1981 is the first international year of people with disabilities, announced by the United Nations.

Thanks to the initiative of the Friends Group, in agreement with “La Nostra Famiglia” Associationon May the 4th, on 1982, the Volunteer Organization for International Cooperation OVCI La Nostra Famiglia was formed. As the name suggests, the path of OVCI has always been supported by the professionism of the Association "La Nostra Famiglia".

In the same year the first evaluation missions begin, following the requests from foreign Countries, to respond to numerous reports of needs, especially of rehabilitation for children and adolescents with disabilities.

Here are the highlights:


  • The President of "La Nostra Famiglia" Association, Zaira Spreafico, meets monsignor Agostino Baroni, bishop of Khartoum, Sudan, who proposed to send qualified staff to Juba, now Capital of South Sudan, to start a rehabilitation activity for children with disabilities.


  • On February 15th, three therapists went to Brazil to provide their work in the Santana Rehabilitation Center (Amapà), in collaboration with the Hospital St. Camillo and St. Louis of Macapà (Foundation of Dr. Marcello Candia).
  • On September 18th two volunteers leave for Juba, now the capital of South Sudan, to begin an activity focused on survey and visits activity for children with disabilities, in need of Rehabilitation
  • Starting of the construction of the first USRATUNA Rehabilitation Centre in Juba
  • Giving OVCI La Nostra Famiglia eligibility by the MAE (Ministry of Foreign Affairs) under Act 38/1979
  • Birth of the first Animations Group in different Italian regions composed of volunteers and OVCI sympathizers
  • 8 scholarships Awarded by the Italian Government to Ecuadorian teachers, trained by therapists from the “La Nostra Famiglia” association in Bosisio and Conegliano 


  • In February OVCI becomes a member of FOCSIV
  • On July 17th, two italian psychologists leave for Ecuador to teach at the Catholic University of Esmeraldas
  • 23rd-24th of October: inauguration of the USRATUNA Rehabilitation Center (La Nostra Famiglia in Arabic) in Juba, South Sudan


  • Project launch in Casa de Hospitalidade (Reception Centre for Children with Disabilities) managed by Father Luigi Brusadelli, missioner of PIME, in Santana, Brazil: at the beginning of August an educator and a physiotherapist leave as volunteers of “La Nostra Famiglia” association.
  • Start of surgical activity in Juba, in the current South Sudan, thanks to the collaboration of an orthopedist and an anesthetist, doctors of the Civil Hospital of Conegliano (TV). The Italian doctors work with dr. Assan, a local orthopedist. They return in the following years until March 1988.


  • The Marituba program begins with mons. Aristide Pirovano of PIME, aimed at the care of lepers
  • In the autumn, there were two physiotherapists at the Hospitality Centre. Doc. Claudio Madasi, Neuropsychiatrist, went to Santana, in Brazil, for an evaluation mission.


  • Start of the Dispensary at the Usratuna Centre in Juba, in the current South Sudan with the advice of Doc. Agostino Zambelli
  • On 27th January, 5 volunteers leave for Marituba, in Brazil – 7 volunteers work in the project.
  • Doc. Claudio Madasi stays all year round in Santana, in Brazil


  • Reconfirms MAE eligibility to OVCI La Nostra Famiglia under Law 49/1987
  • Alberto Cairo in Juba, in the current Sud Sudan, ended in March 1989. He currently coordinates Rehabilitation at Red Cross hospital for amputees in Kabul, Afghanistan.



  • In January, the new Dispensary for outpatients began in Juba, in what is now South Sudan; start of the nutritional program


  • Start of the Agricultural School project in Santana, Brazil, thanks to Father Brusadelli by two educators of “La Nostra Famiglia” in San Vito al Tagliamento (PN).
  • Reception of young Albanian refugees by the OVCI Animation Group of Ostuni (BR).


