Date of publication: 18/06/2023

Second part of the workshop for National Presidents

Council General International

two roundtables on the development of solidarity and the enhancement of youth’s presence in the Conferences.

The second part of the workshop for national presidents was held on June 17.

During the morning, a roundtable discussion was led by the Vice President for Youth, Willian Alves, in which the SSVP Youth Committees Manual and need to revitalize the Conferences and increase the presence of young people among our members were presented.

For this training workshop, Willian Alves had the testimony of some youth delegates and young members of SSVP around the world, as well as the president of SSVP Brazil, Marcio José da Silva and the national youth representative of Brazil, Geyson Tôrres de Lima.

The origin of the SSVP is an example of the importance of youth to face challenges and be attentive to the changes occurring in the world. New needs and new ways of relating to one another require an aptitude for change, adaptation and renewal, characteristics that are found naturally in young people who must be given space in order to find their place within the organization.

Before the end of the morning session, Renato Lima de Oliveira, as outgoing President General, handed over to the new President General, Juan Manuel Buergo, a document called “Transition Document”, which includes the ideas and proposals of most of the members of the General Council structure for this new mandate.

In the afternoon, the second and last panel discussion of the day was held. Directed by brother Ralph Middlecamp, the discussion focused on the strengthening of solidarity in the face of the new forms of poverty. 

Bro. Ralph Middlecamp is the SSVP International Vice President in charge of Solidarity and Special Projects, which includes the International Commission for Aid and Development (CIAD), international twinning (collaboration between Conferences of different countries to carry out social projects) and the SSVP International Solidarity Fund to respond to situations of need. The world is in constant change. In addition to the most common and well-known types of poverty, there are those that emerge from new social events and behaviors. A recent example is the pandemic and the new normal. Another example of emerging poverty is mental health, loneliness or those arising from climate change.

In addition to Ralph Middlecamp himself (who led the workshop and gave an overview of SSVP’s solidarity work), the following speakers took part in this panel: Fr Andrés Motto (new poverties), Joseph Makwinja (climate change) and Mark McGreevy (Director of DePaul) and Natalie Monteza (coordinator of Famvin’s 13 Houses campaign) who spoke about the reality of homelessness.

The day enden with a fraternal dinner attended by all participants of this great Vincentian event, which had a very broad representation of the 155 countries in which the SSVP is present.