VIDES (Volontariato Internazionale Donna Educazione Sviluppo)

VIDES is the association of youth volunteers born from a proposal of the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians (FMA) who work for the promotion and defense of the rights of children, young people, and women. As such, it is inserted in the journey of the FMA Institute and has direct reference with the Youth Ministry Sector.


Re-tracing the history of VIDES and recalling the years of its journey in company with the young, is the sign of a reality that chooses to renew itself and adapt to today’s needs while maintaining a solid and specific identity. Remembrance is joined to the present and to future plans in a continual interaction that expresses the dynamism of the VIDES reality. The dates and the significant events from its foundation to today, listed below, trace out a journey that shows the growth and development of the association.

  • 30 November 1987: VIDES is born in Italy as a non-profit association
  • Following this, VIDES becomes a reality in the whole world. The first VIDES group in Europe is born in Portugal in 1989. Meanwhile, the Philippines is the first country outside Europe to have VIDES membership in 1995. Today VIDES is present in 43 nations on the 4 continents with 209 local groups.
  • April 23, 1991: VIDES is constituted and recognized by Belgian Law as an international association (AISBL).
  • July 10, 1991: it is recognized as a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) by the Ministry of External Affairs.
  • November 30, 1998: the FMA General Council deems it opportune to distinguish two sees: VIDES Italy, that coordinates the VIDES groups in Italy; and VIDES International that coordinates all the VIDES groups of the world.
  • June 14, 2002: VIDES International is recognized as an NGO associated with the Department of Public Information of the United Nations (DPI-UN).
  • April 28, 2003: VIDES International obtains Special Consultative Statute at the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations that allows it to actively participate in NGO international forums.
  • September 20, 2006: VIDES International promotes the Fondazione Volontariato Giovani e Solidarietà ONLUS (Youth and Solidarity Volunteer Foundation). With ONLUS, VIDES empowers its action in Italy in favor of solidarity and development.
  • October 7, 2007: after 20 years under her direction, Sr. Maria Grazia Caputo, founder of VIDES, is assigned by Mother General to a new responsibility at the United Nations in Geneva. Sr. Leonor Salazar from Mexico is then nominated as the Institute Delegate for the VIDES International Association and assumes the role of General Director.
  • April 12, 2012: VIDES is recognized as an NGO accredited by the International Labor Office (ILO) of the United Nations.
  • November 1-4, 2012: VIDES celebrates 25 years of activity with the 10th Convention: “Recall-Rejoice-Renew” in the presence of Mother General Yvonne Reungoat and of the Rector Major Fr. Pascual Chávez.

The Vision

A society of fraternity and solidarity founded on respect for the dignity of every person that sees the young involved as active citizens in the constant search for the common good.

The Mission

Promote youth volunteerism as the formation instrument for the young to build a society of fraternity and solidarity respecting human rights and the common good, favoring sustainable development.

  • International relationships – Defense of human rights
  • Projects and micro-projects of development
  • Distance support
  • Local and international Volunteerism


  • Promote empowerment and formation of the young through volunteer experience, both local and international, in the Salesian style of the Preventive System so that they act as responsible and participatory citizens for the building of a society at the service of the dignity of every person.
  • Build bridges of solidarity and cultural exchange though distance support, micro-projects and projects of development among supporters, the young, and the communities that work in situations of poverty, marginalization, and risk.
  • Actively participate in the international forums of the United Nations to defend the dignity of every person and especially to promote the right to education.

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