8th March: Women bringing about Changes to Fight against Poverty
May all AIC volunteers and friends enjoy celebrating this day!
On International Women’s Day, we think especially of the fact that 70% of the world’s poorest people are women (globally there were 842 million under-nourished people in 2013). With AIC, by following our Operational Guidelines 2011-2015: “Education, a pathway to build together”, may we continue to support them by helping them to make the most of their own abilities so that they can get out of these disastrous situations.
Maritchu Rall, representative of AIC at the Conference of INGOs at the Council of Europe, has co-organised with the Association “Femmes remarquables d’Alsace” (“Remarkable Women from Alsace”) a meeting entitled “Women and their Voluntary Commitment”. She will speak about “Women bringing about changes to fight against poverty” and present the grassroots actions and projects undertaken on a daily basis by AIC volunteers all over the world.
Please let us know what initiatives you have participated in!
AIC Online Diploma
Over 650 volunteers and Vincentian Family members have signed up to the AIC “Diplomado” (Diploma) “Training to be Stronger Internationally”, a distance learning programme created by the AIC Regional Coordination Team in Latin America.
More details coming soon…
A Special Prayer for Ukraine
United in prayer this upcoming 15th March, Feast Day of Saint Louise de Marillac, let us have a special thought for our volunteers in Ukraine. They have sent us the following updates:
The situation in our country is changing every hour and every day. There is strong one voice coming from all churches – (Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant, Jews and Muslims) to protect the people in Ukraine (both Ukrainian and Russian speaking) and the territorial unity of the country. To express the unity of the country Russian speaking people have started to speak the Ukrainian language and Ukrainians are starting to speak the Russian language.
War has already started only weapons are not yet being used. Today during our AIC meeting our Spiritual Advisor was speaking about St. Vincent and war and has says that AIC needs to prepared to serve in this conflict by offering psychological support because this is current need of people and, in case of armed conflict in the comings days, also to help injured people. We pray that although the occupation has started, there will be no shedding of blood and no hunger.
Please pray for us.
This week continues to be very difficult and sad - special police forces are killing our people on the streets with guns. Yesterday even the governor of our region encouraged government to kill those who protest. Fear and panic arose. For now the people I know personally have not been injured.
We have hope that the violence of the past few days will not be repeated. Pray for us, that we will live without war and violence. Pass this petition to our AIC members and friends. Thank you.
Letter from AIC Philippines
Dear AIC Friends,
By now you must have heard what is happening and what has happened in the Philippines over the last few months.
When graces come they pour, when the calamities came they poured as well. The Zamboanga war, the earthquake in Bohol and then the strongest typhoon in the world hit Tacloban. My, my we asked, why the Philippines? CNN said the Filipino people are resilient, they don’t complain and are always joyful. Yet somehow, the people in the Visayas can hardly smile anymore, as they are hungry, homeless, jobless and have no water to drink or electricity. There is NOTHING left for them.
The spirit of giving has been awoken among Filipinos all over the Philippines. However this is not enough, with more than 2 million people in need and the number rising each day.
We appeal to you and our fellow AIC volunteers to please donate in cash whatever amount you can as it will really go a long way in making a great difference in the present situation. We have many groups in the Visayas, some affected, others not. The unaffected groups are taking charge of the distribution of relief to the affected areas with the help of the military. We are asking for cash donations, as transporting goods to the Visayas would create another problem. We are buying the goods in the Visayas, to lessen expenses.
All donations will be given receipts.
Looking forward to your generosity, on behalf of the suffering people of the Philippines.
God bless us all,
President of AIC Philippines
AIC-Peru receives the Delva Prize 2013
On 25th November, International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, an AIC project in Naranjos, Peru, was awarded the Jean and Claire Delva Prize 2013. It simultaneously combines elements of combatting violence and education (our Operational Guidelines).
