The Coordinator of the Famvin Homeless Alliance (Mark McGreevy) visited India lately. The following is one of the reflections on the work the Vincentian Family in India is undertaking in the field of homelessness and in particular in celebration of the 400th Anniversary of the Vincentian Charism by involvement in the 13 Houses Campaign. This piece focuses on the work of the Society of St Vincent de Paul and their work with the Daughters of Charity
We arrived in the city of Bangalore and were greeted by the District President of the Society of St Vincent de Paul, Mr. G. Francis Victor, and members of his council. The work of the SVP in Bangalore is truly impressive with a focus on visitation of poor and support for young people in education – often paying the school and university fees for families that would otherwise go without.
One other work of the charity at the planning stage is to take part in the 13 Houses Campaign and rehouse 13 of the poorest families living in slum accommodation in Bangalore, we had the privilege of visiting these families and hearing their stories at first hand. These houses will allow families to live a life of dignity and escape poverty in which they are trapped. The picture below shows Mr. Francis with one of the families in front of their slum home that will be knocked down and rebuilt. This project is also supported by the Congregation of the Mission and the Daughters of Charity pictured during our visit.
In addition to this scheme, we met with Dr. Tommy Varghesse of the SSVP who told us about the plans the Vincentian Family have in the northern provinces of India to build a homeless village comprising 22 houses in Kandhamal in the district of Odisha. This area was badly affected by recent inter-religious riots in which many people were killed. The aim of this project is to show in practice that all faiths can live together in peace and harmony. Again this project is designated to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the Vincentian Charism and will be part of the 13 Houses Campaign.
The SSVP and the emerging Vincentian Family are very powerful witnesses to the Vincentian call to action. It was a joy to share some time with them and to understand and celebrate their works. The Vincentian mission is alive and well in India.
This blog is outlining one of the works of the Vincentian family in India. If you or your part of the family feel you can help in any way to make the dreams of the Vincentian Family for the 13 Houses Campaign come to life please contact the office of the Famvin Homeless Alliance at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mark McGreevyCoordinator Famvin Homeless Alliance