Leigos para o Desenvolvimento is a Catholic development NGO that has been working for 32 years to promote a thorough and integrated development in Portuguese speaking countries. Currently, the organization has development projects in Angola, Mozambique, Portugal and São Tomé and Príncipe. The preferential areas of operation are: training and education, promotion and organization of community structures, entrepreneurship and employability, capacity building of local agents, fostering of volunteering, and pastoral work.
Work is done through young volunteers who remain on the ground for a minimum period of one year as facilitators. These volunteers privilege relationships, partnerships, local knowledge, simplicity of means and capacity building, thus promoting the possibility of the communities' self-development. In addition to providing a possibility of mission time and the development of projects and services, the association allows for an intercultural experience between its volunteers and beneficiaries, as well as an experience of respect and appreciation of different cultures and civic participation.
Approximately 50,000 people/year benefit from the association's projects, and more than 400 volunteers have already had the experience of going on a mission.