President Society of St. Vincent de Paul in St. Dominic’s Catholic Church Yaba, Brother Ebele Anthony Esogbunem, speaks on beggars and meeting their needs. In this interview, he talks about what they do in St. Vincent de Paul.
What is the society all about?
The Society of St. Vincent de Paul (SSVP) is an international voluntary organisation in the Catholic Church, founded in 1833 in Paris, France. We aspire to live the gospel message by serving Christ in the poor with love, respect, justice, hope and working to shape a more just and compassionate society.
Summarise your aims and objectives?
Advocacy: Working to transform the causes of poverty and challenging the causes of human injustice.
Respect: Service to all regardless of creed, ethnic or social background or gender.
Integrity: Promoting, maintaining and adhering to our mission, visions and values.
Empathy: Establish relationships based on respect, trust and friendship.
Do the beggars/needy come to you or you fish for them?
For proper clarification we called the beggars/needy our ‘CLIENTS’. Some Clients come to us while we fish for some.
How do you distinguish between an executive beggar and the needy person?
We are able to distinguish between an executive beggar and a real client by carrying out a proper investigation on the information given.
How do you get resources for your society?
Through our benefactors, 1st Sunday Begging for the Poor Collection, donation and dues from members, Secret Bag Collection, Garage Sales, Weekly Stipends from the Pastor.
What modalities are adopted in the distribution of essentials to the needy in St. Vincent de Paul society?
On request, routine sharing and to other Charity Homes such as So Said, Old People’s Home, motherless baby homes, Samaritan project, Widows in the Parish, prison inmates, etc.
Are they empowered in any way to be independent and off the street?
After due investigation some of our Clients are empowered in petty business such as sale of basic food items, sale of wares, sale of drinks, confectioneries, etc.
Do you have any empowered person now or are they on the pipeline?
Yes, we just empowered a Client last week to start up a make-up business and some are in the pipeline. Also, we have school uniform/books projects (per term) whereby we sew School uniforms for pupils in different schools in our environs.
What are the challenges you face in achieving your set out goals?
Lack of funds. There are so many cases we cannot handle due to lack of funds; such as payment of rent, payment of hospital bills for terminal sicknesses, payment of school fees (private schools, private universities etc.), payment of fines to release inmates from prison.
What message would you like to pass across to fellow parishioners?
I want to sincerely thank our benefactors and parishioners for their kind generosity to the society. The cases are much; we are appealing to parishioners to support us in cash and kind.
Where do you see St. Vincent de Paul in the nearest future?
One: To have an empowerment centre; Two: To develop a client biometric data base to eliminate clients moving from one parish to the other; and Three: set up an education trust fund.
You can donate to St. Vincent de Paul through our society bank account details:
Bank: FIDELITY BANK
Account Number: 6060147892
ACCOUNT NAME: SOCIETY OF ST. VINCENT DE PAUL (ST DOMINIC CONFERENCE)
Also, visit the St. Vincent de Paul website: http://www.ssvpstdominic.com
Categorised in: St. Vincent de Paul
This post was written by Francisca Jemeni