Our 14 volunteer ambassadors are already spreading the word about the Alliance all over the world. Since the launch of the FHA in 2017, it has been clear the team will need all the help possible to achieve its ambitious objectives. As a global initiative, not everything can be carried out by our small team. That is why the FHA launched the volunteer ambassadors programme, whose first results we are starting to see.
The 14 ambassadors represent the diversity of the Vincentian Family, including people from different ages, backgrounds, continents and branches. Our ambassadors work in their communities and within existing Vincentian Family structures to encourage engagement and help those serving our homeless neighbours. They were chosen after an application process and they will remain in their volunteer role for two years.
They all came together in Paris in July for a three-day training session that combined presentations on the FHA and the 13 Houses Campaign with workshops on specific skills and visits to places associated with the Vincentian tradition. They also drafted their work plans for the following two years, setting their ambitions as ambassadors and how to fulfil them.
Since July, they haven’t stopped presenting the FHA and the 13 Houses Campaign wherever they could and encouraging Vincentians to join the Alliance. The Vincentian Family in Nigeria is going to organise a conference on homelessness after a presentation by our ambassador, Christiana Oronsaye (AIC). Father Ricardo Cruz CM in Peru is bringing more branches on board to carry out projects like the one he is working on in the North of the country. Ada Ferreira (SSVP) in Brazil spoke about the Campaign in front of an audience of several thousand during a televised Vincentian event. Our ambassadors from Lebanon and Rwanda, Rodolph Haddad and Father Henri Matsinga CM, organised a visit of Lebanese missionaries to a refugee camp in Rwanda.
These are only a few examples of the work they are doing. Want to get in contact with one of our ambassadors? Message us and we can link you up.
Frander Vindas, Costa Rica, our youngest ambassador
As a young lay Vincentian, I can’t stop thanking God for this experience. I have the chance to commit myself and to try to get the Costa Rican Vincentian Family involved with the FHA. We may have difficulties and issues, but I believe that working together we are stronger, and from a humble small dream we can make a difference for homeless people.
Getting to know the different realities of the other ambassadors and how they are responding in their countries, encourages me. As St Vincent was never alone in his work, I feel supported by the other ambassadors, the FHA team and the whole Vincentian community globally.
My experience in Paris opened my eyes to the huge amount of people left in the cold, in precarious conditions, displaced for political reasons or catastrophes or other reasons. But as Vincentians, we have the opportunity to change their lives through love, simplicity and justice. Giving them back that place called home, under the teaching of St Vincent de Paul.