The aim of this project is to support 70 women who are victims of domestic violence. The AIC volunteers in Naranjos are going to organize workshops aimed at preventing situations of violence, learning how to manage them and encouraging the building of self-esteem. They will be offered training to learn how to make food products with the goal of beginning an income-generating activity. Finally, some women will receive training in leadership and self-management in order to be able to continue the production activities and in turn pass on what they have learned in order to ensure the continuity of the project.
We would like to give our warmest congratulations to the Naranjos volunteers and our full encouragement to all those across the world who dedicate themselves to fighting violence against women.
Claire Delva, Laurence de la Brosse and the AIC Project Service
Vincentian Family Symposium
From August 9-11, Christine Peeters, AIC representative, was among the seventy two members of the Vincentian Family from every continent met in Paris to reflect on Vincentian management of the patrimony of those who are poor as Wise Stewards. The work was based on the conviction that the resources that the Lord has entrusted to us “are the patrimony of Jesus Christ, the sweat of poor people” (Costa XI p.201). Christine gave a presentation on accountability and transparency.
AIC celebrates World Day for Overcoming Extreme Poverty
17th October: World Day for Overcoming Extreme Poverty – AIC will be particularly involved in celebrating this day. In fact the team of AIC representatives will offer its expertise on the subject of fighting poverty and social exclusion to the different bodies within which we participate as an NGO: Aliette de Maredsous will make a contribution at UNESCO, Marie Christine Davy at the Council of Europe and Maritchu Rall will participate in a seminar organized at the French Embassy in Moscow. The primary objective of the team of representatives is to publicize the activities and grassroots projects of local AIC volunteers at the highest level.
En route for AIC's 400th Anniversary
For the occasion of the Feast Day of Saint Vincent on 27th September, our international Spiritual Advisor Father Eli Chavez sent us this letter, addressed to all the AIC volunteers:
Dear friends and sisters in Christ,
It is now nearly 400 years since AIC was created! Over these years how many paths have been trodden, how many stories we have to relate, how many dreams have come true – and how long a road lies still before us, how many dreams must we still conceive and realise!
As this significant date draws close, the “old AIC” praises the Lord for the abundant graces it has received and for having thus been given an opportunity to make a contribution to the work of Christ in serving the poor.
May the “old AIC” renew, cultivate and increasingly discover the joy, pioneering spirit and evangelical vitality of the ideal bequeathed to us by Saint Vincent and Saint Louise.
May the Holy Ghost, who inspired and guided the founders of our association, blessing it with so fruitful a spirit of charity, and so many dedicated volunteers, grant AIC the grace of continued perseverance in its mission of charity and the capacity to ever renew and renovate its commitment in the spirit of its original ideal.
As we follow this joyful path, may the Faith and Charity which inspired Saint Vincent and Saint Louise, as well as many volunteers past and present, be the driving force for the progress of AIC’s enchanted and enchanting mission and lead other volunteers to follow Christ the Evangeliser and Servant to the poor.
By adopting and applying the words of Benoit XVI, regarding the “Year of Faith” and the “new Evangelisation”, hopefully, all volunteers will be able to interiorize, communicate and celebrate this truth:
“We cannot allow for the salt of Faith to fade or the light of Charity to dim. Like the Samaritan and the Founders, today’s volunteers are capable of renewing the need to approach the well and listen to Jesus, who invites them to believe in Him and to collect the living water of Charity which springs from the fountain. That is why there is still a need for a more certain and radical commitment to a new Evangelisation, so as to revive the joy of serving by rediscovering the enthusiasm necessary to communicate Faith and Charity”.
Through the process of becoming enchanted and thus enchanting others with Christ’s passion for the poor, AIC strengthens its ideal through the mechanism of reciprocity. It thus develops its purpose, making an intense, creative and daring effort to enhance its strengths.
Certainly, pains, sins and problems encountered may cause disenchantments. May the divine grace make these be an opportunity for continuous conversion, purification and enhancement of the quality of the evangelical charitable service which is to be sought constantly with hope and trust in God.
And, as Saint Paul said, “I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: forgetting what is behind and straining towards what is ahead”. Phil 3:13-16.
