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About us

Established as a foundation in the Netherlands in 2006, Stepping Stones for Africa (SSFA) is a charity organization focused on grassroots development in West Africa. We work together with community-based associations to achieve their development objectives.

We are very well-connected to the West African context where the majority of our board members have been working and living in different fields of development for more than a decade. SSFA was founded by Cindy Noordermeer-Panou and Remco Kalf.

Ghanaian branch of SSFA

To be able to be more effective in the Ghanaian context and administrational structures, in August 2016 we formally registered Stepping Stones for Africa as an NGO in Ghana. All Dutch board members are also on the board of the Ghanaian branch.

Our vision: empowering communities

In West Africa, we see many communities lacking basic necessities like healthcare, clean water or sustainable ways of making a living. Despite being mostly well organized socially, these communities are often not capable of making significant changes by themselves to improve the quality of life.

Our vision is to empower these communities to lead their development and improve the living conditions of their inhabitants, through small-scale projects that are initiated and sustained by the community itself or its leaders, and not imposed by others. SSFA wants to provide capacity building to fuel these community-initiated projects and make them a success.

Our mission: providing stepping stones

Our mission is to provide stepping stones such as guidance, expertise, inspiration and funding for development initiatives by communities in West Africa. We want to empower communities to lead their development and reach their goals through participatory approaches, and thereby significantly improve the quality of life of its inhabitants, while respecting the environment.

Responsible tourism as stepping stone to development

SSFA believes in responsible tourism as a stepping stone to community development and improved living conditions. Community-based eco-tourism initiatives are a great way to significantly improve the lives of the inhabitants of a community, provided that projects are initiated and sustained by the community itself or its leaders, and are not imposed by others.

SSFA operates in public-private partnerships where a private partner collaborates with SSFA to bring development to a community, and either makes resources available or provides market opportunities which both contribute to the sustainability of our projects.

SSFA applies a community participatory approach aiming at mobilizing the community and facilitating a process whereby the community identifies the areas where development and intervention are mostly needed.

Read more about our goals and how we plan to achieve them in our Strategy for 2016-2019.

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