What are our goals?
The goal of Academics for Development is to offer students the possibility to have social impact in a durable and meaningful way, by offering them the opportunity to contribute to real life issues in developing and developed countries.
This goal is based on the belief that students have valuable skills, time and knowledge that can be used in a meaningful way to achieve social impact.
With this opportunity, AFD aims to demonstrate to students that they can make a real difference in people’s lives regardless of their (academic) background. To live up to this goal, AFD supports students to develop themselves by gaining practical and international experience so as to enhance their capability to make a difference in the future. To conclude, AFD also has the ambition to familiarize students with all sorts of topics related to development cooperation and social entrepreneurship.
How do we achieve our goals?
To realise the aforementioned goals, AFD undertakes a number of activities. First of all, AFD organises projects in which a multidisciplinary team of students work together throughout an academic year with a partner organisation on an issue that the partner has put forward. During the first phase of the project, the students prepare, analyze and elaborate with their partner(s) on possible solutions and ideas in Leuven. Subsequently, during the second phase the team is given the chance to implement their ideas and/or solutions on sight. The ultimate goal of each project is to realize durable and meaningful social impact.
AFD also aims to achieve its goals by organising events for students, and to bring topics related to social impact closer to the broader student society, to inspire them and to enhance the capability of students to have social impact. Furthermore, AFD endeavors to be a platform of support for young, entrepreneurial individuals with inspiring ideas regarding issues which on support development all over the world.
What are our underlying principles?
What we do at Academics for Development is based on four underlying principles.
First of all, we aspire to be an organization that cooperates a lot with others but is always its own and fully independent organisation. This principle especially applies to the organisations financial position, its philosophy, its goals and vision and in its cooperation with (project)partners.
Secondly, AFD will always strive to be innovative in all its aspects, meaning that it distances itself from ‘classical’ views on development and attempts to stimulate and promote new and ingenious views on how to tackle development issues and have social impact. This also means that AFD’s mission is to continue reinventing itself, and should never take its vision, goals, structure or operations for granted.
Thirdly, durability is of the upmost importance for AFD, and should be omnipresent in every aspect of the organisation. From our daily operations to our events, projects and partnerships: AFD has the obligation to always assess every decision on the basis of its lasting and enduring consequences.
Lastly, AFD should be a transparent organisation, offering those involved as well as outsiders the possibility to be informed on and participate in the organisations (daily) operations.