The VISA-AD union of associations developed from a network of associations, youth movements and Protestant charity works.
As the nature of hosting organisations has evolved, this network has gradually diversified. With the professionalisation of the aid sector, the organisations became more secular and the ethical nature of the work began to serve as the foundation instead of propagating a “religious” vision.
And so today our members include protestant, catholic and secular organisations.
This French network forms the basis of the VISA-AD union of associations. Since 1959, the voluntary charter linking them to VISA-AD has emphasised respect for volunteers, non-replacement of staff and providing board and lodge, but also supporting and integrating volunteers into host organisation and into local social life.
Creation of Année Diaconale, a branch of the French Protestant Federation (FPF). Its goal: to allow young people to do “a year of voluntary community service”.
Année Diaconale opens its doors to other faiths, and to Europe in welcoming its first international volunteers. 14 volunteers get involved that year.
Année Diaconale becomes a non-profit organisation under the law of 1901. It separates from the FPF and defines its own social objectives.
Année Diaconale expands its horizons beyond hosting young people. It begins to send French volunteers abroad and develops an international profile.
Année Diaconale joins the Ecumenical Diaconal Year Network (EDYN) a network of 15 countries, headquartered in Hungary. They promote exchanges of young people.
73 volunteers, including 40 French and 33 foreigners. The voluntary service proposed by the Year of the Diaconate is becoming institutionalised.
The association moves its location to Strasbourg and is henceforth governed by the Civil Code of Local Law. It obtains accreditation to receive and send volunteers via the European Voluntary Service.
Année Diaconale obtains Social Cohesion and Solidarity status from the French state.
Année Diaconale obtains national Youth and People’s Education status from the state.
Année Diaconale amends its name to VISA-AD: Volontariat International au Service des Autres, l’Année Diaconale (International Volunteering Service, Diaconal Year). VISA-AD obtains civilian volunteering status.
VISA-AD obtains state recognition for the Service Civique and the IJFD (German civic service).
VISA-AD obtains a professional training ID. The training offered by VISA-AD to volunteers is recognised as “providing volunteers with the skills necessary to carry out their missions.”
VISA-AD obtains the “Quality Label” from the European Union as “Supporting Organization” in the “European Solidarity Corps”
Today VISA-AD has hosted over 4,500 volunteers and has sent out over 500 more.