Date of publication: 26/11/2020

The “International Friendship Network” Project


The International Youth Committee is launching the “International Friendship Network” Project

The Project is aimed at strengthening one of the principles of our organisation’s mission: “A network of friends who seek personal holiness through service to those in need and the defence of social justice”. The Project is, therefore, focussed on strengthening the bonds of friendship and fraternity, particularly among young Vincentians all over the world wherever the SSVP is present.

Antoine-Frédéric Ozanam, member and co-founder of the SSVP said: “I have never been able to live without friends”. Based on this idea, the Council General’s International Youth Committee is encouraging young members to join the Project, to strengthen the bonds of friendship and exchange their experiences in the Vincentian environment.

This is how the “International Friendship Network” operates:

I. The young person completes a registration form;

II. Every Sunday, details are provided of a new friend, by e-mail, so that they can be contacted;

III. The young people have a week to get in touch and get to know each other;

IV. One of the main ideas is to exchange experience about their Vincentian mission;

V. Language is not an obstacle, since the internet has technologies to overcome or reduce this problem. 

Links are provided below to register.

In just a few months, the project has reached over 400 people, who every week are sharing their dreams, hopes, activities, mission, experiences and prayer, thus strengthening their bond of friendship. 

One of those responsible for organising the project is Edgardo Fuentes, Territorial Coordinator for America 2, who tells us about his experience: “Language is not a barrier now in getting to know members in different parts of the world, from America to Asia. Amidst the pandemic we are living through, technology has allowed us to be close to our brothers and sisters, and we hope to reach out to more Vincentians”.

Willian Alves, International Vice-President for Youth at the Council General International points out that “this year, 2020, the theme of the International Day of Vincentian Youth, on 4th July, was ‘Young Vincentians sharing Hope and Charity’, so the Committee devised the ‘International Friendship Network project as a concrete way to express this, allowing young Vincentians to share their hope and charity around the world, and get to know new friends, other mission situations and work. This will certainly help to open up new horizons and prospects for action and mission, as agents of change through their vocation of service to the poor in the SSVP”. Willian Alves also pointed out that the International Friendship Network is another great initiative for young Vincentians towards Ozanam’s ideal and dream of embracing the world in a network of charity.

The next step for the Project will be to hold a major online meeting with all participants to share a time of prayer and spirituality for Canonisation of Blessed Antoine-Frédéric Ozanam. The Youth Committee will shortly set a date for this event.

Click on the link below to register for the ‘International Friendship Network’ Project.