From July 20 to 23, 2022, Kenya hosted the 2nd “All Africa” Assembly, which brought together the national presidents of the 42 countries where the Society of St. Vincent de Paul (SSVP) is present in Africa. The last event of this nature took place in 2015, in South Africa.
At the conclusion of the work, those present decided to approve the document entitled the “Letter of Nairobi”, which contains various resolutions to be followed by the 42 National or Superior Councils of Africa until 2027, when a new Assembly will be held. The Charter makes recommendations in the areas of youth, formation, good governance, Vincentian Family, leadership and elections.
You can read it below:
ALL AFRICA ASSEMBLY 2022
Letter of Nairobi – Kenya
We, the leaders of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul in the African continent, participants of the “All Africa Assembly 2022”, gathered in Nairobi from 20 – 23 July 2022, after due consultation and reflection, sign this LETTER and commit ourselves to the following points for the next 5 years:
Resolution 1. Youth
We need to engage more with the youth in order to appreciate their views and standpoints with regard to the Society i.e. their understanding of what the Society of St. Vincent de Paul is, in order to bridge the gaps of any misunderstanding and misconception about the Society. Many young people are under the misconstrued concept that the SSVP is for the elderly. This will enable us not only to correct these anomalies, but will also enable us, from the viewpoint of the youth, to put into place projects and/or activities that resonate well with them to ease their absorption into the Society.
Resolution 2. Formation
Formation has to be ongoing and adapt to the changing needs of the people. The Society of St. Vincent de Paul should be alive to changes within society and be in position to equip its members appropriately to enable them to adequately deal with these needs.
Resolution 3. Communication
Communication should be a two way process that entails follow ups to ensure that the required results are, not only achieved, but are in line with expectations. Those in position of authority or to whom information need to be provided should ensure that communication breakdowns are eliminated. This can be done by constant follow-ups and visits if need be, or if appropriate. This could also, be reinforced by training of members.
Resolution 4. Good Governance
This will require members to have a good understanding of the Rules and Statutes of the Society. Members should make it their responsibility to acquaint themselves on regular basis with the rules and statutes that government the Society in order function within their scope. Decisions should also be taken in a transparent manner and done in a way that is in line with the Rules and Statutes of the Society. Enough information should be provided in easily understandable forms for informed decision making.
Resolution 5. Leadership
Those in leadership position should be equipped with means of implementing succession plans so as to renew leadership cadre. It is also imperative that those who are in leadership positions are familiar with the rules and regulations governing such positions e.g tenure of office and those governing or restricting renewals beyond approved terms. Appropriate implementation of succession plans will obviate the need to hang on to positions outside the time limits allotted to specific posts.
Resolution 6. Vincentian Family
We reiterate our openness, availability and good will for working together with the different branches of the Vincentian Family internationally. At the same we will be working and doing our best strengthening its National and Regional Councils on the African continent. As proof of the importance that the Vincentian Family has for the SSVP, the President General has appointed Brother Kim Eseka Emmanuel (Nigeria) as the representative of the Council General International to the Vincentian Family African Council (VFAC) for a two-year renewable term.
Resolution 7. 4th All Africa Assembly
President General will set up a committee to look into this matter. The committee will provide feedback to President General for final decision after careful consideration of all applications submitted to them. The meeting will be held in 2027.