On June 12, 1986, with the filing of incorporation papers, IRRP metamorphosed into the International Development and Refugee Foundation (IDRF). There was a continuing need to assist refugees, but the inclusion of the word, “Development”, in the name marked a significant change in direction for IDRF. The emphasis would be on self-help over handouts. IDRF would concentrate on helping people at the grassroots level to organize themselves to work collectively for their own economic betterment. IDRF would facilitate training and other needs identified by the beneficiaries themselves and would help supporters in Canada increase their understanding of international development issues.
IDRF still provides relief assistance to refugees and other victims of man-made chaos such as wars and conflicts, or natural disasters such as floods, typhoons and earthquakes. But the major focus of IDRF is development programs aimed at poverty reduction, literacy, and healthcare, as a means of helping families and communities equip themselves with the tools to overcome barriers and become self-reliant and self-sufficient.
This year IDRF is commemorating 30 years of humanitarian services to people around the world, rendered without any bias of religion, nationality, gender, ethnicity or sexual orientation.
Over the past 30 years, IDRF has created thousands of supporters across Canada and around the world, and has helped millions of impoverished and tormented men, women and children. The past three decades have been the years of constant firefight, moving from crisis to crisis, providing food and medicine, wiping tears of rape victims, planting trees, digging wells, helping the blind, setting up schools, creating jobs, and providing basic healthcare to the needy.