This initiative focusses on the reduction of poverty in the 25 poorest countries in the world
The International General Council of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, always concerned about providing better services at the grassroots level and in total unity with the United Nations in reducing poverty and social inequalities, has just launched the Strategy-25 Project.
At the request of Renato Lima de Oliveira, 16th International General President General, this project was developed by Arthur Schultze, coordinator of the International Twinning Commission (ITC), and it will be a priority during the last two years of the mandate of the international leadership.
The General Council used the following criteria to identify the 25 most needy countries. a) extreme poverty (income less than USD 2.00 per day); b) nations that are receiving little or no funding; c) several member countries with high levels of extreme poverty, but that are currently receiving reasonable and acceptable levels of funding; d) countries that are both twinned and not twinned; e) countries with 25% of the population facing extreme poverty; and f) other member countries considered by the Council as a result of special circumstances.
Renato Lima stated: “With this project, the wealthy countries in our Confederation will be able to better direct their generous donations and thus focus on the real needs of these 25 countries, which are considered by the World Bank as the poorest in the world. If we want to build a network of charity, we need to help those most in need, otherwise we will never achieve the equality that was the dream and hope of our founders and by men and women in every part of the world”.
The Council, with a desire to strengthen its solidarity through the International Twinning Commission and the Commission for International Aid & Development, will work together to enhance the Strategy-25 Project in these places: Ethiopia, Burundi, Madagascar, Guinea Bissau, Rwanda, Central African Republic, Sierra Leone, Togo, Ivory Coast, Senegal, Liberia, Mali, Eritrea, Sao Tomé & Principe, Mozambique, Congo Brazzaville, Cameroon, Chad, Eswatini, Angola, Namibia, South Sudan, Haiti, Venezuela, Honduras, and Pakistan.
Arthur Schultze explained: “Poverty is defined as not having enough material possessions or income to cover a person’s basic personal needs, sometimes so extreme that a person lacks food, clothing, and shelter. So, the Strategy-25 Project was created to best assist the neediest members of our Society”.
There will be key areas that we will need to focus on and implement in order for this initiative to be successful: community-based projects; social and educational projects; providing both twinned and non-twinning member countries with financial support; increased communication between twinning coordinators, donors and receivers; identifying new donor countries; and encouraging current donor countries, if possible, to increase their contributions.
“Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the LORD, and He will reward them for what they have done” (Proverbs 19, 17).