A project helping 100 families in Venezuela
The fifth edition of World Day of the Poor, initiated by Pope Francis, was celebrated on November 14th, 2021. In his message for this Day, His Holiness Pope Francis called on all Catholics to be open to “[…] a movement of evangelization that meets the poor personally wherever they may be. We cannot wait for the poor to knock on our door!”.
The Society of Saint Vincent de Paul could not be impervious to this request by the Holy Father. That is why, the CGI asked all the National Councils to undertake activities related to this day and, in particular, selected Venezuela to carry out a concrete action. In this South American country, poverty levels have considerably increased in recent years due to a serious social and economic crisis.
In collaboration with the SSVP Venezuela’s National Council, a project was developed to financially help 100 needy families, pre-selected by the SSVP Conferences in the country, to cover their most pressing needs in the run-up to Christmas. The funds were transferred to the National Council, to be then sent to the various SSVP Conferences, which assisted the poor families.
Funds were disbursed to the SSVP Venezuela in two installments. Thus, once the first batch of donations was officially reported, the CGI transferred the second one to the National Council, to be then delivered to the needy families. Each of the 100 families received the sum of USD 100, totalling USD 10,000.
According to the SSVP Venezuela National Council’s President, sister Josefina Abreu De Gonçalves, “… the aid was given to poverty-stricken families selected by our Conferences. A representative of each family was accompanied by Conference presidents for a proper use of financial resources (food, medicines and medical check-ups)”.
The SSVP has been present in Venezuela since 1885 (142 years) and has 300 active members from 34 SSVP Conferences that currently serve around 900 people.