Who we are

AVSI Foundation, an NGO created in 1972, carries out cooperation projects for development, with particular emphasis on education. In its work, its attention is focused on the defense and promotion of the dignity of the person, the cornerstone of every project. We work all around the world thanks to a network of 35 founding members and more than 700 partners.

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AVSI Foundation works towards development that is sustainable and capable of responding to the real needs of people, inspired by the Social Teaching of the Catholic Church.

To this end, it works hard on projects focused on the challenge of education, in which the individual is accompanied and becomes the central character of their own development, and invests a lot of energy in promoting organizations within civil society.

AVSI Foundation operates in different environments: education and social development, urban development, health, employment and training, agriculture, food security, water, energy, protection of the environment, humanitarian emergencies, migration, human rights.

Our experience, cultivated in different sectors over more than forty years of history, feed into the AVSI Foundation’s Knowledge Center, the center that oversees the documentation collected and produced by various projects, safeguards the knowledge base and promotes its continuing expansion via publications, research, and seminars. AVSI Foundation reaches more than 2.6 million direct beneficiaries per year.

Numbers

In 2014, AVSI received contributions totaling 46.321.066 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

Countries and projects

Method

AVSI Foundation works towards development that is sustainable and capable of responding to the real needs of people. To this end, it works hard on projects focused on the challenge of education, in which the individual is accompanied and becomes the central character of their own development, and invests a lot of energy in promoting organizations within civil society.

The method has five fundamental points:

1. The person at the center

The person is always “met” with an immediate respect for their dignity and uniqueness and their inclusion in a fabric of family and social relationships. The person is never considered an isolated individual, nor defined by sociological categories or by the circumstances in which they find themselves (poverty, sickness, disability, war).

2. Start from the positive

Every person and their community, no matter what situation of poverty or different type of emergency they find themselves in, is a resource that should be valued. Starting from the positive means working to increase their awareness that it is possible to treat every circumstance as an opportunity for a new start or redemption.

3. Working together

AVSI Foundation believes, first and foremost, that it is the direct and personal relationship between the people carrying out a project and those it is intended to help that opens new possibilities of development. Based on this conviction, that is born of experience, they decide together what steps to take, in a shared journey.

4. Development of intermediary and subsidiary bodies

To plan and carry out development projects implies favoring people’s social skills, promoting the creation of intermediary bodies (civil society organizations, auxiliary organizations) and of a social fabric eager for participation and capable of joint responsibility.

5. Partnership

You can’t walk alone.The situation requires the creation of partnerships between the different subjects present in a particular territory or working in a certain environment that can foster the exchange of experiences, optimize the use of resources, and allow us to embrace the most wide-ranging future possible.

Network

The emergencies and the reasons for development assistance are innumerable, the projects underway are many and varied, but in the challenges we face every day on all levels, one of the undeniable strengths of AVSI is its network in Italy and overseas, composed of our founders and our partners in various countries.

The experience of shared work in the field and the possibility of working alongside embedded organizations in even the hardest contexts are of concrete help and a constant provocation to broaden our view to recognize the more authentic need of the people we wish to meet and support.

Founders and partners in the world

Accreditations

AVSI has been recognized since 1973 by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs as a non-governmental organization for international cooperation (NGO), registered as Civil Society Organization.

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.

Accredited participant of the UN Global Compact and is recognized on the NGO Special List of the International Labor Organization (ILO).

Associated member of the CDO Opere Sociali

Joined and signed the Code of Conduct of the “International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and NGO’s in Disaster Relief”

Recognized as an NGO for international cooperation by the European Union and is authorized by the Italian Government for international adoptions.