Who we are

AVSI Foundation  is an international not-for-profit, non-governmental organization (NGO) founded in Italy in 1972. Its mission is to promote the dignity of the person through development cooperation activities, with special attention to education, according to the social teaching of the Catholic Church.

AVSI is involved in 107 cooperation projects in 30 developing countries throughout 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, labor, agriculture, food security and water, energy and environment, humanitarian emergency, migrants and refugees, reaching more than 2,6 million direct beneficiaries.

AVSI staff implementing these activities includes around 1,270 people. A network of about 1,000 volunteers in Italy, engaged in fundraising and awareness-raising activities to support AVSI, involves about 400,000 people in its initiatives each year.


In 2014, AVSI received contributions totaling around 26.738.705 EUR (the funds raised by the international AVSI Network account for 46.735.976 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.

The annual financial statements, certified by a major auditing firm, are available on AVSI’s annual report


AVSI works with 700 local partners all around the world (NGOs, public institutions, local authorities, CBOs, FBOs, informal groups, companies, etc.). 68 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 AVSI founding and participating members as well as partners linked together by an operative friendship.


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); holds General Consultative status with the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) in New York,  with the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in New York  and with the UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) in Vienna; is an accredited participant of the UN Global Compact and is recognized on the NGO Special List of the International Labor Organization (ILO).

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’s projects and partners all around the world.

AVSI is also recognized by the Italian Government as an authorized NGO  for international adoptions.
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