The next FHA Conference will take place on 29-31 January 2024 at Adamson University (Manila, Philippines) under the theme: “Empowering Individuals & Communities: Vincentian Action in Slums”.
Slum dwelling is one of the forms of homelessness within the framework of the Ruff Institute of Global Homelessness. Presently, around 1.1 billion individuals are living in slums or slum-like conditions, and it is expected that an additional 2 billion will join them in the next three decades (UN Statistic Division, 2023).
The conference will aim at exploring the current trends in global slum dwelling and looking at responses the Vincentian Family and other Catholic organizations are currently offering the communities living in slums around the world, from Madagascar to Brazil, from the Philippines to Costa Rica. Considering these experiences, we will explore what more can be done, acknowledging that our current responses might just be the beginning of a journey of transformation for them, ourselves, and our societies. Workshops and panels will challenge us to think differently, systemically, and more broadly and to dare follow in the footsteps of St Vincent today. We will face the challenges that can only be addressed through global and local collaboration, effective partnerships and creative initiatives that place the slum dwellers’ communities at the center. We will also listen to testimonies from slum dwellers and meet with them during the visit of one of the Vincentian projects in Quezon City, because our dreams need to flow from the vision and perspectives of the lived experts’ communities. By listening to them, we will hear God’s call and respond boldly.
The FHA’s conference will last three days, bringing together 70 Vincentians from 20 countries, but its fruits are to grow in the following months and years. We probably have some Vincentian presence in most slums in the world. The mission will be to slowly combine, with the help of many partners, current forms of assistance – and at times move away from them – and engage in housing initiatives and community development projects with entire communities.