Our Projects: IOFA works to protect and empower youth in the U.S. and around the world. IOFA’s primary international effort is the Transitions Initiative, a program that provides support to young people aging out of orphanages and other institutions. We are in the process of launching the Transitions Initiative in Cambodia and Ethiopia and hope to expand to other countries soon!
IOFA's programs in the United States focus on protecting children and young people from the threat of human trafficking. We are involved in several multi-disciplinary efforts that protect adolescents from trafficking and otherforms of exploitation by building networks of service providers, law enforcement, and government agencies. Our ChildRight program provides assistance to child welfare agencies working with child victims of trafficking.
The Vision: IOFA envisions a world where adolescents and youth are able to exercise their human rights and to realize their full potential as positive and productive members of society without fear of exploitation, violence, or neglect.
The Mission: Improving the lives of young people by addressing critical and emerging issues affecting vulnerable adolescents around the world.
IOFA’s Guiding Principles:
We believe that we have an obligation to act when young people’s rights and well-being are threatened.
IOFA targets all stages of risk and exploitation, from the point of prevention to the need for effective response.
IOFA’s work is based on our belief in the fundamental human rights, dignity, and worth of all people, including adolescents. Our work is grounded in the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Involving youth in all aspects of IOFA’s work empowers young people as community assets and resources and produces more realistic and effective results. We incorporate the experiences and priorities of youth themselves into all that we do.
IOFA develops responses to the critical and emerging issues threatening young people by engaging and inspiring the involvement of individuals, groups, communities, organizations, and governments. We build local organizational capacity and organize coordinated community response mechanisms that leverage local resources, knowledge, and expertise.
Peer-led assessments enable IOFA to develop creative solutions to the problems facing adolescents. IOFA’s innovative project concepts and models offer long-term sustainability after IOFA leaves the program or project.
IOFA’s outcome-focused actions are targeted, well-researched, thoroughly planned, and professionally executed in order to achieve maximum results. We maintain a small and efficient operational infrastructure that prioritizes low overhead while making an investment in securing the expertise and partnerships we need to do our work and achieve our goals.