With friendship, prayer and the desire to help, I join all the volunteers on this journey towards celebration. May their faith, mission and charity be fruitful.
Père Eli Chavez dos Santos, CM
AIC celebrates International Literacy Day in Madagascar
More than 300 volunteers and beneficiaries from the TSIRY project, an extensive education project that takes places in south Madagascar, were invited to participate in the celebrations for Literacy Day organized by the Minister for Education and the Director of Preschool Education and Literacy. The programme for the day included a carnival, some craft activities and a literacy evening. The minister presented the participants with a certificate after having listened to their speeches.
To find out more
For more information about the Tsiry project, see our AIC Solidarité website.
World Youth Day 2013 : AIC gives testimony before young Vincentians
The AIC Brazil President, Marla Barros, writes us: "I have just come back from the international meeting of the WYD. It was really a unique experience being amongst thousands of young people coming from different countries, all of them motivated by the same faith in Christ and the love of Saint Vincent. The joy they express is contagious and cheers us up to carry on our way full of hope as we know that they will not let the call for charity die..."
2013 AIC International Assembly of the Delegates - Bangkok - Thailand
120 AIC volunteers coming from over 20 different countries have met in Bangkok, Thailand, for the AIC International Assembly and Training Seminar. “Education – a two-way process. Educating ourselves to work together”, is the title of this year’s gathering, which has taken place at the Assumption University’s Suvarnabhumi Campus in Bangkok, Thailand from 14 to 17 March 2013, for the first time in the Asian Continent.
AIC is convinced that education, especially that of women, is key to poverty reduction. In the over 13.000 local projects that AIC volunteers are engaged worldwide, they have observed that education of women, with reciprocity at the basis of the process, has a long lasting impact on the community’s development and the future generations.
1° Impressions - March 14 : This is the first time AIC assembly ever to be held in Asia, and the co-coordinator for Asia, Joan Sarasin, is to be congratulated for all the hard work that she and her team have put into organizing this gathering in the beautiful surroundings of Assumption University.
It was good to hear about all the wonderful work being done by the AIC volunteers in Asia, in Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Philippines Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam. We started the day by praying for our new elected Pope, and subsequently Fr Peralta in his talk commented on this choice of name – Francis- suggesting humility, simplicity, and a servant of God . This serves as an inspiration to our work as AIC members of AIC.
In her opening speech, the international President, Laurence de la Brosse used the image of a flock of geese. By flying together in a shape each goose is able to fly at least 71% more effectively than if it were flying alone. If people had as much intuition as geese have, they would understand that success depends on team work, with each person taking on responsibilities, working together and helping each others.
During discussions in the afternoon, participants commented that we cannot do our work in AIC without the help of God. Everything we do is based on our Vincentian spirituality. Our busy and fulfilling day ended with a joyful and convivial folk evening of song and dance, with much audience participation. Marlene Burt, EB member.
2° Impresiones 15 de marzo: Hoy tenemos la gracia de celebrar el día de Santa Luisa de Marillac. Su recuerdo nos va a acompañar y animar a lo largo de nuestro día de trabajo, tras la hermosa y emotiva reflexión sobre Santa Luisa en el marco del año de la fe. Comenzamos pues con entusiasmo y gozo la jornada de hoy.
Hemos acogido con atención y avidez la exposición de los 4 proyectos AIC sobre la Educación, y nos ha emocionado la puesta en práctica y la evolución de todos ellos. El intercambio sobre lo que pueden aportar a nuestros respectivos proyectos ha sido rico, fluido y muy enriquecedor. También la tarde ha sido rica en emociones. El momento de la foto de grupo nos ha brindado un momento de alegría y de distensión calurosa, y ha supuesto un pequeño paréntesis en la jornada de trabajo, que hemos retomado con energía y entusiasmo. Tras el interesante ejercicio de reciprocidad que nos ha vuelto a situar en nuestras líneas programáticas, hemos trabajado intensamente en los talleres, por temas de proyecto. La idea de la reciprocidad, tratar a los beneficiarios de igual a igual, respetándolos, amándolos y haciéndoles sentir firmemente su dignidad, pedirles ayuda desde un plano de igualdad, como hijos de Dios que somos todos, hacerles sentir que los necesitamos, han sido conclusiones a las que se ha llegado en todos los grupos.
