There is an ongoing relationship of support between us and the Zimbabwe SVP region and its Conferences. During our recent Region’s Members Day in Kells we talked about misgivings conference members within the region may have about supporting SVP in a foreign developing country.
The comment “Charity begins at home”, “Why should we give help abroad when we have so many needy of our own” and “The money is needed in this country first and foremost” arose a number of times.
It is my intention in my voluntary capacity as Regional Twinning Officer, to address the most common questions that came from people at the Members Day as a point of information in all future newsletters.
In the following I will attempt to address those concerns:
Nobody disputes that “charity begins at home”. It’s part of our moral humanness and our faith that we must care for our neighbours at home. Our faith clearly does not limit our neighbour to be the person who lives near us.
Concern and charity have no boundaries in the same way that poverty and injustice have no boundaries. The horrific news stories in recent weeks of people trafficking across the Mediterranean onto the coasts of Italy, Greece, and Spain are a sad reply to the notion that “charity begins at home”.
As SVP members if we do not have a worldview, as our founder Frederic Ozanam did, then the desperate of this world will come to us, without limitation, out of their need. Our charitable response to the wider world and particularly assisting to build strong local organisations with moral reinforcing through an ongoing relationship is the only response that will save our children's world in the long term.
The SVP Council General officially launched Twinning in 1954. Twinning is one of the core activities of SVP for the last 61 years. Many people were surprised by this at our Members day. Our conference contribution of 2%, through our levy, to the twinning fund is a very small contribution to the desperate needs of the wider world where 87% of our global brothers and sisters live in relatively very poor countries.
As a result of our Region’s Members Day two people volunteered to be Area Twinning Officers – both of whom are from Meath. Thank you!! I am still seeking a volunteer from each county within our region to liaise with on twinning issues.
Please let your Area President or contact our Regional Office on 041-9873331 if you are willing to talk with me about the possibility of being an Area Twinning Officer.
SVP North East and Midlands Region
Member St Patrick's Conference, Trim, Co. Meath