Valerie Browning

Australian nurse Valerie Browning has lived among the Afar nomads for more than 31 years and has worked tirelessly to improve their lives. In 1989, with her husband, Ismael Gardo, she set up the Afar Pastoral Development Association. APDA works hard to improve literacy for the Afar people, promote maternal and child health, eradicate harmful traditional practices such as Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and tackle the growing problem of HIV and AIDS.

About Us

The Afar Pastoralist Development Association was created to meet the unique needs faced by the isolated and nomadic people of Afar. Areas of our  work include mobile health and vaccination, water provision and harvesting, maternal and child health activities, and emergency relief in times of crisis.

Primary Health-Care

Provide all essential health services and to prevent, detect, and respond to new and emerging health threats.

Education & Literacy Development

Providing literacy support to enhance their literacy skills and move forward in their work, education and life goals.

Maternal and child health

Improving survival rates as well as the health & well being of Afar Mothers, children and families.

Water Rangeland rehabilitation

Enabling the community through disaster risk reduction management to stop erosion and plan rangeland protection.

Women’s empowerment

Marching towards stopping FGM, early marriage and truly establishing an environment of protection against gender-based violence.

Economic development

Developing the locals to become marketers rather than passive subsistence sellers in the market

Food Security & Nutrition

Working injunction to improve food security for target communities achieved through integrated, nutrition-sensitive programming

Emergency Response

Bringing life-saving relief in emergencies to build peace, stability and prosperity for people recovering from conflict & disasters.


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"He who wishes to secure the good of others has already secured his own."

Quoted by Confucius