A common spark: the strength of our supporter network in a video for #AVSI50

AVSI’s supporter network consists of 1,683 volunteers organized into 273 groups, the AVSI Points. For AVSI’s 50th anniversary, their voices testifying to commitment, closeness and passion could not be missing. Volunteering for AVSI, the story of Benedetta and Alberto

Countries Italy
Date 17.11.2022
Author Video by Carol Rollo and Claudio Accheri

Alberto and Benedetta have been organizing events and activities to support AVSI for several years. Two different generations, two different personal stories: what drives them towards the same goal?

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Benedetta “My heart needed to be sure that someone was there, helping people on the other side of the world”

“Ever since I was a child, I have always felt a sense of closeness to the AVSI experience” - Benedetta, one of AVSI’s 1,683 volunteers, explains. "The encounters with several testimonials sparked in me a fascination with those countries that, although far away, I felt were close."

In high school, Benedetta would organize fundraising days “maybe even just collecting spare change from coffee machines, to contribute to the long-distance support of a boy in Haiti."

Benedetta finds in her being a volunteer with AVSI the same spirit of field workers.

Alberto "AVSI's projects start from people's needs"

For Alberto, too, his first meeting with AVSI brings back images of his time in high school. “There was the war in Vietnam and the issue of Cambodia. I remember meetings with missionary doctors who fascinated me."

So, in 1985, Alberto decided to go to Uganda. ”The war of the famous dictator Amin had just ended. So much poverty one cannot even imagine. Seeing the hospital was a shock. Everything had to be rebuilt. Yet the group of Italian doctors from AVSI was working so hard, in such an incredible way. I was amazed by them. “

Since that day, Alberto has been by our side, accompanying AVSI every step of the way, understanding what it is that sets our organization apart today.

“At the beginning, AVSI was quite similar to many associations. But then it took a leap, centering all its projects on the person. You meet people who express a need they have, and that turns projects into reality."

This idea that you meet other people, whoever they are, and recognize a common spark you both have in your hearts. This is something AVSI taught me a lot.

Alberto, AVSI volunteer

Volunteering with AVSI

The Tents Campaign, a concrete way to support AVSI’s projects around the world

AVSI’s Tents Campaign is an awareness-raising and fundraising campaign carried out thanks to the involvement of the “AVSI Points”. Every year, AVSI centers the Tents Campaign on a specific theme.

This yearly appointment started in the late 1980s under a “tent” - hence the name - set up by a group of volunteers outside a supermarket on the outskirts of Milan to collect funds for friends who were working with AVSI in different countries. During these years, the activities related to the Tents Campaign have grown and multiplied: today, there are numerous events being organized throughout the country and abroad.

An organization for AVSI volunteers: the AVSI Points

The AVSI Points are 273 area groups involving 1,683 volunteers in direct contact with AVSI. They are part of a network counting more than 3,000 people. The AVSI Points organize fundraising events at the local level, spread awareness on AVSI through various initiatives and support for campaigns organized each year (5x1000, Tents Campaign) or for humanitarian emergencies.

They also help establish relationships with local media, develop and nurture the heritage of contacts and relationships with local businesses and agencies.