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    History

    AIC was the first lay women’s organisation in the world, founded by St Vincent de Paul in 1617. It was established in order to fight against poverty and to give women a recognised role in the church and in society.

    Several historical dates of the association up to the foundation of the International network.

    1581
    April 24th:
    birth of St. Vincent de PaulSt Vincent de Paul
    1617 Birth of the first seed of AIC, called « Charity ». Response of the request of their priest, Vincent de Paul, more than 50 women gave the first aid to a family in distress at Châtillon-les-Dombes (France). As a result of this overflowing generosity it was evident that some organisation was necessary in order to be effective.
    1625 Creation of the Congregation of the Mission. Saint Vincent recommended to his priests to create the « Charities » everywhere where they lived.
    1633 Creation with Louise de Marillac, of the Company of Daughters of Charity. The same concern as St Vincent, to expand the « Charities » by the Sisters.
    1634-1651 The « Charities » multiplied in France, then in Italy (1634), in Poland (1651). The association was already internationalised during the life of St Vincent.
    During the centuries that followed, voluntary groups grew in numerous countries.
    1789 The activities of the association were interrupted during the French revolution.
    1840 The association restarted in France and renewed contact with other members of the association.
    1930 First International Congress of Charity
    1935-1958 International Congress in Budapest (1935), in Paris (1953), in Brussels (1958). The Congress arranged for Warsaw in 1940 was cancelled due to the war.
    1971 The Organisation of an International Extraordinary meeting was held in Rome. The volunteers, the delegates of 22 countries voted for the new status of AIC, electing an Executive Office and an International president, drawing up guidelines for action to renew the association. The name AIC, International Association of Charity was adopted. The International Secretariat was transferred to Brussels.

    The AIC International Presidents

    • 1971 to 1983: Claire Delva (Belgium)
    • 1983 to1985: Geneviève Grangy (France)
    • 1985 to 1994: Dilde Grandi (Italy)
    • 1994 to 2002: Patricia Palacios de Nava (Mexico)
    • 2002 to 2005: Anne Sturm (Germany)
    • 2005 to 2009: Marina Costa (Italy)
    • 2009 to 2011: Laurence de la Brosse (France)
    • 2011 to 2013 : Laurence de La Brosse (France)
    • 2013 to 2015 : Laurence de La Brosse (France)

    Since its creation, the objective of the association is the same, but the methods have changed and are adapted to the needs of today, to the different regions and cultures.