AVSI celebrates its 50th anniversary and renews its promise

Date 08.04.2022

In 2022 AVSI will celebrate its 50th anniversary by involving its staff, donors, supporters and beneficiaries in various events and activities. They will be promoted in all the countries where AVSI works in order to remember the path taken so far, but above all as a chance to look forward, to the next 50 years, to the many ways in which its “promise” can be renewed.

AVSI was founded in 1972 with a first project in Zaire – now Democratic Republic of the Congo. Currently, it operates in 38 countries and ranks among the top ten Italian NGOs: it ranks first in fund management transparency and in 2021 registered a closing balance of 68,299,621.04 euros, 76.65% of from institutional donors and 23.35% from private individuals. With more than 200 projects and a staff exceeding 2,100 people, AVSI reached nearly 5 million beneficiaries living in vulnerable situations in 2021 alone.

A global calendar of celebrations will cover the Middle East, Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and Italy, where AVSI is present today. Through an array of different events and activities, we will reflect on our work and on international development cooperation, how it has changed over the years and how it can further evolve in the future.

The agenda includes two international conferences: the first one will be held in September and will focus on the Open Hospitals project in Syria, which has a special value for AVSI. The second one will take place in Rome on October 26, under the title "Beyond development, the future we want": there is no distinction between those who help and those who are helped anymore, just one single community working together.

The conferences will go side by side with a series of local events, activities, parties, dinners, meetings with local stakeholders, revolving around the screening of a video, shot by several highly qualified storytellers. Through different styles, it will show AVSI’s different, unique approach to development cooperation.

The fiftieth anniversary will be also celebrated through a contest: “Our History in postcards”. Everyone in the world who has gotten to know AVSI will be invited to send a snapshot. All together, they will form a gallery, a sort of map, a story in pictures, describing fifty years of tangible presence on the ground – with our “feet in the mud” – in some of the most forgotten places in the world.

“Together with the entire board of directors, we want to celebrate this anniversary as an important, shared milestone. AVSI gathers around itself a variety of people and organizations: our founding members and committee of partners, our Advisory Board, all the people who have worked with us through the years, our local partners, our wide network of supporters, and many other friends who have made a fundamental contribution to AVSI’s history and growth. They have helped us deepen our vision and turn it into concrete projects, always considering the value of the person as our cornerstone,” Patrizia Savi, AVSI President, says.

We want this fiftieth anniversary to be an opportunity to rediscover the value that defines us - Giampaolo Silvestri, AVSI Secretary General, notes - and to enhance the specific contribution we can offer, by virtue of our history, to cooperation for development in the next fifty years. We want to be anti-cyclical: we want to keep our gaze up, to understand in advance new trends and new needs, so that we can be ready to always respond with new proposals and solutions. So that, paradoxically, one day we will no longer be needed".

Follow all the updates on: https://www.50.avsi.org/