ACDI/VOCA celebrates its 45th anniversary

Food aid photo for pirate
2009
RWANDA, SOMALIA

Pirates hijack ship carrying food aid

The MV Maersk Alabama, carrying ACDI/VOCA food aid meant for a USAID project in Rwanda, is hijacked by Somali pirates. …

READ MORE
timeline default
2008

Member and former president of cocoa producers’ association in Naranjito County, Guayas province

“We were not used to selling directly to exporters, and the exporters did not have much experience working with small …

READ MORE
timeline default
2008

Congressman Christopher Shays (R-Conn.), speaking about USAID’s Community Action Program, which ACDI/VOCA implemented from 2003 to 2012

“This is the one program that is in fact working in Iraq. No one disputes it. We can dispute everything …

READ MORE
timeline default
2007

Dairy farmer, beneficiary of AERI program, implemented by ACDI/VOCA

“I’ve been raising animals for 10 years now, but I have never before experienced the amount of milk, cheese and …

READ MORE
timeline default
2006
SERBIA

Radio ad wins award in Serbia

The Serbian Association of Media Advertisers awarded “best radio spot” to an ACDI/VOCA radio campaign funded by USAID that focused …

READ MORE
Starbucks rep presenting coffee award to Ethiopian farmer
2005
ETHIOPIA

Ethiopian coffee wins Starbucks award

After three years of development, Shirkina dry-processed gourmet coffee, produced by ACDI/VOCA’s client Ferro Cooperative in Sidama, Ethiopia, was designated …

READ MORE
timeline default
2005

Kay Rockwell, ACDI/VOCA volunteer and professor emerita at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln

“Uganda was never on my radar, but when ACDI/VOCA called about this volunteer opportunity, I felt it was a good …

READ MORE
2004 Indonesia Tsunami
2004
INDONESIA

Tsunami wreaks havoc in Southeast Asia

A tsunami devastates Indonesia. UNDP selects ACDI/VOCA to manage recovery efforts for micro, small and medium-sized businesses. ACDI/VOCA hosts an …

READ MORE
Man bringing goats to market
2004
GLOBAL

Value chain approach pioneered

Through a series of USAID contracts, ACDI/VOCA helps develop the value chain approach to creating wealth and promoting growth by …

READ MORE
USAID Administrator Andrew Natsios calls ACDI/VOCA “the premier agricultural development NGO in the world.”
2003
Global

Premier agricultural development NGO

USAID Administrator Andrew Natsios calls ACDI/VOCA “the premier agricultural development NGO in the world.”

READ MORE
Cocoa beans
2000
Global

Public-private SUCCESS Alliance supports cocoa farmers

ACDI/VOCA, the World Cocoa Foundation and Mars, Inc., team up to form the Sustainable Cocoa Enterprise Solutions for Smallholders (SUCCESS) …

READ MORE
2000 Bai-Tushum KYR Frontiers Mol Bulak client loan disbursement
2000
KYRGYZSTAN

Bai-Tushum created to increase access to credit in Kyrgyzstan

ACDI/VOCA leads the push to establish the Bai-Tushum Financial Foundation with the support of USAID, USDA and the Swiss development …

READ MORE
coffee beans
2000
Africa

A boost for coffee growers

ACDI/VOCA helps found the African Fine Coffees Association to improve quality and boost returns to coffee growers in Africa. As …

READ MORE
2000 Russia Krasnodar
2000
RUSSIA

Expanded credit for rural Russian farmers

First private rural credit system serves farmers in Russia. We helped create a network of member-owned financial institutions and improve …

READ MORE
Egypt Sar El Aard
1998
EGYPT

ACDI/VOCA produces Egypt’s most popular TV program

ACDI/VOCA produced a TV series named Serr El Ard (Secrets of the Land), which was named most popular program by …

READ MORE
1998 Tractor in Field
1998
BULGARIA

New grain laws multiply opportunities for Bulgarian farmers and traders

ACDI/VOCA helps the government of Bulgaria draft and pass new grain storage and trade laws and regulations, leading to a …

READ MORE
1997 National Smallholder Farmers Association of Malawi sign
1997
MALAWI

ACDI/VOCA helps form largest farmer association in Malawi

National Smallholder Farmers’ Association of Malawi (NASFAM) is formed with the help of ACDI/VOCA. Today, NASFAM represents over 100,000 farmers …

READ MORE
1996 ACDI and VOCA combine
1997
United States

ACDI and VOCA join forces

ACDI and VOCA come together to capitalize on each organization’s best qualities—ACDI’s business-oriented approach to sustainable development and VOCA’s people-to-people …

READ MORE
1996 Ethiopia Co-op
1996
ETHIOPIA

Milestone for Ethiopian co-ops

As a result of ACDI/VOCA’s work with Ethiopian cooperatives, the first patronage dividends in the country’s history are paid to …

READ MORE
timeline default
1995

USAID Administrator J. Brian Atwood speaking about VOCA

“Your volunteers work at the grassroots. They are the backbone of sustainable development.”

