AVSI Foundation is an international not-for-profit, non-governmental organization (NGO) founded in Italy in 1972. Its mission is to support human development in developing countries according to the social teaching of the Catholic Church: recognizing the uniqueness of each person, who cannot be reduced to a number within an anonymous category such as “the poor, the sick, the disabled”. Furthermore, every person and every community represent a resource, regardless of their vulnerability. This is why AVSI works to help people in becoming aware of their own value and dignity.
AVSI is involved in more than 100 cooperation projects in 37 developing countries worldwide in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, Eastern Europe, Middle East and Asia. AVSI’s main activity areas are education and social development, urban upgrading, healthcare, labour, agriculture, food security and water, energy and environment, humanitarian emergency and migrants and refugees, reaching more than 4,000,000 direct beneficiaries.
The personnel implementing these activities includes around 1,400 persons (100 expatriate staff, 1,300 local staff and 50 people in the headquarters). A network of 1,000 volunteers in Italy, engaged in fundraising and awareness activities to support AVSI, involves about 400,000 people in its initiatives each year.
In 2011, AVSI Foundation received contributions totaling around 28 million EUR (contributions to the international AVSI Network total around 35 million EUR), both from institutional and private donors. Among its major institutional donors there are the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the European Union, USAID, FAO, UNICEF, and the World Bank. AVSI works with 700 local partners all around the world (NGOs, public institutions, local authorities, CBOs, FBOs, informal groups, companies, etc.).
More than 60 organizations among them constitute the informal “AVSI network”, which works systematically on the implementation of projects, sharing methods and experiences, discussing development issues, and enhancing staff organizational, management and technical capacities. The network includes the 27 AVSI founding members, participating members, as well as partners linked together in a working friendship .
The annual financial statements, certified by a major auditing firm, are available on AVSI website.
AVSI has been recognized since 1973 by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs as a non-governmental organization for international cooperation (NGO); is registered as a PVO with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and holds General Consultative status with the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) in New York and UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), is an accredited participant of the UN Global Compact and is recognized on the NGO Special List of the International Labor Organization (ILO).
In the AVSI Foundation budget, less than 10% of private donations goes toward administrative costs, with the remainder directly supporting projects in the world. AVSI is an associated member of the CDO Opere Sociali that, with its more than 1,400 not-for-profit organizations throughout Italy, is a source of know-how and expertise for AVSI projects and partners all around the world. To better reflect on and document lessons learned through experience in the field, AVSI has established the Knowledge Center and collaborates with the Fondazione per la Sussidiarietà to carry out project-related studies of anthropological and socio-economic dynamics, always taking into account a method and vision based on the centrality of the person and the value of the common good.
AVSI is also recognized as an NGO for international cooperation by the European Union and is authorized by the Italian Government for international adoptions.