Auke Idzenga is a marine engineer by education. Just two years after working on different ships and having seen extreme poverty in the world he decided to change direction and use his knowledge and interest in technologies for the poorest of the poor. He prepared himself on a university for appropriate technologies and came to the Philippines in 1985.
In 1990 he and three others brainstormed about a new organization which would be registered in 1992 as the Alternative Indigenous Development Foundation, Inc. (AIDFI). They developed many different technologies for basic needs. The AIDFI model hydraulic ram pump became their flagship. AIDFI won several local and international awards for its work with technologies among the poor. In 2010 AIDFI won the BBC World Challenge and in 2011 it was one of the Ramon Magsaysay Awardees. Last year Auke presented the AIDFI ram pump at the UN in New York as one of 9 Solution Makers from all over the world.
For a long time after the start of AIDFI Auke had the believe that the organization should be led by a Filipino and functioned is several technical positions in AIDFI. In 2008 however, Auke accepted the challenge to further lift the organization and since that time he is the CEO. Auke is married with Susan, a Filipina and they have four children. Their eldest is the present COO of AIDFI.