  • Project for Pastoral do Menor in Santana, Brazil
  • In February the construction of the houses in Santana, Brazil, begins, where collaborators and Little Apostles will be hosted
  • From November 26th to December 6th: first evaluation mission in Esmeraldas, Ecuador, through the Apostolic Vicariate, at the "Juan Pablo II" Special Education Institute, directed by Sister Teresa Frizzo, Combonian, in which children with hearing loss are followed


  • Marituba's program ends on January 30th
  • 3 Little Apostles leave for Santana, in Brazil


  • 11th April Agreement between OVCI and Esmeraldas Apostolic Vicariate
  • Starting collaboration with the Diocese of Esmeraldas for the training of teachers and support for the activities of the Institute of Special Education "Juan Pablo II"
  • Two educators from San Vito go on a mission to Esmeraldas, work at the Juan Pablo II Center
  • OVCI's participation in the founding of the International Disability and Development Consortium (IDDC).
  • Official recognition by the Macapà Municipality of the Association “A Nossa Familia”, Brazil


  • First mission to China  and the birth of the International Friendship Team Constitution of the ICFT Group  (International China Friendship Team) in collaboration with the Chinese Red Cross for the training of operators of the National Training Centre of the Disabled Federation on the issues of rehabilitation
  • Extension of MAE eligibility for on-site activities for the local staff to improve the autonomy in the rehabilitation treatments and to reach the most distant areas form the center through a Comunity Based Rehabilitation network


  • Inauguration of the "P. Luiz Monza" Pediatric Center in Santana, Brazil
  • First course for operators in China at the National Training Centre in Beijing 
  • In Esmeraldas, the project "Intervention to support the training of specialized teachers for the school and work integration of the people with disability", funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, was launched with the aim of training teachers and educators specialized in disability. The project, completed in 2000, made possible a significant collaboration with the Catholic University of Esmeraldas


  • Second Training Course for Operators in Lan Zhou in China
  • Organization of the first experience of Short Volunteering in Santana, Brazil
  • First mission by Italian orthopedic surgeons to begin orthopedic surgery with children with motor diseases in Esmeraldas, Ecuador
  • OVCI Participation in the New Como Coordination for Peace (CoCoPa) in the province of Como, Italy


  • June 15th, the Pediatric Rehabilitation Center for 40 Children in Fang Shan begins 
  • Third Training Course in Fangshan from October 26th to November 7th, first visit to an orphanage
  • Juan Pablo II Institute collapsed due to the flooding of Niño in Esmeraldas, Ecuador


  • Fourth training course for operators of the center of Fang Shan, China, and evaluation mission.
  • Constitution of the local NGO USADC-Usratuna Sudanese Association for Disabled Children in Khartoum, Sudan
  • Prof. Rita Sidoli held a seminar on autism at Ahfad University in Khartoum in August 


  • September 20thOfficial start of the OVCI cooperation activity with the China district in Hebei. The first physiotherapist volunteer leaves.   
  • First consultation on disability issues in Morocco, at the request of the Italian NGO AiBi
  • Starting of a project to support the local NGO Usratuna Sudanese Association for Disabled Children (USADC) in Khartoum, Sudan
  • Organization of the first course on Community Based Rehabilitation in Khartoum, Sudan
  • Launch of the project "enhancement of the operational capacity of the 'Bethlehem Arab Society for Rehabilitation'- BASR: creation of a Centre of Excellence in Rehabilitative Medicine in Palestine, in collaboration with AISPO


  • Evaluation mission in Fang Shan from September 9th to October 6th by a physiotherapist, orthopedic surgeon and anesthesiologist: the children of the Centre are operated.
  • From 3rd to 9th of June there was an evaluation mission a Fang Shan by three Italian volunteers.  
  • On March 29th, Nuestra Familia activities begins in Esmeraldas
  • Participation in the National Children's Table “PIDIDA” (for the rights of childhood and adolescence)
  • Organization of the first training course in collaboration with the Physiotherapists without Borders Group
  • Signing the agreement with FOCSIV for the realization of Voluntary Civil Service projects in Italy and abroad
  • The pilot project for the integral development of abandoned children started in Morocco, in collaboration with AiBi


  • Monica Mongodi begins collaboration with Fang Shan at the end of 2002 
  • August 29th Official recognition of the Association "Nuestra Familia" by the Municipality of Esmeraldas
  • Start of the new CBR project in Esmeraldas, Ecuador
  • Participation in the drafting of guidelines for international cooperation in the field of disability
  • Organization of the first training course for OVCI project leaders in Italy