READ MORE
timeline default
1994

Armenian farmer, beneficiary of Farmer-to-Farmer program

“I never thought a huge country like the United States would care about me. In the face of a VOCA …

READ MORE
Hungary popcorn
1994
HUNGARY

ACDI/VOCA helps introduce popcorn to Europe

Under a USAID-funded project supporting privatization, popcorn was introduced to Hungary in a joint venture between a U.S. company and …

READ MORE
1994 Ann Veneman
1994
BELARUS

Future Agriculture Secretary volunteers in Belarus

Future Secretary of Agriculture Ann Veneman serves as VOCA volunteer in Belarus, conducting seminars on the appropriate role of government …

READ MORE
1993 ASI Day
1993
GLOBAL

ACDI establishes ASI

ACDI establishes Agribusiness Systems International (ASI), a flexible, entrepreneurial nonprofit subsidiary, to support its mission through innovative projects with non-U.S. …

READ MORE
1992 Polish Zloty
1992
POLAND

Over 1,600 rural banks privatized in Poland

ACDI and VOCA launch a program to privatize Poland’s 1,665 rural cooperative banks. It helps Poland establish regional banks in …

READ MORE
1992 Farmer to Farmer Norm Illsley Russia 1999
1992
ARMENIA, KAZAKHSTAN, RUSSIA, UKRAINE

First agricultural program in the former Soviet Union

VOCA launches a quick-start Farmer-to-Farmer program and becomes the first USAID grantee to work in the agricultural sectors of the …

READ MORE
1989 Berlin Wall
1989
EASTERN EUROPE, FORMER SOVIET UNION

Berlin Wall comes down

With the fall of the Berlin Wall and the subsequent dissolution of the USSR, new economic development initiatives are launched …

READ MORE
1989 Don Cohen receiving the Presidential End Hunger Award from George Bush
1989
UNITED STATES

President George H.W. Bush recognizes VOCA in fight against hunger

VOCA receives the Presidential End Hunger Award from President George H. W. Bush for “vision, initiative and leadership in the …

READ MORE
1988 Peace Corp logo
1988
United States

Peace Corps honors VOCA

Peace Corps Director Loret Ruppe presents VOCA President Don Cohen with the Leadership for Peace Award.

READ MORE
1986 Signing of Farmer to Farmer Program
1986
Global

VOCA launches USAID’s first Farmer-to-Farmer program

VOCA is selected to implement the pilot USAID Farmer-to-Farmer program, assigning 30 volunteers to advise farmers’ associations, farmer cooperatives and …

READ MORE
1983 Women in Uganda
1983
UGANDA

First Women in Development project

ACDI launches its first Women in Development project. It provided training to develop women’s cooperatives in Uganda for income generation …

READ MORE
1983 Costa Rica BAN COOP Computer Sys 1985 AR
1983
United States

Microcomputers on every desk

ACDI computerizes HQ. Each desk has a microcomputer connected to a local area network.

READ MORE
1981 AIDS ribbon
1981
Global

Threat of HIV/AIDS looms

AIDS emerges as a global health threat. In subsequent years ACDI/VOCA helps those living with HIV/AIDS improve their health and …

READ MORE
Wheat
1975
United States

An early focus on small farmers’ role in warding off food shortages

Homer Darby, ACDI chairman, forecasts the company’s role addressing food security. He tells board members that food shortages are the …

READ MORE
1972 Guatemala Jim George Volunteer from California
1972
GUATEMALA

Board’s first site visit

Fifteen members of ACDI’s board of directors visit a cooperative project in Guatemala’s Indian Highlands, the first board visit to …

READ MORE
1971 Lesotho Ruth Senior in 1971 Lesotho working with a housing co-op in 1977 Ms Senior first volunteered in 1971 and was one of VDCs first volunteers
1971
Chile, Jamaica

First VOCA volunteers

VOCA’s first volunteers, W. Gordon Leith and Ruth M. Senior, carry out assignments in Jamaica and Chile, respectively.

READ MORE
1970 photo of VOCA foundation signing
1970
United States

A strong base for free societies

U.S. cooperative leaders found the Volunteer Development Corps, VOCA’s predecessor. “A strong, stable economic base for free societies in developing …

READ MORE
timeline default
1968

Vice President Hubert Humphrey’s letter expressing regret that he was unable to attend ACDI’s annual meeting.

“It is not just that you have so nobly carried out the intent of the Humphrey Amendment. You know how …

READ MORE
1967 IFFCO Indian participants met at ICDA
1967
India

New Indian cooperative transforms the subcontinent’s agricultural efficiency

ICDA plays an instrumental role in establishing Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative (IFFCO). IFFCO’s role in preventing food shortages was a …

READ MORE
1963 ACDI Articles of Incorporation and coops from 1963
1963
UNITED STATES

U.S. farm cooperatives launch ACDI to spread the co-op model abroad

Inspired by the Humphrey Amendment, major U.S. farm cooperatives form the International Cooperative Development Association (ACDI’s parent organization) and register …

READ MORE
1961 Foreign Act and Honduran co-op from 1970
1961
United States

A central role for cooperatives in foreign assistance

The Humphrey Amendment to the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 emphasizes cooperatives— “to encourage the development and use of cooperatives, …

READ MORE