As the majority of thirld-world oriented Associations from the 1970’s, GVC, born with a strong Christion imprint, was founded by a group of young volunteers, led by “Dehonian seminarists” supported by Father Angelo Cavagna, Dean of the Dehonian Seminar. The original group was composed of young people - including Tarcisio Arrighini, today’s head of GVC America Latina – who in 1968/69 offered their volunteers' contribution to UCSEI (Central Office Foreign Students in Italy), to help foreign students finding accommodation in Bologna. GVC’s shift to its present configuration as a non-confessional NGO, passed through different phases and names: SROTMER (Regional Secretariat Third World Organisations), then GLM (Lay Missionary Group), and finally GVC (Group Christian Volunteers). Only in 1972, with the first “lay” presidency of Patrizia Santillo, did the association move away from its original confessional configuration, and took the name of GVC, Civil Volunteers’ Group. GVC’s original commitment, before moving to the area of International Cooperation, had consisted in a long phase of political participation which strongly mirrored the ideological outlook of the 1970’s. The Group supported the liberation struggle of Portuguese colonies in Africa, and the great Latin American and African leaders fighting for independence; advocated the right to opt for international civil service in place of army service; participated in the airing of the first “free radio stations” and was the local seat of the Russel Tribunal for people’s rights. As for many other associations established at the time, in its early stages GVC lived and worked thanks to self-funding. With the organization of summer work camps it raised resources to fund its projects. In 1972, GVC was one of the very first Italian NGOs to be granted permission to operate by the Italian Foreign Ministry, and to benefit from co-funding in order to start up the first two development co-operation projects: the Jussara project in Brazil and the Busoko Project in Congo. These were the first countries where GVC started its concrete work, just before expanding to Guinea-Bissau and Sao Tomé. In either cases, the Association worked side by side with people who had operated in those areas for years: the Dehonian missionaries in Congo and the priests from the Modena diocese in Brazil. Only in 1984 did GVC start its first projects of “lay” cooperation. Throughout the years, the Civil Volunteers’ Group streamlined, specialized and expanded its scope of action in several countries (27, today), and at first focused its attention to health-related projects, while progressively expanding its action to increasingly qualified cooperation programmes and to many sectors: from food-nutrition to emergency aid. In 1980, GVC’s transfer to Villa Aldini, today’s headquarters in Bologna, marked the consolidation of a period of intense activity, consisting in project expansion, structural growth, sector specialization, as well as an important work of community awareness-raising, with activities for development education.