  • Start of the project to prevent childhood abandonment in Rabat, Morocco (at the beginning in collaboration with AiBi)
  • 4th training course in Fangshan; in September, Doc. Zamperoni and Doc. Palugan were in Beijing for speeches


  • Start the first-degree course in Physiotherapy in Khartoum, in collaboration with Ahfad University in Omdurman


  • Start in Italy of the collection of plastic caps with the campaign "A piccoli tappi”
  • On November 27th USADC inaugurated the first Professional Education Center for young people with disabilities and the integrated school DES in Khartoum, in Sudan.
  • OVCI starts a project to improve the creation of an institutions network in order to meet the need of people with disabilities that lives in the Province of Esmeraldas, in Ecuador through the Community Based Rehabilitation approach. 


  • Fang Shan's experience ended
  • Organization of the first National Disability Conference in Rabat
  • March 30th foundation of the Parents of Disabled Children Association  Casa Lahnina (House of Tenderness in Arabic) in Rabat – Collaboration Doc. Luisella Fazzi President of “Genitori de La Nostra Famiglia” association, now FONOS.


  • Start of Community Based Rehabilitation Project in Juba, South Sudan
  • Start of the first Socio-Educational Centre in  Rabat, Morocco, at Mohamed el Fassi Elementary School in Temara (Rabat Region Province – Salé – Kenitra)
  • Organization of the first National Disability Conference in Rabat, Morocco
  • From August 27th, 2007 to August 26th, 2009, in collaboration with the Regional Academié and Casa Lahnina in Morocco, OVCI implemented a new project to facilitate the school placement of people with disabilities.
  • Start of the Handifilm Festival in Rabat: an annual cultural event born with the aim of changing the gaze on disability through the projection of short- film that deal with the theme of disability.
  • Start of project to promote basic health in Juba, South Sudan
  • The first phase of the BSF (Basic Service Fund) project begins at the request of the Ministry of Health of the Government of South Sudan
  • Conclusion of the commitment in Palestine



  • Start of the new rehabilitation project in Beijing, China - in collaboration with the Working Group Womende Jiayuan
  • Start integrated class in SaléMorocco


  • In April: inauguration of St. Mary's College in Juba, South Sudan and start of the first-degree course in Rehabilitation Sciences
  • In April: inauguration of USRATUNA Pediatric Rehabilitation Center in Khartoum, Sudan
  • Signing of the collaboration agreement with the Ministry of Economic and Social Inclusion (MIES) for the start of the first Orthopedic Workshop of the province of Esmeraldas, Ecuador
  • Project started to facilitate the school inclusion of children with disabilities in Rabat, Morocco


  • Opening of the Evaluation and Guidance Center for Disabled People at the Center of the Chinese Federation of Disabled People, in Xi Cheng district, China
  • Inauguration of the Moms House at the Nuestra Familia Rehabilitation Center in Esmeraldas, Ecuador
  • Start of the program for the enhancement of the Dispensary of the Usratuna Center in the maternal-child sector in Juba, South Sudan
  • Start of integrated program for the extension of socio-rehabilitation services in the Dar El Salaam suburb of Khartoum, Sudan


  • In Ecuador, the Community Based rehabilitation is state policy! OVCI implemented the CBR strategy in all 7 cantons of Esmeraldas Province. The activities in the various cantons are becoming more and more structured, also thanks to close cooperation with local authorities.
  • Construction of the new Orthopedic Taller at the land of the local Association Nuestra Familia in Esmeraldas, Ecuador
  • Opening Orient-SAFIR CounterTemara, Morocco
  • Inauguration of the new multifunctional Centre in Dar El Salaam, a suburb of Khartoum, Sudan
  • Inauguration of the new maternal-child dispensary in Juba, South Sudan
  • On July 9: birth of the 54th African State, Sud Sudan


  • Conclusion of the first annuity of the second course in Rehabilitation Sciences and the first course in Educational Sciences of St. Mary's College in Juba, South Sudan
  • Graduation for first physiotherapists at St. Mary's College in Juba, South Sudan, and Ahfad University in Khartoum, Sudan
  • Inauguration of the Oriental-SAFIR Counter for People with Disabilities in Rabat, Morocco
  • Introduction of short films made by Moroccan high school students at the Handifilm Festival in Rabat, Morocco
  • Official recognition of the counterpart - Womende Jiayuan - as an Association of Chinese Law by the Ministry of Social Affairs of the Chinese Government, China
  • Extension of the Community-Based Rehabilitation Program to the Canton of Quinindé, Esmeraldas Province, Ecuador


