Volunteers from Italy can join projects in:
Albania, Armenia, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Czechia, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Hrvatska (Croatia), Hungary, Iceland, India, Italy, Kenya, Korea, Latvia, Lithuania, Madagascar, Mexico, Moldova, Morocco, Peru, Philippines the, Poland, Romania, Russian Federation, Serbia and Montenegro, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Taiwan, Tanzania, The United Kingdom, Turkey, Ukraine
Who we are
IBO Italia is a nongovernmental organization from Christian inspiration that volunteers nationally and internationally. It is part of a network whose activities began in 1953 in northern Europe with the first labor camps created to reconstruct houses for refugees from World War II. IBO is the Flemish acronym for “Meeting International Builders.” Present in Italy since 1957, IBO was formed as an association in 1968 and is officially recognized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to carry out projects of international cooperation since 1972 (it was the first NGO in Italy to develop a cooperation project with the MFA). It is a member of the CCIVS of the Coordinating Committee for the International Civil Service at UNESCO since 1957 and is federated in Volunteers of the World VIDSE since 1972.
IBO Italia was founded in Italy in 1957 by Father Angelo Marcandella, a young religious man from the Congregation of Sacred Hearts and a son of Italian immigrants in Belgium. Father Angelo follows the movement, “Builder Members” since its inception in 1953 in Europe by another religious man, Father Werenfried van Straaten, better known as Bacon Priest. Bacon Priest some years earlier had founded the “oostpriesterhulp” or the “Church of Silence,” now known as “Help the Church in Need,” which was named this way because of its commitment to the poor and displaced Germans in the Second World War that escaped from bombed cities at the end of conflict and had flown to the borders of Belgium and the Netherlands. The Bacon Priest would go from house to house of the Flemish housewives and gather everything he could, especially bacon (hence his name), and then would distribute it to displaced families. One Sunday morning while celebrating Mass, he distributed prayer cards to the children and told them to put the cards on the walls of their homes. He saw a child cry and asked why he was crying. The child said, “we are one among five households in a warehouse, ours is in the center and does not have any walls.” This left the Father baffled and give birth to the movement of the “Builder Members.”
The Bacon Priest decided to build houses for them with the help of many young people who began to arrive from all over Europe to give their own contribution. Work crews with “white overalls,” thanks to the donation of thousands of suits from a German paint company, invaded Europe, reaching even Italy. Their goal was to build homes for those who could not afford them. The first site of IBO Italia was in Cognola of Trento and then it moved onto Pontefract, Piacenza, Cesate, Casalpusterlengo, Cassana, and today, in the city center of Ferrara. Overtime, IBO Italia has undergone several transformations. It officially became an association in 1968 and a nongovernmental organization by 1972 when it carried out its first cooperation project in Zaire for the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In 1974, it was among the NGOs that founded the Volunteers in the World – CIDSE (International Cooperation for Development and Solidarity) and FOLM (Federation of Organizations of Lay Missionaries). To date IBO Italia can count numerous interventions in Latin American, Africa, Asia, and thousands of labor camps across Europe with the participation of tens of thousands of volunteers.
- Workcamps for volunteers (18+ age for Italy and Europe and 21+ for country outside Europe for 2-3-4 weeks.
- European Voluntary Service (EVS) for volunteers 15-30 age from 2 to 12 months.
- Civil Service in Italy and Abroad Italy for young people 18-29 age for 1 year.
- Stage e Tirocini Formativi
- Cooperation's projects
(Ecuador, Perù, Romania, Ucraina e Moldavia, India)
- Sponsorship in distance (Romania)
- Education and sensitization on peace, human rights, social justice and volunteering
- Meetings in the schools
- Equitable, fair and sustainable choices
- Fundraising events to support projects