The year 2017 gives the movement ATD (Agir Tous pour la Dignité) Fourth World the occasion to celebrate the 100 years of the birth of its founder, Joseph Wresinski and the 60 years of its creation. This October 17, 2017, is also the 30th anniversary of the World Day for the rejection of extreme poverty that the association has established. Examples of initiatives to fight poverty in African countries. Report.
►In Burkina, culture to get children out of the street
In Burkina Faso, the team of ATD Fourth World goes through culture to try to reconnect street children and their families. Once a week, ATD volunteers run reading sessions under streetlights in neighborhoods where street children usually live.
Ousseini Gouba, an ex-street child who tries to make music, is now helping ATD Fourth World in the struggle to get children out of the street and join their families. In Ouagadougou, it has the mapping of all the sectors where these children reside.
“I come twice a week, once a day and once a night,” he says.
Support recognized by Sylvain Lestien, one of the volunteers of ATD Fourth World in Burkina Faso.
“He shows a courage that surprises us a lot, which amazes us since he spends his time pedaling on his bike in the streets of Ouagadougou to see all the children he knew and who are still on the street,” Said ATD Fourth World volunteer.
The mission for Guba is to convince the children to re-establish contact with their families. And it goes through a whole process.
“We talk with the child. We try to find out what brought him to the street, his first name, his last name … we must know all that. We do not ask a child to go back to his family, like that. This is what is done with the child who will lead him to decide, to say “Ah! I’ll go back to the family. You have to help me, “he explains.
To carry out his struggle, Ousseini Gouba tried his hand at music. He already has some songs that his ex-street comrades listen to every encounter.
“As long as there are children under the lampposts, I will continue to meet them,” promises Ousseini Gouba.
►In South Africa, poverty has increased by 2% in 5 years
According to the UN, one person escapes extreme poverty every second. This is not the case in South Africa where poverty has increased by 2% in five years. More than half of South Africans live below the poverty line. A situation that is worsening with the recent economic recession.
Every Monday morning, at the headquarters of the NGO Dorcas, in Johannesburg, they are 150 to come and eat a piece of bread and drink a bowl of soup. They do not have stable work, sometimes not even houses.
Daniel is 50 years old. He spends all the money he earns to feed his two children who live with him in Soweto.
“If I win 5 euros a day, that’s enough. When I find work, I maintain the garden of people or I wash their car. It’s like that, we have to survive, “he explains.
He, therefore, earns on average 70 euros per month, just above the poverty line. Sitting right next door, Sidney picks up cans and bottles every day to sell them.
“In the good days, I can hope to win 2 euros. When the salary is good, I take advantage to bet! ” He said.
He spends the equivalent of a day’s work to bet on football matches every Saturday.
According to the NGO’s president, Lionel Cohen, wealth gaps are increasing in the country at the expense of the poorest.
“Even the middle class is collapsing today. There is nothing between the very rich and the poor,” he said.
According to statistical studies, young women in rural areas are the most affected.
►In Congo, a religious congregation has been fighting for 42 years
On this day of celebration of the elimination of poverty, the Congo does not organize any particular activities. However, a religious congregation has been doing this work for 42 years in the Little Sisters of the Poor home near Brazzaville Cathedral where she cares for the elderly, destitute and sometimes abandoned.
Clad in white, scarf tightly clasped over her head, Sister Virginia presents us the house of the Little Sisters of the Poor.
“We are at the Little Sisters of the Poor, near the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Brazzaville. We have close to fifty elderly people (men and women) at our charge.” This establishment, with spacious rooms and corridors, is located in a very quiet residential area. Here, we take exclusively care for the elderly.
“Our only work or apostolate is to look after elderly people who are often poor, destitute and sometimes abandoned. There are some who have families and others who do not. So they need to be helped and assisted. We accompany them to the end of their lives,” explained Sister Virginia, visibly enthusiastic.
Operational since 1975, this house currently hosts some fifty pensioners. His work is greeted by Didier Boutsindi, a faithful Catholic.
“I just visited her. The managers look after the elderly. They take care of everybody. Above all, they are well organized and well structured,” he testified.
The six religious sisters, as well as the twenty or so employees who work there, are calling all physical and moral persons to donate.