  • Clashes between members of various SPLM factions in South Sudan reopened
  • Extension of the Community-Based Rehabilitation Program to the Canton of Atacames, Esmeraldas Province, Ecuador 
  • Expansion of the basic health programme in Dar El Sallam (a suburb of Khartoum) through government-posted staff (services against malnutrition and maternal health)
  • Final conference of the project "Création d'un Service d'Accompagnement, de Formation, d'Information et de Réseautage pour la promotion de la prise en charge précoce des enfants handicapés à la province Skhirat-Temara" during which the  OVCI models  (CSE, SAFIR and insertion of PEI in special classes) were presented to the Local Authorities. 
  • Since 2013 Rabat in addition to organizing the Festival, Moroccan high school children are accompanied in the realization of a short-footage on disability to bring them closer to the topic and make them reflect on the importance of inclusion and participation


  • Start Community Based Rehabilitation project in the refugee camps of Juba County, South Sudan
  • Official recognition of St. Mary's College as a Higher Education Institution by the Ministry of Education of Juba, South Sudan



  • Start of program Community Base Rehabilitation in the municipality of Ain Al Aouda and at the Le Nid Orphanage in Meknes, Morocco
  • Activating emergency project with Mobile Clinic in Juba County refugee camps 
  • Opening activities of Community Based Rehabilitation in the municipality of Juba Town
  • Program to support the Center's branch office in the marginal municipality of Dar-El-Salaam (Khartoum, Sudan), co-financed by the European Union and the Italian Development Cooperation Agency
  • Expansion of Community Based Rehabilitation program in the canton of San Lorenzo in Ecuador


  • Maximum score awarded to the Beijing Assessment and Guidance Centre by the Ministry of Civil Affairs in the assessment for services for children with disabilities
  • Start of collaboration with the South Sudan Women with Disability Network-SSWDN, to promote the rights of people with disabilities in South Sudan.
  • Activation of emergency project in Muisne County following the earthquake that hit Esmeraldas province in April
  • Registration to the Agency for Development Cooperation-AICS following new legislation regulating Italian international cooperation - L. 125/2014


  • OVCI La Nostra Famiglia obtained Official Registration to continue operating in China.
  • Launch of an Integrated Service in the city of Temara (Morocco, Rabat Region) that includes some social services - rehabilitative (Physiotherapy, Logopedia and Special Education) accessible to the poorest sections of the population.
  • The new Orthopedic Laboratory of the Usratuna Centre in Juba, co-financed by the Italian Development Cooperation, has been opened.
  • Health emergency commitment: interventions in refugee campsJuba


  • It begins a collaboration with Mangiagalli Life and Major Polyclinic Hospital for a program of prevention of childbirth disability in  Ecuador
  • Emergency services are under way in the suburb of Dar El Salaam, Khartoum state, with the opening of a mobile clinic in 12 areas
  • Initiation of an Inclusive Development program on a Community Based in Morocco, in 4 different regions of the country, in partnership with the RBC National Network
  • Start Multidisciplinary Service at the Orientation Service-SAFIR in Morocco to also propose sessions of physiotherapy, speech therapy, psychomotricity, special education, in addition to the production and prescription of simple orthopedic aids
  • Start of a project, in partnership with the Chinese Federation of People with Disabilities, to reproduce the model of the Beijing Assessment and Guidance Center, in 4 other pilot provinces of China


  • Officially recognized by the Government of Sudan the network "Sudan Disability Network"
  • The Community-based Inclusive Development program has been extended to 5 regions in Morocco
  • Start of the new three-year Inclusive Development Program on a Community Basis in South Sudan
  • Start of Nodding Syndrome pilot program in Juba, in collaboration with AMREF Australia


  • July 8th: Cardinal Parolin's visit to the Usratuna center, Juba, South Sudan







 OVCI la Nostra Famiglia
via don Luigi Monza 1 - 22037 Ponte Lambro (CO)
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