Association of Voluntary Actions for Society-AVAS ,1998

About the organization:

Association of Voluntary Actions for Society (AVAS) is a rights based organization. The organization emerged in 1998 in Barisal district situated in southern coastal part of Bangladesh. Soon, AVAS has been registered with the concerned Departments, like Directorate of Social Service, NGO Affairs Bureau, Jubo Unnayan Adhidaptar (Department of Youth Development) & Directorate of Women Affairs.The Head Office of the organization has been establised in Barisal, the southmost divisional town of Bangladesh. It is a not for profit, non political and community based voluntary organization. Initially AVAS started its journey to serve the community people especially distressed,deprived and backwarded women and children with a view to ensure children’s & Women’s rights & Leadership development living in and around the Barisal town being united of some like minded,educated,experienced and developed motivated people who are committed to participate in and promote women and children rights and development through upgrading the socio economic condition of the society both in urban and rural setting of Barisal district. Over the years AVAS has expanded its support to promote and protect the rights of other community people as well as has expanded its activitries in all the districts of Barisal division.Though, initially it was set up to ensure Women’s right & leadership, at present the organization is conducting multidimensional activities like Humanitarian response & Preparedness, Climate Change, RDD, Community adaptation, women lead disaster response, Sound Environment, Sustainable Development and Resilience, Safe Water Supply & Sanitation, Preseving Rights for Women & Children, Legal Aid Support and Education, Literacy Education for the Underpriveleged, Reproductive Health Education, Human & Child Rights, Combating Violence Against Women & Children, Strengthening Local Government Institutions, youth empower & engagement to community development etc. Now AVAS is counted as the reputed, accountable and sincere organization in Barisal region. The organization has its Branch Offices in all the districts of Barisal division including the remote and char areas. The organization is equipped with capable, skilled and committed manpower, adequate facilities & materials, modern information technology system.

Together with our supporters, AVAS is a medium for change, free from political and religious agendas, existing only for the sake of children, youth, and women as well as under privileged community people. AVAS is committed to quality programming through Community Development approach. Communities, families, Women, youth and children are encouraged to be active participants in community development to ensure that their interests and needs are met. We believe in a right-based approach to development where Women, children and youth are supported to develop the skills they need to provide a safe and healthy environment in which they are able to realize their full potential.

Our rights-based approach is guided by clear standards and obligations provided by international human rights instruments, primarily the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) and Sustainable Development Goals (MDGs). Rights are protected and realized by raising awareness amongst children, youth, families, communities, the government and others by working to build the capacity and commitment of those responsible for ensuring these rights, recognised and supported. Through our rights-based approach, we focus on longer term, sustainable, positive changes rather than only short-term interventions. Such change may include strengthening and improving governmental policy and practice, which has a great impact on the today’s children, youth and women and the children of the future and the community people.
In true sense, Development of our society can not be ensured without bringing a positive change to the lifestyle of of the people. As people are the integral part of our society, it needs the development initiatives for both the superstructure and the infrastructure of our society. The core objectives of development initiatives is to ensure maximum outputs by involving the community people in both the planning and implementing level of the programs. Only by doing this, we can involve the people with the continuous development cycle. AVAS believes in addressing integrated approach to develop the community people internally and externally. Therefore, the organization is concentrating on 05 major thematic areas like Poverty Elimination, Legal Aid Education & Supports, Primary Health Care & Health Education, Basic Literacy & finally Environment Preservation. We strongly believe that if these major demands of the community people can be met up in an integrated way, their lifestyle will certainly turn towards positive and only a positive lifestyle guarantees the ultimate development of individual, society as well as the community.

As the happening of Poor coastal people especially women and children in difficult situations increases especially those at risk of disaster, food insecurity, abuse, exploitation and deprivation, AVAS has gradually expanded its programs to reach these people to protect and promote their basic rights as well as improving their socioeconomic condition through skill development and alternative livelihoods promotion. As we are working in the most disaster prone areas, we have vast experiences on humanitarian aspects, livelihood promotion and rehabilitation issues. We have skilled staffs, experienced community people, Proactive volunteers, and Office set up, necessary equipments needed for any development program. We have very good relationship with local administration, government & non government departments/ institutions, (UDMC, DDM, DPHE/WASH, Food and Agriculture, youth development,) focusing Climatic changes, livelihood and legal aid support activities. we have experienced of implementing projects on Climate change, Livelihoods, Food Security, WASH, Community capacity building, Sustainable Agriculture, Rehabilitation related programs and projects with the financed and supported by renowned national and international agency along with government and city Corporation. From the beginning of the organization, Campaign, advocacy and influencing activities are being operated and still ongoing.


