Appropriate Infrastructure Development Group

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Contact Information

AIDG Office:

42 Rice st. Providence, RI 02909

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Tel: 800-401-3860
Fax: 866-450-8016

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 104
Weston, MA 02493

AIDG Guatemala
Quetzaltengo
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AIDG Haiti
Cap-Haitien
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Business Incubation Information
businesses [at] aidg.org

Donations: donations {at} aidg.org
For public documents visit our disclosure page

Background

Who are we?

AIDG helps people in developing countries get environmentally sound and affordable access to energy, sanitation and clean water.

What do we do? 

We help entrepreneurs in developing countries start small and medium-sized businesses that manufacture, install and repair green technologies for people living between $2-4 a day. These technologies help communities and families meet their basic needs for energy, sanitation and clean water, basic services that will improve their health and change their lives.

We identify entrepreneurs through business plan competitions, offering on average $50,000 of seed funding, broken into grants and low-interest loans. The winners enter into AIDG's Business Incubation Program, receive technical training, and access to research services and university partnerships. Training with AIDG lasts 2 to 3 years depending on the technical complexity of the systems being implemented.

These local businesses staffed with locally recruited engineering talent provide life-changing solutions that are low-cost, environmentally sound and sustainable.

We believe that such infrastructure development is essential to breaking the cycle of poverty.

Why do we do it? 

Peter Haas, AIDG's founder and executive director, describes what inspired him to start AIDG.

 There really is one moment that solidified the need for the organization in my mind. I was in Cuba, on a U.S. Department of Treasury permit, to look at urban agriculture and I visited two small pig farms just outside of Havana.

The first farm had a biodigester for treating pig waste, which had been installed by the owner's nephew. It supplied methane gas for lighting, a stove and a gas-fired hot water heater. In addition, the fertilizer created in the biodigester helped increase crop yields on the farm. Overall, the farm lacked the typical odor associated with pig farming operations and had a clean well. The kitchen inside was spotless, thanks in part to the biogas stove, and the house was cool and shaded from numerous nearby trees.

The other farm presented the most direct contrast one could imagine. The place was a sanitation nightmare. It reeked. Pig excrement was not only everywhere, but it also was contaminating the nearby stream. The kitchen was filled with black smoke from inefficient wood fires, for which they had cleared all the surrounding trees. Without the tree cover, the house baked in the sun. Furthermore, to light the house at night, the farmer was paying significantly for kerosene.

Unfortunately the second farmer had no way to buy a biodigester if he wanted one. There were no biodigester businesses selling and repairing them the way there were tractor or well-digging businesses. As time passed and I worked in more countries, I saw this situation again and again. It became clear that these two pig farms in Cuba weren’t isolated instances; they were a representation of a greater need for the spread of appropriate technology. Those two farms initiated my realization that there was a niche for an organization like AIDG and the businesses it creates. 

Where we work

AIDG currently operates in Latin America and the Caribbean with offices in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala and Cap Haitien, Haiti.

  AIDG received its 501(C) 3 status in January 2005.

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AIDG, P.O. Box 104, Weston, MA 02493. Phone: 800-401-3860 Fax: 866-450-8016. AIDG, Inc. is a 501c (3) non-profit organization.
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