We received quite some response on our last post and we are glad that hunger and homeless people in the middle of wealthy Europe are not yet taken for granted.
This is also one of the reasons why we have decided to dedicate most our time in France to problem of hunger in Paris.
New meetings, new encounters
Previous week was a time spent on making new friendships and for getting deeper insights into problem of poverty in France. We were seeking for various options on how to participate in voluntarily activities that focus especially on the people from the streets.
Daughters of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul
Following the recommendation of a friend, we first visited the head office of women’s religious community Daughters of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul. There we could meet with a Slovenian sister Francka Saje.
Daughters of Charity originated in France and operate in the charisma of the founders of the order; St. Louise de Martillac and St. Vincent de Paul, who devoted all his life to poorest people in France. I already wrote something about him here.
Courage and determination save lives
By the way, as we were told by sister Francka, two of their sisters of mercy were present in that church in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray in Normandy, where a recent terrorist attack took place.
The tragic ended fatal for the 86-year-old priest, but it could soon be ending this way for everyone else in the church, if not for one of the sisters, who secretly escaped and immediately informed the police. Thank You God for her courage and determination!
Sister Francka supplied us with a contact of organization Depaul France, whose main mission is to work with the homeless in the poor districts of Paris. Depaul France is a part of the international organization Depaul, which operates in many countries around the world to support the homeless and other marginalized groups of people.
Especially interesting and effective is their “mobile shower”, a camper which provides the homeless with all the necessary toiletries. Whereas in certain parts of Paris there are missing spaces for washing, this kind of solution is warmly welcomed and very useful.
Depaul organisation is convinced that purity and personal care are essential first steps away from living in the street labyrinths.
We also visited the seat of the Emmanuel Community, which in addition to the New Evangelization also responds to the needs of the modern world. Of course we inquired about various initiatives that are focusing on the problem of the homeless.
David, a priest in the community, mentioned the organisations of Rocher and Aux Captifs La Liberation, both major institutions to take care of people from the streets of Paris and prostitutes.
The stomach does not take a summer break
But as we were informed, the problem lies with charities in France, which all close their doors in August due to holidays and vacations. Therefore, this month is particularly difficult for people who are dependent on their help, especially with preparing and distributing food.
But since God made a man the way that a person needs to eat in August as well, the organization Août Secours Alimentaire (August assistance in distribution of food) starts to most actively operate in this very period.
Volunteers distributing food
We found their contact numbers and made a visit the next day. As we discovered, they were indeed in a great need of some help.
We gladly offered our helping hands between August 1st and September 1st to join a group of numerous volunteers, who deliver food to all who could not afford a proper meal and would have to beg for food otherwise.
They are successful. With a help of 450 volunteers, they are able to deliver approximately 600.000 meals in a single month time!Homeless are hungry in-spite August holiday season Click To Tweet
Thus, we found our place in Paris and we both feel that this way we can contribute to a social environment, representing the most pressing current problem in France.
Join our forces
I will write more on Août Secours Alimentaire in my next post as we get better insight to their activities. So, every day between 2 PM and 8 PM we became volunteers in food distribution centre!
We made another promise to Mr Philippe Brouant, Director of this organization. We will open up another ‘Piggy Bank’ on our website to operate the whole month of August in order to collect money for this cause.
There are approximately 12.000 people living in precarious social conditions in Paris. Among them are the elderly, women, children and families. They are living in difficult housing conditions and are faced with loneliness, depression and material poverty. Your donation, even if only a few euros, would contribute to some carefree days for many street people, at least as far as food is concerned.
No, we are not collecting money for hungry African children, we collect for hungry people in the heart of our wealthy Europe!
If you want to join us in this charity campaign, you are cordially invited. You can make a donation on the bank account below or via our website here.
Operando, društvo za medsebojno pomoč in spodbujanje dobrodelnosti
SI-4245 Kropa, Slovenia
Bank account: SI56 0510 0801 4262 678
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