The SSVP Suriname, Tackling the Challenges of Service for the Poorest
Coping with the difficulties arising from the pandemic, Paramaribo’s Conference consolidates the Vincentian presence in the country.
In Suriname, a young nation on the northeastern Atlantic coast of South America, the SSVP consolidates its presence thanks to the work carried out by the only Vincentian group in the country: ‘Saint Rose of Lima’ Conference. It was founded in 2015 in Paramaribo, the nation’s capital, and, currently, has 10 active members.
The Covid-19 pandemic also impacted the country, especially the Vincentian work. Even so, the conference keeps on carrying out its charity work: some projects were undertaken in the second half of 2020, with its own resources and donations collected.
In October 2020, the SSVP Conference helped several families and delivered school supplies kits to their children. Despite fundraising problems stemming from the pandemic, the initial plan was to help only 8 children from households regularly visited by the conference. However, the group members decided to seek more donations to expand the project, and they got 15 kits of school supplies, donated by Digicel, a company belonging to the telecommunications sector. Thus, more families could be supported in this project.
Paramaribo’s SSVP Conference also supports other organizations and charitable actions. In August 2020, conference members helped the Diocese of Paramaribo in the delivery of food packages to needy families.
In December 2020, the conference was committed to many activities to serve those in need. Once again, the group delivered food packages to families assisted by the SSVP. It also supported a Christmas campaign, launched by another organisation, by delivering Christmas gifts at children homes (many of them orphans). This organization has been carrying out this Christmas campaign for several years. The children themselves are the ones who hint at the gift they really want. Anyone can sign up to give gifts to one or more children. This was also the case of the SSVP Conference, which has decided to participate in this campaign every year from now on.
Sister Dolores Moestar, President of the Paramaribo’s SSVP Conference, tells us that the next project on the Conference agenda is to cook for the homeless (end of January 2021). “These people are going through a difficult time, because the Surinamese Foundation for the homeless is closed. They’re needy people who can’t be forgotten. Even with all the current difficulties, we are motivated and count on the support of donors to continue witnessing the Vincentian presence in Suriname”, she said.