To provide assistance to Women, children and youth in distress and to ensure that everything possible is done to safeguard for them a fair and secure life. The children and youth of today are the future and it is our responsibility to invest in them. AVAS is free from political, religious and ethnic bias. It is a not for profit, voluntary and development organization.

VISION: Environment friendly, gender sensitive, fair and self dependent plural society.


AVAS is working with the marginalized, pro poor, handicapped, socially excluded and deprived people to establish their livelihood rights, gender equality and dignity through participatory and sharing way.


The overall goal of the organization is to establish a right based society for the disadvantaged people. The specific objectives of the organization are the following:

  • To ensure women’s rights of decision making at different levels and increase their participation in income generating activities as well as creating leadership.
  • To establish and uphold the social and human rights of the disadvantaged people of the society.
  • To change the life style of the target people by providing proper health & education.
  • To ensure a peaceful society by defending the negative impacts on environment.
  • To assist the target group financially and legally to reduce their dependency on money lender


  1. Peoples oriented: As desire and demand of the targeted marginalized people are the pre condition of development, people are the center point of our activities.
  2. Rights Sensitivity: We do believe that development is not a privilege rather it is the right of the people.
  3. Equal-Rights: Our development goal is to ensure equity in case of rights and distribution.
  4. Non-Discrimination: Our regular exercise is to ensure indiscrimination irrespective to gender, socio economic classes, castes, colors, groups, religions.
  5. Group effort: Everyone of the organization is equally important; group effort is the working technique to ensure maximum and effective outputs.
  6. Accountability: Both the organization and its activities are being operated in accordance with the policies, provisions and methods.
  7. Transparency: Ensure highest transparency in operating the organization as well its workforce.
  8. Tolerance & Sensitivity: We are tolerated and sensitive to the existing culture, customs and etiquettes.
  9. Zero tolerance: We do exercise ‘0’ level tolerance in case of any sorts of violence against women and children.
  10. Leadership development: Leadership development process actively exists in all the stages of the organization.


AVAS is aimed to conduct a series of activities to reach its goal. These activities include:

  • Group Formation
  • Human Resources Development
  • Poverty Alleviation and sustainability with Credit Support.
  • Ensuring Good Governance.
  • Human, Women & Child Rights Awareness, Legal Aid Support, Democracy Exercise.
  • Regenerative Agriculture, sustainable livelihood and food security.
  • Environment preservation, Disaster Management.
  • Primary Health Care and nutrition.
  • Early childhood development, Adolescent reproductive health & Basic Education.
  • Aquaculture Development.
  • Water Supply & Sanitation.
  • HIV/AIDS & STI Awareness & Prevention.
  • Trainings for income generating activities and entrepreneurship development.
  • Advocacy and lobbying.


  • Introducing the organization nationally as well as globally.
  • Establishing a strong network and liaison with GoB, NGOs and Civil Society.
  • Adopting people participatory, community demanding and contemporary programs.
  • Maximum utilization of local resources.
  • Developing human resources.
  • Increasing the involvement in different media.
  • Applying integrated approach.

Thematic Area:

  • Poverty Reduction and Livelihood
  • Health, Sanitation and Nutrition
  • Gender Equality, Rights and Governance
  • Sustainable Agriculture and Biodiversity
  • Education, Empowerment and Information Technology
  • Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction

Core Competency:

  • Strengthening institutional capacity of AVAS.
  • Strengthening institutional capacities of the grassroots’ organizations
  • Developing ecologically balanced environment
  • Strengthening organizational sustainability
  • Strengthening good governance and democratic practice
  • Developing Child Care & Education as well as gender sensitivity.
  • Initiating programs on different development sectors for marginalized group of people
  • Strengthening the local CBOs-initiatives that help program implementation and ensuring.

Strategies for community adaptation:

  • a. Reduction of climate change hazards through coastal forestation with community participation.
  • b. Youth volunteer groups’ formation and their capacity building on humanitarian response.
  • c. Climate change and adaptation information dissemination to vulnerable community for emergency preparedness measures and awareness raising on enhanced climatic disasters.
  • d. Construction of flood shelter, and information and assistance centre to cope with enhanced recurrent floods in major floodplains.
  • e. Women led disaster management group formation & their capacity building.
  • f. Inclusion of climate change issues in curriculum at secondary and tertiary educational institution.
  • g. Develop eco-specific adaptive knowledge (including indigenous knowledge) on adaptation to climate variability to enhance adaptive capacity for future climate change.
  • h. Promote adaptation to coastal crop agriculture for combating increased salinity.
  • i. Promote adaptation to coastal fisheries through culture of salt tolerant fish special in coastal areas of Bangladesh.

