AIC is an international network which fights against all forms of poverty and exclusion. This network has over 150,000 volunteers, mainly women, who willingly commit to improving the lives of the most disadvantaged people.
It has members in 53 countries in Africa, Latin America, Asia, Europe and the United States, with over 5100 local groups around the world. Each national association is its own legal entity, and is responsible for leading and coordinating its local groups, training its members, fundraising and advocacy in its own country.
AIC is recognised as a “legal entity” in civil law, in the form of an international, non-profit making body under Belgian law.
Its Civil Constitution (1985) and later modifications state:
- The objectives being pursued and activities implemented to achieve them.
- AIC’s operational structure and hierarchy of authority.
- The rights and obligations of members.
The Constitution is supplemented by By-Laws (1985) which only apply to members. These determine the work ethic.
AIC also has an ecclesial identity subject to canon law. Its Canonical Statutes (2007) confirm its recognition as an association of lay faithful.
- Assembly of Delegates: formed of the presidents of the national associations, it meets every two years to elect the Executive Board.
- Executive Board: formed of 8 to 10 volunteers of different nationalities, it has the task of coordinating, leading and managing the AIC network, in accordance with the objectives set by the Assembly of Delegates.
- International Secretariat: supports the Executive Board in carrying out its mission.
Assembly of Delegates
The Assembly brings together the full-rights and associate members, and has full authority to carry out AIC’s mission.
It meets every two years to elect the President and the other members of the Executive Board.
It defines the strategies for the future, called Priority Lines of Action.
The Priority Lines of Action 2015-2017 voted on at the last assembly in Guatemala in March 2015 are:
- Promoting education as a two-way process based on the strengths of each one and on the principles of Social Justice.
- Reinforcing our Vincentian identity while preparing to celebrate our 400th anniversary.
Formed of 8 to 10 volunteers of different nationalities elected by the Delegates’ Assembly for a two-year mandate. A number of permanent invited members attend their meetings.
Their overall objective is to support AIC volunteers in their work with people most in need.
More specifically, their missions include:
- Leading and coordinating the international network
- Training AIC volunteers
- Informing via internal and external communications about our actions and the way we work, in accordance with the Vincentian charism.
- Exchanging of experiences and best practices within the AIC network
- Promoting collaboration and solidarity between AIC groups
- Making the public aware of our work, through representation on international bodies
- Collecting and managing funds.
Based in Louvain-la-Neuve in Belgium, the Secretariat supports the Executive Board in carrying out its mission:
- Implementing its decisions and following its guidance
- Supporting the leadership and management of the AIC network
- Coordinating communications and meetings among members of the AIC network
More specifically, the Secretariat provides this support through:
- Actions intended to create bonds and encourage exchanges among AIC volunteers at international, national and local level, to support them in their fight against poverty and their commitment to women.
- Administration, communication, training, support for the local actions initiated by AIC volunteers, and fundraising.
- A service intended to maintain continuity in the historical memory of AIC, to ensure the work of AIC develops throughout the world.