The logo of Amicus, also known as the “Unity Symbol”, is a stylised carving that represents three people joining hands to support the terrestrial globe on which the world’s geography is clearly visible. The meaning is that if all, women and men, look into the eyes of those near us and join hands, we can build a better world.
“Amicus Onlus” is the name used in Italy to define a voluntary association, which promotes development providing its beneficiaries with the instruments to become active protagonists of their growth. It undertakes projects with the aim of developing people’s capacities.
“Amicus Onlus” is also the name used in Ghana to define a non-governmental organization (NGO) that promotes development and training.
Both were born from the active and intensive cooperation of Africans, Europeans and Americans. These two organizations, in accordance with the regulations in each country, are recognized as ONLUS in Italy and as NGO in Ghana.
The projects of Amicus, currently implemented in Ghana, take place in very close collaboration and after careful examinations in loco by a specific Commission for each project and a local Supervision Commission that verifies the aims of each project as responding to the concrete needs of time and space.
Amicus Onlus is supported primarily by volunteers, and Amicus NGO especially by local employed personnel. Those who take part in the activities are carefully selected and trained to become fully responsible for the each project. The use of expatriate personnel is only considered for specific and short periods of time. This responds to the aim of training fiduciaries – in this case Ghanaians– who can become responsible agents of their own development.
According to the Amicus vision, development is a question of capacity building, which can neither be reduced to a question of the single person nor to a problem of human resources management. Capacity building is much more than the capability of single persons to undertake specific tasks and it is not limited to technical assistance.
Capacity building is the “development of people’s abilities and potential to build an efficient State that provides the population with goods and services that creates a favourable environment for growth and development of the private sector and guarantees peace and security. It is also the fostering of a committed society where the people take part in the decisions on public life, contribute to the establishment of goods and services and support the authorities responsible for making decisions and in the results of public action”1.
Capacity building is a holistic approach to the development of human resources. Since contemporary tendencies emphasize a more individualistic approach, capacity building is more organic and adapts better to the African mentality by giving importance to a communitarian context and hence to the African philosophy.