Celim Bergamo ODV is an NGO
(non-governmental organization of Christian inspiration) that operates in the
field of International Cooperation in Africa, Latin America and Asia.
Celim Bergamo was founded in 1964
after a series of contacts with Celim Milano, founded in 1954. For several
years the two organizations worked together creating “school camps”
on Third World issues and International Cooperation. During these years, the
work of Celim Bergamo took the form of a “missionary laity” and developed
especially in Bolivia, Ecuador, Rwanda and Malawi. This period is characterized
by a close relationship with the Diocesan Missionary Office whose Director, Don
Pietro Ceribelli, was the charismatic leader of the Organization, the main
reference for the choices of commitment and service and for the maturation of
In 1971 Celim Bergamo requests
and obtains eligibility as an “International Volunteer
Organization”and consequently becomes part of the Italian Non-Governmental
Organizations (NGOs). In 1972 Celim drafted his own Statute and in the same
year he joined FOCSIV (Federation of the International Volunteering
Organizations of Christian Inspiration). It then begins to operate in full
The FOCSIV membership favors
contacts with other Italian and foreign Organizations and promotes continuous
reflection on volunteering and the implementation of projects.
Celim Bergamo ODV works alongside
the populations of the South of the world in different fields: educational and
professional training, health, agro-zootechnical, micro-credit and human rights.
Its volunteers share the committment to a more just and responsible world.
Christian identity is the deepest
motivation for our commitment to a future in which relations between men and
States are inspired by the values of brotherhood and solidarity.
Volunteering is based on the
belief that being free is a value and that sharing cannot become an opportunity
for profit. In this way, our management costs are minimal and we are able to use
all the funds we raise for our development projects.
The intervention criteria are
drawn from the elaboration of the experience of international voluntary service
on the themes of development and International Cooperation and from the
documents of the “Social Doctrine of the Church”.
Each project, conceived as a
bilateral consultation, implies for its realization a full co-responsibility
between Celim Bergamo ODV and the partners, an involvement of the local
authorities and the communities influenced by the project.
Celim Bergamo ODV has also chosen
not to deal with emergency situations, but to intervene in medium and long-term
projects in order to walk along with the communities involved and support their
self-centered development, respecting history and culture locals. Being a
Christian organization of international volunteering service today and engaging
in international development cooperation means taking on as a priority the
commitment to peace, justice, human promotion and solidarity for the peoples of
the southern hemisphere.
A development project constitutes
the encounter between two stories and translates into living together the
responsibilities of a journey according to the roles of the different actors.
It is not a philanthropic response to generic needs identified in an office in
Italy, it is instead support for efforts that the populations are already
carrying out: it is supporting and collaborating with a perspective of
self-promotion and mutual transformation.
Cooperating for Celim Bergamo ODV
means promoting the authentic values of each community by orienting its activities
towards the needs of the populations and integrating education in life,
production and culture. It is participating in the elaboration of the
development plans of the countries in which it operates, it is to initiate
processes of autonomy on a financial, organizational and management level and
to build associative coordination networks.
Our work develops on three
1. International, which includes
the study of cooperation projects, training, sending volunteers and supporting
them during the implementation of the projects.
2. National, in association with
FOCSIV we collaborate with other NGOs in the implementation of common projects
concerning development education, intercultural education and citizenship
3. Local, which sees us engaged
in information and training activities in the city, in the various
municipalities of the province, and in raising awareness and collaboration with
immigrant associations, the Missionary Office, groups and associations of our