La Eucaristía ha sido una celebración gozosa y festiva, por ser el día de Santa Luisa y porque vamos avanzado y compartiendo juntos esta enriquecedora experiencia. También hemos vivido con alegría y distensión el bazar solidario, con risas, calurosas muestras de afecto y fraternidad. Un precioso día por el que dar gracias a Dios. Milagros Galisteo candidata al CE
3° Impressions – March 16th: The Asian volunteers were invited to share a workshop about AIC projects in Asia. It was coordinated by Aliette of Maredsous, AIC international Representation Coordinator, and Sumaia Sahade, E.B. member.
A brief resume of workshop: Donation of food : Thailand + Laos + Japan Donation of clothes : Thailand Nutrition project for children : Thailand, Philippines, Indonesia, Laos, Japan.
Visits to prisioners : Philippines Education projects, scholarships for children and for women : Thailand, Philippines, Japan, Indonesia.
Medicines project : Laos + Thailand.
In the afternoon, after a wonderfull cruise to discover Bangkok by boat, Solemn Mass celebrated by Bishop Banchong Chaiyara,C,SsR. Dinner at the new Pastoral Center of Holy Redeemer Church. (AIC Thailand Headquarters). Sumaia Sahade EB Member
This assembly was financed partly thanks to the generous support of : UNESCO - Fondation de France - Compagnie des Filles de la Charité - Missio
Welcome to Pope Francis.
AIC international would like to join the Universal Church in welcoming Pope Francis. In conjunction with the volunteers of the other 53 countries who belong to the AIC, we offer him our love and support. His message of serving the poor and abandoned in simplicity, humility and charity is also our mission. May his reign, supported by our Pope Benedict XVI prayers, bring about the unification and evangelization of Christ’s Church! Laurence de la BrosseAIC International President
World Communications Day 2013
World Communications Day 2013 to Focus on Social Media" SIGNIS WEBNEWS
Why being attentive to the popularity of the social networks?
Read more: http://www.signis.net/article.php3?id_article=5364
DPI/NGO Declaration to prepare RIO+20
Further to the 64th Conference of the Department of Information for the Non Governemetal Organizations (DPI/NGO) that was held in Bonn, Germany in September 2011, a declaration has been published.
The objectif of which is, on the one hand, to contribute to the sessions of the General Assembly gearded toward volunteering that will be held on December 5th on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the International Year of the Volunteers. And on the other hand, to prepare the Conference of the United Nations about sustainable development (Rio+20) that will be held in Rio in June 2012.
For more information, download the complete report
Template for project's presentation on AIC Website
1.- Name of the project: “Salgamos adelante” (Let's go forward)
2.- Country: Mexico
3.- Explanation of the focus given to the project (WHAT, WHO, WHERE?)
Support to blind people or those with any kind of visual impairment so that they can go forward on their own. This project is implemented by the volunteers from AIC-Puebla, in Mexico.
4. Objectives (WHAT FOR?)
To strengthen their self-esteem, integrate them into the world of work and also to raise awareness in society so that it will support such a project. We hope that for some of the blind people and part of the society, there will be an opportunity to commercialize the products developped in the project.
5.- Possibilities – Justifications of the Project (FOR WHICH REASONS?)
Before, a lot of the blind people from our Project were begging in the streets to survive, which is undignified as they have skills and capacities to work. That is why the volunteers spoke to them; after that, 65of them agreed to join the group and are now working.
6.- Strategies – Activities – Methods (HOW?)
