INMED Partnerships for Children is a nonprofit international development organization that has worked in more than 100 countries to create pathways for disadvantaged children and families to achieve wellbeing and self-reliance. Through multisector partnerships and in-country affiliates, INMED builds sustainable systems that deliver innovative approaches to break complex cycles of poverty for current and future generations. INMED’s programs in climate-smart agriculture and aquaponics, maternal and child health, and economic development have transformed the lives of millions of children and their families since 1986. INMED currently has in-country affiliates in Latin America and the Caribbean and southern Africa, with its international headquarters and local programs in Sterling, Virginia in the U.S.A. 

Founder’s Story

Linda Pfeiffer with children at the Fe y Alegria school in Ventanilla, Lima, Peru, who celebrated a special occasion in costumes they made themselves of recycled materials.

The suffering of children without medical care and a belief in the power of partnerships prompted Dr. Linda Pfeiffer to found INMED in 1986. Originally an acronym for International Medical Services for Health, the name INMED today represents the continuity and evolution that is INMED Partnerships for Children.

Dr. Pfeiffer’s vision for INMED began while completing her doctorate in archaeology and anthropology with a grant from the National Science Foundation. A single mother with a young daughter in tow, she led excavations in a remote fishing village in the mangrove swamps of southern Mexico by day and spent her evenings with indigenous mothers in the village.

The more time Dr. Pfeiffer spent with the villagers, the more she observed that many well-intentioned efforts to deliver medical assistance and supplies from the developed world were causing more harm than good. Shipments often arrived without instructions in the native language or a local network for proper distribution. Dr. Pfeiffer was horrified to find one parent giving her child a hypertension medicine to treat diarrhea.

On her return to the United States, Dr. Pfeiffer determined that partnerships—with the communities served and among nonprofits, businesses and governments—were the key to creating sustainable pathways for disadvantaged children and families to achieve well-being and self-reliance.

INMED is a leader in aggregating pioneering solutions for breaking complex cycles of poverty—from its decade-long Millennium Conference series to its development of award-winning lay home visitation programs to prevent child abuse to its ground-breaking work in aquaponics and adaptive agriculture to its scaling of new technologies to give children a healthy start in life.

Over the years, Dr. Pfeiffer’s vision for INMED Partnerships for Children has transformed the lives of millions of children and their families in more than 100 countries. Her determination to prevent the loss of children at any point along their path to adulthood—whether through poverty, lack of education or opportunity—continues to  guide INMED’s work today and inspires the way forward.