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 186 partnerships. In 2021-2022 (March 31, 2022), contributions to 20 recipient countries amounted to $219,335.
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.
Ten projects in six countries in 2021-2022:
- Antigua: medical assistance
- Colombia: support to a drop-in center for the homeless; expansion of a nursery for poor children; construction of a house for a poor family.
- Dominica: financing of a residence for families in need; support to the elderly (Adopt-a-Gran)
- Jamaica: “Maison Ozanam” project for seniors
- Nicaragua: construction of latrines; drinking water distribution system.
- Zambia: educational project
- Total contributions: $41,020 (2021-2022)
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
Donna Thompson, BC & Yukon Regional Council
Cathy Pidhirney, Western Regional Council & NWT
Guido Kelly, Ontario & Nunavut Regional Council
Claude Roy, Quebec Regional Council
Judy Peddle, Atlantic Regional Council
“St. John/Holy Spirit Conference is located in Edmonton, AB. In 2004, conference leaders decided to expand their support to needy friends across geographic borders, in a less fortunate country that needed their support. Through a twinning initiative, the conference was linked with St John Fisher’s Conference, Manchester, Jamaica. This conference serves a rural area and was in great need of assistance in meeting the many and varied needs of the people in the community. At the start of this long-distance relationship, the area had been badly affected by a hurricane so the needs were great for the basics of life. For nearly two decades, our conference has been privileged to provide regular funding to support the work of St John Fisher’s Conference. With these funds, local leaders supported the families’ educational efforts by providing them with books, uniforms and help with school fees. They supported local health needs by funding doctor visits and prescription drugs as well as groceries and toiletries for seniors in their communities. They recently provided funds to ensure a funeral and dignified burial for a homeless man.
One of the most rewarding aspects of this twinning initiative is the ongoing and regular communication with this conference, including exchanging letters, maps and photos of the work being done to support those less fortunate on this remote island. In addition to regular reports on the use of the funds provided, we share a prayer at each meeting. We feel blessed to be part of this common commitment to serve the poor and we thank our Heavenly Father for giving us this opportunity to work together through the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul. »
Marie Owen, President and Theresa Muench, Spiritual Advisor St John/Holy Spirit Conference, Edmonton, Alberta
“There are many things, projects and pending plans that we would like to do in our conference in order to help our less fortunate brothers, who have increased in numbers due to displacement, violence and unemployment in the country. The cost of living has increased as well as the violence of criminal armed groups. Despite all the above, we consider that the year 2021 has been a year of great challenges, and thanks to God, we have been able to serve the poorest with love and charity.
We thank you for your “precious collaboration” and your financial assistance which helped us to carry out our work. The twinning has been a lifeline for the activities carried out last year by the Vincentian brothers and sisters in Colombia. »
San Fernando Rey Conference, Amaga, Colombia, 2021 Annual Report