NACID was initiated in 1989 in response to the continued call made by the Government of Ethiopia to save the lives of children who lost their parents during the disastrous famine of 1984-1985. The Center, which started with the care of orphaned children, soon began to address the needs of deprived rural and urban communities. To that end, it opened an elementary school, established a clinic, and drilled numerous deep-water wells. These interventions, not only enhanced the integration of the children into the community, but also allowed the community to benefit from the very useful services offered by NACID. Using the experience gained in Nazareth, it started to implement various community based development programs in a number of remote, rural & urban areas to address the felt needs of the under privileged communities.

NACID envisages economically and socially self-reliant and self-managing communities; where there is no want for basic necessities such as food, water, shelter, medication, clothing and schooling; communities with adequately and effectively protected environment. Its mission is to enhance the welfare of the less privileged communities particularly that of children and women and to promote the rehabilitation and proper protection of the environment. And hence its principal objectives include: building the capacity of communities through training, education, health and family development programs; alleviate poverty through micro-financing, credit programs and employment generating schemes; and rehabilitate and protect the environment through resource conservation and environmental development programs.

NACID currently runs integrated development programs in six National Regional States namely Addis Ababa, Afar, Amhara, Oromia, Southern Nations and Nationalities and Tigray. Its intervention areas include: integrated health programs, Prevention and control of HIV/AIDS, Reproductive Health, water and sanitation, environment, health and education. Agriculture, natural resource management; formal and non formal education, vocational training for vulnerable and street children, rehabilitation and employment generation scheme for school drop out girls, orphanage, credit facility for women and relief & rehabilitation activities.

NACID as a local humanitarian agency has acquired and developed extensive experience in working with donors, relevant government agencies, community based institutions and other voluntary public associations such as women and youth groups, faith based institutions, umbrella agencies, UN, Regional and Federal Authorities. At the grass root, our working relations are accorded with support and partnership with local government, civic society, and community based organizations, religious and clan leaders.