Through conversations about self-esteem ; vocational training ; micro-credits and materials to develop their products; through a revolving fund that is used for buying materials to make, among other things, handicrafts to sell, buy cleaning products and sell fruit, traditional sweets, shoes, peanuts, cookies, pinatas, etc.; by networking with other associations and the government, so that they can sell their products in commercial places; by creating a music band too: a conductor has been found and as time goes on, they will be able to liven up feasts and religious events.
By encouraging them to play “volvol”, using a ball with little bells.
As far as spirituality is concerned, they are preparing to receive the sacraments.
7.- Action Plan (WHEN?) From 2009
1st step – Observation of the context: elements of the system and how they interrelate.
The AIC volunteers began with visiting people at home. On the basis of the socio-economic and domestic situation and information about their skills, the type of help to offer is decided, whether through micro-credits from a revolving fund, that they have to return according to the personal agreement they signed or through incomes to invest in materials for them to develop products.
8.- Project Coordinator: Marcela Sesin.
Local President of the Vincentian Volunteers of Puebla, A.C.: Carolina Cervera
9.- Emails: email@example.com
Presidenta local: Carolina Cervera: firstname.lastname@example.org
Template proposed by Sumaia Sahade (AIC-Brazil), EB member in charge of AIC Communication
UN: DPI/NGO: International NGO Conference in Bonn –
During this conference, Rose de Lima Ramanankavana, from AIC-Madagascar, AIC Project Coordinator for Africa, made a contribution about:
"Civic Engagement and Voluntary Actions for Achieving Sustainability". For more information and to download Rose's text, see:
open life webcast and scroll down to Roundtable III)
The full text is attached.
Non-governmental organizations and civil society are invited to attend the 64th United Nations DPI/NGO conference, “Sustainable Societies, Responsive Citizens” to be held from Sept. 3-5 in Bonn, Germany.
Over 1,500 members of civil society are expected to gather to discuss volunteerism and sustainability in high-level plenary and workshop sessions.
Among them, AIC that will be represented by 3 of its members:
- Laurence de la Brosse, AIC International President ;
- Rose de Lima Ramanankavana (AIC-Madagascar), in charge of AIC projects in Africa and former AIC Vice-president, who will speak in Round Table 3 about "Role of Civil Society in a Fast-changing World: Civic Engagement and Voluntary Action for Achieving Sustainability";
- Anne Sturm (AIC-Germany), former AIC international president, who took part in the preparatory work of the conference.
The conference also offers NGOs a strategic opportunity to mark the twenty-year review of the groundbreaking UN Conference on Environment and Development. The event is organized by the German government, the City of Bonn, the NGO/DPI Executive Committee, the German NGO focal group and UN Volunteers. Young people are particularly encouraged to attend.
plus d'info sur ce sujet)
International Labour Organization
On June 16, 2001, the International Organization of Work signed a convention about decent work for domestic workers.
AIC contributed in the elaboration of this convention via testimonies, particularly in Brazil. The beneficiaries of this convention are mainly poor women, very often migrants. Lots of them are partners in AIC projects, for example in Lima.
(learn more on this event)
New Spiritual Sheets
From now on, you can download the 2011 Spiritual Sheets: "Let us be guided by Sainte Louise". Numbers 1-2-3 are available under heading "Publications".
News from AIC Haiti president: “some volunteers have lost members of their families, their homes… We are living in the street and we’re lacking everything – water, food, shelter… We thank you for your prayers and all you are doing for us”
Let us help AIC Haiti to fonction for the poor again with our prayers and our generosity;
You may send your donations, mentioning “for Haiti” to the AIC account : IBAN: BE62 3100 3971 9061
AIC Madagascar - 2009 SYSTEMIC CHANGE AWARD WINNER
The Commission for Promoting Systemic Change has “decided to award just one Startup Grant this year” to the project TSIRY in Farafangana,Madagascar - “Against poverty and for education for all, acting together”.
Our best wishes to AIC Madagascar! May this project generate a systemic change in the communities of the South East Coast and others in the country.
To read more ...