Founded in 1970, AVS is a non-profit charitable organization mainly financed by funds from the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, The Community Chest of Hong Kong, The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust, and public and private donations. AVS is dedicated to playing a proactive and pivotal role in the promotion of sustainable volunteerism for building a caring community. It develops partnership with all sectors of the community to provide value added and quality volunteer service.
AVS mobilizes volunteer service. It offers referral service for those who wish to volunteer and supports organizations requiring the service of volunteers. Interested individuals and organizations are welcome to register as a member of AVS Hong Kong Community Volunteers. To expand the scope of service opportunities, AVS launches needed and impactful volunteer programmes in partnership with organizations from different sectors. Mega events like WTO Hong Kong Ministerial Conference, ITU Telecom World, Hong Kong 2009 East Asian Games Volunteer Programme and Hong Kong Transplant Sports Games were notable examples. To capitalize the talents and skills of volunteers to assist the disadvantaged, the Volunteer Talent Bank Specialized Service Teams provide high quality volunteer service of photography, home safety, health care, hair-cutting, community tour guide, social inclusion, information technology, etc.
To facilitate citizens to participate in volunteering, AVS launched in 2021 the "Volunteer Hongkong" (V-HK) website, a new digital platform that automates and streamlines the processes of becoming and finding volunteers.
To foster volunteerism and enhance the quality and effectiveness of volunteer service, AVS established the Hong Kong Institute of Volunteers to deliver diversified trainings and professional consultancy for volunteers, volunteer leaders and managers. The “Volunteer Link” (www.volunteerlink.net) serves as a resource platform, and publications and reference materials are produced for good practices of volunteer service management. AVS launched the 4C Youth Volunteer Leadership Project since 2009 with a view to fostering a healthy personality and civic awareness among the youth through volunteer training and service experience.
AVS drew up the Hong Kong Volunteer Charter and the Practice Reference Guide as a reference guides to volunteers and volunteer-involving organizations for promoting quality volunteer practice.
AVS fosters volunteerism through a range of promotion, public education and volunteer recognition programmes. The Hong Kong Volunteer Award (“HKV-Award”), co-organized by the Home and Youth Affairs Bureau and the Agency for Volunteer Service, is dedicated to recognizing the contributions and achievements of outstanding volunteers and teams, young people, corporations, organizations from various sectors, cross-sectoral partnership projects, estates, and schools. The 5th of December is the International Volunteer Day proclaimed by the United Nations to promote volunteerism and to raise public recognition on volunteer contributions. The Hong Kong Volunteer Awardees Society founded in 2009 to pool the strengths and experience of the Award recipients offers a platform for idea exchange and experience sharing, spreading the spirit of volunteerism to serve the community.
In conjunction with representative organizations from different sectors, the Hong Kong Council of Volunteering was set up in 2004 as a cross-sectoral platform for exchange and collaboration to cultivate broader participation in volunteering and for member organizations working together to advance the development of volunteering.
Internationally, AVS is a cooperating organization of the United Nations Volunteers (UNV). Funded by the Home and Youth Affairs Bureau, AVS launched the UNV-Hong Kong Universities Volunteer Internship Programme in 2015. It allows local university undergraduates to participate in a 6-month assignment under the United Nations field units or agencies overseas. Established by returned university volunteers in 2017, the United Nations Volunteers – Hong Kong Universities Volunteers Alumni Society provides a platform for knowledge sharing and fellowship to promote United Nations values for peace and development, as well as to participate in and to support the development of volunteerism. AVS is also a member of the International Association for Volunteer Effort and the Global Network of Volunteering Leadership, sending delegates to attend international and regional volunteer conferences for exchange and development.