Strategies to reduce vulnerability of women:

  • Increase food through agriculture
  • Increase income through alternative livelihoods
  • Increase food availability/storage
  • Improve health and personal safety
  • Increase access to safe water
  • Improve safety of housing and other property
  • Increase access to common property resources
  • Reduce threats through community-based Initiatives


AVAS has a General Body, an Executive Body, and an Advisory Body.

  • To ensure the participation of different segments of society, a 21-person General Committee has been established. This committee includes male and female policy makers and representatives from marginal groups, and meets once a year.
  • The AVAS Executive Committee comprises seven (07) General Committee members, who are elected to the Executive Committee for two year tenure. This committee meets every three months or as necessary to make plans or decisions.
  • A Central Management Committee, composed of the Executive Director and ten senior officials (including female representatives and project heads), oversees program implementation and meets on a monthly basis.

In addition, each project has a Project Facilitating Team (PFT), comprised of appropriate stakeholders including government officials and the relevant project manager from AVAS. Each PFT meets on a quarterly basis.
Each of projects is lead by a Team Leader/Project Manager/Project Coordinator and has its own organ gram to maintain the project hierarchy. The project leads report to the Executive Director, who, in turn, reports to the AVAS Executive Committee, relevant government departments and donor organizations.

Financial management

All the financial issues of the organization is being handled according to its strong and approved Financial Policy. AVAS has a strong and experienced Financial Management Team who takes care of the Budgeting, procurement and purchase, regular accounts, disbursement and deposits as per the requirements of the project. A yearly external audit is conducted every year by an approved Auditing Farm. External auditing of individual projects also made according to the demand of the donor.

Human resources management

AVAS has an updated and approved Human Resource Policy. The organization exercises several steps to develop the leadership among its employee through meetings, training, promotion, benefits, reporting, excursions etc. Every year, performances of the staffs are evaluated through Performance Evaluation Process. Necessary skill based trainings are conducted to increase the performance of the low performers.


To accomplish its objectives smoothly, AVAS has developed several policies. All the activities are conducted according to its related approved policies. These are:

  • HR & Admin Policy
  • Gender Policy
  • Financial Management Policy
  • Micro credit Plicy
  • Child Safety Policy.
  • Information Disclosure Policy.
  • Workplace Policy
  • Child Protection Policy
  • Compliant Response Mechanism ( CRM) policy


Project Name

Funded by

Project Partner

Working Area

Reaching Out of School Children (ROSC) Phase –II Project

World Bank, Primary and Mass Education Ministry,

Save the Children & Barisal City Corporation, MIS Cell LGED. Barisal City Corporation, Barisal.
“Pre-Primary Education (PPE)/ Early Learning Centers” under Child Friendly City Initiative (CFCI).

UNICEF Bangladesh

Barisal City Corporation Barisal City Corporation
ECDSPB ( Previously supported by Aga Khan Foundation and DAM)

Technical support by AVAS

Community Contribution. Amtoli, Barguna.
Stop Violence Coalition

Canadian High Commission

SVC network Barsial division
Legal Aid support to disadvantaged

Ain o Salish Kendra

Ain o Salish Kendra Barisal Sadar Upazilla
Girls Advocacy Alliance (GAA)

Plan International

Dutch Government – Under the “Dialogue and Dissent, lobbying and advocacy Strategic Partnerships 2016-2020 Barisal District
Democratic Budget Campaign


Sachetan Barisal City
Vulnerable Group Development(VGD) Directorate of Women Affairs Directorate of Women Affairs Muladi upazila,
Greehayon Project

GOB & Bangladesh Bank.

Bangladesh Bank Barisal Sadar Upazila,Barisal.
Women Resilience Index

Action Aid Bangladesh

Action Aid Bangladesh Kalapara Upazila,Patuakhali district.
Micro Credit


CODEC Barisal District
Community Accessing to Systems for Resilience ( CASR) Project./ LRP 50

Action Aid Bangladesh

Action Aid Bangladesh Kalapara Upazila,Patuakhali district.
Shifting the Power

Christian Aid

Christian Aid Barisal & Patuakhali.
Empowering Local & National Humanitarian Actors( ELNHA) Project


CODEC Patuakhali
Promoting Rights for the Char Dwellers ( PRCD)Project./ LRP 40 Action Aid Bangladesh Action Aid Bangladesh Galachipa Upazila,Patuakhali district.

Six Districts in Barisal Division (Barisal, Patuakhali, Bhola, Borguna, Pirojpur and Jhalokathi).