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AVSI - Associazione Volontari per il Servizio Internazionale
Activities and Programs

EDUCATION, CHILDREN CARE AND FAMILY SUPPORT
More than 50.000 children and youth, aged between 0 and 18, benefit from AVSI''s projects through the following activities:
- care and family reintegration of neglected children, children in conditions of distress, orphans from AIDS, and war victims;
- education of children with limited or no access to schools or under risk of school drop-out; - social integration, particularly of children with psychological troubles, facing difficulties in socialization and learning;
- healthcare and psycho-social support, particularly for HIV+ and AIDS infected children, disabled children and children with behavioral troubles;
- nutritional recovery.
All activities addressed to children are also involving their families, often experiencing very serious difficulties, but anyhow remaining the fundamental point of reference for AVSI''s staff sharing with them an educational path.
A few examples: psycho-social recovery of former child-soldiers in Uganda and Sierra Leone; support to schooling and education in Brazil, Mexico, Ecuador, Albania, Uganda, Nigeria and Democratic Republic of Congo; children''s de-institutionalization in Romania and Lithuania; care and social reintegration of early mothers in Russia.

UPGRADING OF INFORMAL URBAN SETTLEMENTS

AVSI''s projects in this area include a number of integrated actions:
- land regularization and grant of the property title, in collaboration with local authorities;
- urbanization and environmental reclamation, water & sanitation;
- housing improvement;
- access to basic services (education, vocational training, healthcare);
- employment and job orientation;
- strengthening of families and solidarity networks;
- healthcare and prevention, sanitation, specific actions against malnutrition.
AVSI''s experience in this area resulted into partnerships with the World Bank, National Governments and Municipalities, mostly in Belo Horizonte and Salvador Bahia, Brazil, and in Kampala, Uganda.

HEALTHCARE AND PREVENTION

Territorial healthcare and prevention projects include:
- set-up or physical rehabilitation of hospitals, health centres, centres for disabled, workshops for the production of orthopaedic aids for landmines victims;
- functional reorganization and territorial integration of health services;
- training and upgrading of health operators ;
- health and sanitation education at various levels;
- improvement of water sources, supply of drinking water and distribution networks.
A few examples: the St. Joseph Hospital at Kitgum, and the orthopaedic and rehabilitation centre for maimed people at Gulu, Northern Uganda; the St. Kizito Clinic in Lagos, Nigeria; prevention of mother-to-child transmission of Aids/Hiv in Uganda and Rwanda.

VOCATIONAL TRAINING, EMPLOYMENT AND DEVELOPMENT OF MICRO-BUSINESSES

It is our firm belief that development is impossible without employment. Therefore AVSI implements several projects to promote vocational training, as well as start-up and development of businesses and production activities in order to improve the living conditions and enhance generation of additional income. Projects in this area cover:
- set-up and support of vocational training centres for technical qualification, upgrading and basic training of skilled workers, technical schools for physiotherapists, agricultural schools,
- vocational schools for young people;
- university and post-university education;
- training of teachers;
- start-up of micro-businesses and cooperatives.
A few examples: promotion of micro-businesses in Kenya; vocational training and employment in Mexico, Brazil and Kazakhstan; internationalization of the agro-food production system in Santa Fe, Argentina; the service and support centres to small and medium businesses in Lima, Peru.

AGRICULTURE, ENVIRONMENT AND FOOD SECURITY

AVSI’s agricultural projects are mainly addressed to rural development in order to reduce famine, one of the priority goals of the international community by 2015 (Millenium Development Goals). Activities include:
- agricultural and cattle breeding projects;
- environment protection (hydro-geologic projects, reforestation),
- technical service centres for farmers aimed at improving the traditional farming techniques, in the respect of environment and to increase quality and productivity;
- support to the establishment of producers associations and cooperativesto promote savings in procurement and create added value by treating, transforming and selling products.
A few examples:food security projects in Uganda; the establishment of an experimental farm in Haiti; the set-up of a climate change observatory in Argentina; the Agricultural Service centre in Lebanon, the nutritional centre at Humure, Rwanda.

ICT - INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES
In recent years AVSI has considered with special attention the opportunities offered by advanced technologies.
A few examples: the home training project in collaboration with the Catholic University of Buenos Aires, and the cattle management and meat traceability system in Santa Fe , Argentina; the information system networking 30 missionary hospitals in Uganda; the disabled training project in Amman, Jordan.

