The purpose of the twinning is to help Vincentian sisters and brothers in emerging countries to carry out their mission of charity and social justice.
It is the main “Special Work” of international fraternal assistance of the Society. It is to work in solidarity with the poorest of this world through spiritual sharing, friendship and financial resources. Twinning opens a window on the suffering and destitute humanity in the countries under the responsibility of the SSVP – Canada. The deepening of ties and the material help arouse compassion and the joy of serving the most unfortunate.
To all members of the Society of Saint-Vincent de Paul, please follow this link to access resources related to twinning: Twinning Resources
The Society in Canada is constantly seeking to increase the number of twinning in order to broaden the scope of its assistance in the Designated Countries. Canadian conferences and councils are currently involved in 195 partnerships. In 2022-2023 (March 31, 2023), contributions to 21 recipient countries amounted to $204,560.
Partner countries: Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Colombia, Dominica, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Cayman Islands, Saint Kitts Island, British Virgin Islands, India, Jamaica, Nicaragua, Peru, Dominican Republic, Saint Lucia, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Uganda, Ukraine and Zambia.
The projects carried out and in still in progress aim to improve the living conditions of small communities and to enable them to take charge of their life.
Six projects in five countries in 2022-2023:
- Dominica: “House of Hope” funding for the elderly
- Dominica: H.A.P.P.Y. program, sponsorship of students from poor families.
- Grenada: “Healthy Start Breakfast” – lunches for 35 pre-school children
- Guatemala: construction of a house for a poor family.
- Nicaragua: Construction of latrines, La Estacion.
- Zambia: Educational project
Total contributions: $ 21,475 (2022-2023)
Promoting the program
Promotion activities are carried out through the involvement of Regional Coordinators, our Facebook page and Newsletters sent to conferences and councils. In addition to twinning partnerships, support for small projects ($3,000 – $10,000) is encouraged to enable families to take charge of themselves and improve their living conditions. This aspect of international solidarity continues to develop. Additionally, twinning partners from Canada sent additional contributions to their Vincentian friends following the COVID-19 pandemic, which hit developing countries hard in 2021.
Clermont Fortin, Chairperson, national twinning
Regional Twinning Coordinators
Ann Matthews, BC & Yukon Regional Council
Mike Langedock, Western Regional Council & NWT
Guido Kelly, Ontario & Nunavut Regional Council
Claude Roy, Quebec Regional Council
Patricia Mount, Atlantic Regional Council
“Allow me to share my twinning experience with our current twinning partner, the Palmira Particular Council, Colombia. The Toronto North Particular Council started twinning with this Council in 2018 and we are pleased with the renovations that has been done to the premises of the Elderly Welfare Center, Casa del Mendigo, Palmira Colombia. The Centre, supported by the Palmira P.C. is hosting 60 vulnerable seniors.
Twice a year in May and November we send funds to our twinning partner, and in return, we are blessed with reports and pictures of the work they do and have done to make the premises a workable and livable environment both for the volunteers and the occupants.
Ana (Ana Lucia Borja Cabrera) the Council President, never fails to provide us with pictures which speaks volume of the work they continue to do both for the care and compassion of the elderly and the volunteers.
We look forward to sharing our twinning experiences in years to come.”
Toronto North Particular Council, September 2022
Conferencia Palabra y Vida, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
St. Francis of Assisi Conference, Wolfville N.S, Canada
“Our Conference meets in the parish of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal, located in a populous neighborhood of Santo Domingo. And there we meet weekly to share training issues, pray and plan our pastoral work.
In the meeting room we have a space where we prepare the food we buy and acquire with the contribution of some parishioners who also contribute. Currently we assist 8 families, since they are elderly, with special health conditions, who live alone, in very poor houses. They live in our neighborhood and every month we bring them a bag of food, disposable diapers, clean their small houses, provide medicine for those with a permanent health ailment. We have plans to carry out various activities to collect materials so that, with the funds we are receiving, we can repair the structure of the small houses where they live
We contribute to our sponsored children (this is what we call the regular people we attend to). If a relative falls ill or dies, we pay for the expenses of the wake and we facilitate a meeting with the families to be able to place them in a safer place, and taking responsibility for assisting them.
We visit them and talk to them about their primary needs, then we respond to the needs expressed. Together with the VMY (youth group) of the parish, we have carried out missions in areas outside the city, and these young people often help us in the distribution of food, so they are encouraged; in the future they can be our emerging generation of Conference members.
Also, our Conference took the initiative of a dispensary in 2007, obtaining the support of the entire parish and the Mayor’s Office. We are housed in a 2 floors building. However, due to many factors, the assistance of volunteer doctors decreased and with the pandemic, we were forced to close it. After the restructuring of the Conference, we are planning to restore this service and, we are already looking for help once again to reactivate it, which is so needed due to the number of sick people in the community.
We have a large number of volunteers; a Medical Director has been one of our members for 21 years. During this time we have coordinated medical and ophthalmological operations, delivery of medicines; we have a system in place to lend crutches, walkers, medical multi-positions beds, wheelchairs, canes and portable toilets to patients in our community.
Finally, dear brothers and sisters from Canada, thank you for taking our Conferencia Palabra y Vida to participate in the twinning program. As we have informed you, you are of great help for the amount of service work that we do in our community. Looking ahead to next year, we hope to maintain effective communication of all the activities that we are planning and, with your help, we will be able to improve the lives of people in great need. Thank you! “
Nancy Elizabeth Abreu Valdez, President
Conferencia Palabra y Vida, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic