VIS in Ethiopia

VIS, Volontariato Internazionale per lo Sviluppo (International Volunteer Service for Development), is an italian non-profit and Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) of solidarity founded in 1986 and registered at the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Since then, it has been operating in Italy and in more than fourty countries, particularly in water/sanitation, education and vocational training sector, through international development cooperation projects, with an holistic approach.


VIS has been working in Ethiopia since the 1990s, establishing a Coordination Office in Addis Ababa in 2003. VIS is registered and licensed by the Ethiopian Ministry of Justice, Charity & Society Agency as foreign a charity in accordance with the Charities & Societies law in two sectors of intervention: water supply and sanitation; education and vocational training.

Over the years, VIS has established different partnerships, its most significant being with the Salesians of Don Bosco. In 2003, VIS launched the Campaign “Food for Ethiopia” with the aim of raising funds for the big famine that was affecting the country. Thanks to its ability to mobilize resources and organize the work, 30.000 beneficiaries were reached with emergency distribution of food all around the country.


In 2006, VIS launched another campaign “Water for all” to raise funds to build new wells and to promote the Millennium Development Goals, particularly concerning water security. In the last 12 years, VIS has managed a large number of water interventions across the country (Tigray, Somali, Oromia and Gambella Region), building safe water supply systems (boreholes, drilled shallow wells, hand dug wells, rainwater harvestings, water reservoirs, etc...), sanitation infrastructures (latrines, incinerators, waste disposals), and trainings on Water and Sanitation including hygiene promotion activities.


At the same time, VIS started the activity in education and vocational training in partnership with international donors. In particular, it’s worth mentioning a three-year project for the social and educative rehabilitation of the street children that was financed by Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Union and a project for the enhancement of the quality of the training in 5 Salesians technical schools and a multi-country project (Burundi – Ethiopia) with the aim of strengthening and improving the link between the vocational training and the informal economy both co-financed by European Union and Italian Institutional Donors. Another important project is called “Print your future” and concerns the development of printing and graphic sector in Ethiopia through the introduction of accredited technical courses and a new workshop for training and production. The experience of the Salesians across Ethiopia guarantees to VIS a timely and deep connection with the local beneficiaries and communities. The long and successful story of collaboration between VIS and the Salesians of Don Bosco over the years assures today the best precondition for the implementation of the emergency and assistance program and also for the realization of bigger and complex interventions in the country, interventions whose importance is also recognized by the local authorities.