AVAS Since 1980 - Building Communities And Not Just Houses
Association for Voluntary Action and Services
"AVAS means a HOME. It also means a VOICE"
When Association for Voluntary Action and Services (AVAS) was formed with the intent of working in urban poor communities we knew that the homeless would determine their destinies and have a voice to ascertain their future. Thus AVAS was born in 1980. It facilitated participatory, people centric, insitu development of thousands of homes impacting a significant population directly, and influencing macro policy that changed the very essence of addressing the poor's issues of evictions, demolitions and homelessness.
GOING BEYOND JUST BRICK AND MORTAR, AVAS IS BUILDING COMMUNITIES, NOT JUST HOUSES.
Dotted across the skyline of Bangalore city in India, behind a façade of skyscrapers and majestic glass windows on new high rises, live thousands of vulnerable families in highly congested and subjugating environments. While many of them migrated over a generation before in search of sustainable livelihoods to the city of Benagaluru, India, others have known no home other than their tiny dilapidated hutments. Despite the insecurities faced by them as victims of innumerable man made and natural disaster’s such as fires and floods, bulldozers and land mafia, they survived in the city for economic compulsions.
AVAS took on the challenge of the crisis’ by organizing these indigent communities for collective action and integrating them into their elite neighborhoods. Going beyond just ‘brick and mortar, AVAS built ‘ humane’ settlements on foundations of tolerance, trust, mutual respect and shared values of close community bonds. In the forefront of making this transformation a reality were the women who are our changemakers, and youth, both girls and boys, who are our community ambassadors of today.
AVAS ACHIEVEMENTS IN TRANSFORMING SLUM COMMUNITIES
Mobilizing communities and motivating people towards self governance
Solving community issues on site with the policy makers and implementors
Promoting inclusive and holistic participatory planning and action towards resolving land, shelter and infrastructure issues
Enabling families to get their social entitlements
Capacitating and training women to become decision makers in communities
Empowering youth to become responsible and work for their communities
When women and youth join hands to change their communities the results are always more sustainable than when they are not involved. Capacitating them to take on responsibilities has made a mark on AVAS’ programs and projects. Success has rested on their action. The Youth Ambassadors (both boys and girls) form the pivot around the fulcrum of our development activities which are integrated with the Circle Of Womanhood – COW- Program.