For 50 years, HIFA has been committed to development cooperation and aid projects to help people in need and give them hope. Our organization was founded in Austria in 1971 and has since carried out numerous projects in different parts of the world.
Our beginnings were humble, but our commitment and passion for improving the living conditions of those in need were strong from the start. Read on to learn more about our inspiring story.
The Moving Story of HIFA’s Founding: How It All Began
HIFA was founded in 1971 by Rev. Fr. Dr. Aaron Ekwu († 1989) and Adolf Paster († 2022), the current Honorary President of HIFA. The two men began supporting the starving population of the Biafra region during the Nigerian Civil War in 1969. From this humble beginning, a leading organization for development cooperation and aid projects emerged.
Aaron Ekwu’s Legacy: The Father of the Poor
Aaron Ekwu, known in his homeland as the Father of the Poor, was a man with exceptional compassion and commitment to those in need. His humanitarian work for the Biafra region played a crucial role in saving thousands of lives. Despite difficult conditions and setbacks, Aaron Ekwu and Adolf Paster did not lose heart and continued to fight for a better future for people in need.
Today, Aaron Ekwu is undergoing the process of beatification in Rome. His death in 1989 in a car accident was a great loss for HIFA and for all those he touched in his life. But his legacy lives on and continues to inspire people around the world to work for a better world.
Adolf Paster: The Legacy of the Man Who Lived for HIFA
Adolf Paster was the Honorary President, founder and President of HIFA from 1971 to 2013. He was born in 1930 and passed away in 2022. In 1971, he and his family decided to give up his job as a publishing manager and devote himself fully to HIFA. Since then, he has tirelessly worked to make the organization one of the leading organizations for development cooperation and aid projects.
Paster firmly believed in the concept of “Together for the Next”. He stated that he was involved with HIFA because the next person was just as important to him as himself, and because talking alone did not feed anyone.
He emphasized that HIFA provided a good foundation for realizing the concept of “One for All and All for One” and that the organization has demonstrated in practice over its 50 years of existence that it really is the case.
The legacy of Adolf Paster lives on and continues to inspire people around the world to work towards a better world. His work and dedication have helped to improve the lives of millions of people and to make HIFA what it is today.
50 years of HIFA: What we have achieved so far
HIFA has worked hard over the past 50 years to improve the lives of people around the world. We specialize in development cooperation and aid projects and have achieved many milestones thanks to our commitment and passion. We are proud to have contributed to enabling 22,000 annual school sponsorships, carrying out 600 vocational and agricultural training programs, and building 6 hospitals, just to name a few examples. We will continue to work hard to improve the lives of people and give them hope.
HIFA: From Vision to Reality – Our Foundings at a Glance
- HIFA Austria was founded in 1971. Start of activities was in 1968.
- HIFA Nigeria was founded in 1973.
- HIFA Hungaria was founded in 1995.
- HIFA Romania was founded in 2000.
- HIFA Germany was founded in 2011.
Up Close with Martha and Adolf Paster: An Exclusive Interview from Rabenstein an der Pielach, Lower Austria – Now as Video
In this video, Adolf and Martha Paster, the founders of HIFA, talk about the background of the organization’s creation. The video was produced by students from the Technological Vocational School (Information Technology with a focus on multimedia) for a diploma thesis. The interview took place in Rabenstein an der Pielach, an important location for the Paster family in Lower Austria, Austria. Learn more about the beginnings of HIFA and be inspired by the inspiring story of this couple.
Martha Paster: The Inspiring Woman behind HIFA – Her Story and Her Commitment
Martha Paster, the wife of Adolf Paster, was not only involved in the founding of HIFA, but also strongly supported the Fraternity of Austria. She was particularly dedicated to people with disabilities, even though she herself is confined to a wheelchair. Despite her physical limitations, she still actively works with HIFA and supports the organization in many ways. Together with her husband, she also strongly supported people living in poverty and advocated for their needs. Rabenstein an der Pielach in Lower Austria and Vienna were important locations for the Paster couple and their work with HIFA.