The beginning of the African Volunteers Association (AVA) is rooted in an International Conference which was organised under the heading The Challenge of Eradicating Poverty in the World: An African Response, at Uganda Martyrs University, Nkozi, Uganda, from 7–10 September 1998.

At the end of that Conference, it was resolved, that since poverty, among other things, is multifaceted and multidimensional, its eradication requires full partnership with the poor, using all possible organs and approaches, including NGOs, cooperatives, churches and the grass-roots communities.

Now with some hindsight, we believe that the concept of the “poor” needs to be revisited to avoid creating the impression that there is a permanent class of people called the “poor”. The participants had advocated a new type of education to empower people from the start to be committed to poverty eradication in their own lives and in the lives of their families as a starting point.

On 19 December 1999, a National Workshop was held at Uganda Martyrs University, Nkozi, and decision was taken to form the African Volunteers Association (AVA) which was later registered in 2001 to put in place means of starting projects and institutions to facilitate sharing of material, personal and knowledge necessary for prosperity creation.