EMERGENCY RELIEF
AVSI implements emergency relief projects in areas of long-standing presence or where a cooperation with local bodies exists, to help people in case of natural disasters and internal conflicts.
Main emergency relief projects implemented:
- in Iraq, after the first Gulf war, and after the 2003 war;
- in Rwanda in 1994, at the time of genocide;
- in Albania in 1997; to assist the Kosovo refugees;
- in Honduras after hurricane Mitch in 1998;
- in Kosovo during the 1999 - 2000 crisis, to rebuild the houses destroyed by war;
- in Venezuela, after the 1999 floods;
- at Goma, D.R. Congo, in 2002 after the eruption of the volcano and, subsequently in the region of Northern Kivu where a dramatic conflict is ongoing;
- in Northern Uganda, mainly starting from 2002, where due to rebels'' actions, 90% of the population is compelled to live in displaced people''s camps;
- in Southern Sudan, starting from the late nineties, to support the refugees compelled to leave their country due to the ten-year conflict;
- in Haiti, after the political crisis of 2003 that resulted into a humanitarian emergency and in 2004, as a consequence of the floods;
- in South East Asia, to support the populations swept through by the December 2004 tsunami, with post-emergency project
- in the U.S.A. in 2005, to support the victims of hurricane Katrina.

"TENDE" CAMPAIGN
Since 1990, every year, in the period running from Christmas to Easter, AVSI and Compagnia delle Opere organize the "Tende", an important campaign covering the whole Italian territory and some foreign countries to create awareness in the public at large about some social issues and to raise funds to support a few projects. Over 10.000 people participate on a free and voluntary basis, to organize hundreds of events (Christmas stalls, concerts, shows, exhibitions, dinners, round tables, living Christmas cribs, meetings in the schools).

DISTANCE SUPPORT
What is it?
A form of solidarity, a steady and continued economic contribution addressed to specific child, his/her family and his/her community.
The commitment
The yearly amount involved is Euro 312,00; the donor should commit for at least one year; payment may be made on a quarterly, six-monthly or yearly basis. Renewal is implicit, unless cancelled with advance notice.
What does the donor receive?
Upon subscription, the donor receives information about the child, his/her picture, project presentation. Further information are sent twice per year.
The basic principle
Material help and the presence of adults staying aside the child through his/her educational path.
How to subscribe
AVSI Sostegno a distanza
Phone 0547.360.811 - Fax 0547.611.290
Website: www.avsi.org
E.mail: sostegno.distanza@avsi.org

DONORS
Approx. 50% of AVSI projects'' funds are contributed by private donors: 85.000 steady donors are included in the mailing list of our quarterly house organ, "Buone Notizie", with information and updates on ongoing projects.
Many companies and businesses have also decided to support or adopt one of the AVSI''s projects in different forms (donation, distance support, hours of work, corporate gifts, materials or human resources, sponsorships...). Schools and Universities collaborating with AVSI on projects, research activities, training are also increasing.
 


PRESS AND PUBLICATIONS
Buone Notizie
Buone Notizie: AVSI’s quarterly house organ is a collection of news, articles and reports linked to the Foundation activities in Italy and worldwide. Every issue proposes a specific project for support and updates readers on the evolution of our activities in the various countries, through the witness of our expatriate volunteers. In addition, it includes opinions and articles by journalists and experts on issues concerning cooperation, volunteer work and the developing countries. It is published in Italian and is addressed to both AVSI’s donors, as well as to people who wish to know more about its activities. It is mailed free of charge. Subscription may be entered also via internet, at AVSI’s website.

Social Report
Published for the first time in 2003, the subsequent year it has been awarded the "Oscar di Bilancio" prize at the Milan stock exchange, in the not-for-profit class, "in view of its transparency, clearness and immediate impact of projects on beneficiaries".
It is issued in Italian, English, Spanish, Portuguese and French.

Publications
AVSI publishes various materials and booklets to describe its activities and projects in Italy and worldwide. Such material is addressed to supporters, private and public donors, media as well as domestic and international institutional bodies, funding projectsand collaborating with AVSI in the various countries.

Newsletter
Newsletter: the monthly publication of AVSI. It covers the main events connected to the activities of field volunteers and of Italian supporters and publishes short news on the progress of projects, on the implementation of activities, and on the situation of the Countries of AVSI’s presence. In addition it provides information about volunteers leaving and returning home, speeches released by AVSI at seminars, workshops, and meetings covering the issues of cooperation and volunteer work, organized by bodies involved in this sector and by international institutions and agencies (the U.N., the World Bank, the EU). It is published in Italian and is addressed to the a wide audience: individuals, journalists, associations, institutions, etc.

 
 
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