PADETC started life as the Rice-based Integrated Farming System (RIFS) in 1980 and the main focus of its work was in the area of food security for poor rural communities in the aftermath of the war. In 1996 PADETC was recognized as an official training institution and has used its extensive grass-roots development experience to streamline its work to develop human resources for sustainable development and poverty reduction. It currently mainly plays the role of facilitator, trainer, model builder and advocate for poverty reduction and, more importantly, poverty prevention. It now has a small central staff supported by hundreds of enthusiastic young Lao volunteers, and has had a long and productive partnership with a number of international development organizations. PADETC has received several regional and international awards in recognition of its work.