Cuenca Expats Magazine, Issue 43

Photos: Courtesy of AVSI

For over two decades, the unsung heroes at AVSI, a lesser-known NGO, have diligently worked behind the scenes to improve the lives of countless Ecuadorians. Originating from the vibrant city of Milan in 1972, this NGO embarked on its inaugural mission in Zaire, paving the way for its presence in 40 countries today.

In Ecuador, AVSI’s dedicated team of 72 staff members orchestrates development projects spanning multiple sectors. Their efforts have yielded tangible results: eleven transformative projects, which directly impacted the lives of 41,365 individuals, and indirectly, another 123,365 souls.

One of the NGO’s shining stars is the “Activados” project (2018-2023). With unwavering support from UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, this initiative is designed for the socioeconomic integration of those marginalized in Ecuador. By embracing the community protection methodology from the UN Agency for Refugees, AVSI has provided a beacon of hope to the migrant and refugee community. Their efforts focus on the following.

  • Fortifying the community’s social bond • Empowering vulnerable individuals to carve out a livelihood • Enhancing living conditions by upgrading homes and community centers, ensuring easy access to essentials like drinking water and electricity.Further exemplifying their commitment, AVSI has rolled out a unique training project in collaboration with corporate entities.
AVSI Foundation
AVSI Foundation


By offering both theoretical and hands-on training in sectors that matter most to each company, they’re not just imparting skills but also facilitating the certification process. Additionally, they’ve taken significant strides in sensitizing company personnel to the unique challenges faced by migrants. As a testament to the project’s success, alliances with renowned entities like Hotel Selina, Hotel Oro Verde, and Impaqto Coworking have been forged. For three years now, AVSI has also championed business schools. Crafted meticulously to nurture both local and migrant entrepreneurs, these schools are more than just educational hubs; they are sanctuaries of hope and progress, with AVSI providing financial support to equip them with the tools they need to thrive. Looking ahead, AVSI remains steadfast in its vision for Ecuador. Their aspirations include bolstering programs that champion employment, local business growth, and fostering deeper integration within the community. In a world that often seems divisive, the relentless efforts of NGOs like AVSI remind us of the indomitable human spirit’s power to bridge gaps, foster unity, and create lasting change.

See bellow to find and follow AVSI’s social media!