St. John of God Fundraising Alliance
The St. John of God Fundraising Alliance met for its Coordination meeting at the General Curia of the Brothers of St John of God in Rome on Friday 23 March, attended by Afmal Ong for Italy, Juan Ciudad ONGD for Spain, the St. John of God Development Company for Ireland and the Netherlands, (the OH Province of Western Europe), the Association pour l’Aide aux Jeunes Infirmes et aux Personnes Handicapées, France, and the Benito Menni Foundation of the Sisters Hospitallers of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, both of which had been invited to the meeting.
The NGOs attending the meeting were able to illustrate their international cooperation projects implemented over the past Sexennium, with institutional videos and detailed reports on the initiatives they have been supporting, as well as explaining the programmes scheduled for the near future.
The meeting was called to order by the Alliance Coordinator Brother Moisés Martín Boscá O.H., director of the Missions and International Cooperation Office of the General Curia, who welcomed and thanked all the participants representing the humanitarian organisations present.
The meeting began with an address by Fr Renato Colizzi SJ describing the organisation and modus operandi of the Jesuits’ “Xavier” European Network. It was a very valuable discussion which enabled us to learn about the strategies and efficient operational protocols implemented by the Jesuits for their international cooperation projects in the developing world.
After the first speaker, a very wide-ranging debate ensued in which everyone was able to share their ideas on the measures that could be adopted to improve the effectiveness of our assistance both to the Brothers and for emergency situations. The Alliance meetings have always been working towards creating a Network of associations of the Order of St John of God in order to channel the efforts of each one into the fields of health care and improving the living conditions of people still living in dire poverty and social distress. Much of the discussion focused on the new structure of the Alliance proposed by the Coordinator to set up a more specific and focused arrangement for each area/sector of the Alliance, in order to hasten the dissemination of information. Having a more organic structure would enable the Alliance to be more efficient by optimising its work and to be more incisive in terms of communications and fundraising, while at the same time optimising the resources and the hard work put in by individual NGOs.
The Alliance is an important forum for debating, coordinating and exchanging information in addition to jointly designing projects; the primary purposes are to educate, form and sensitise people, the stakeholders, and the media, on the issues which the NGOs belonging to it are engaged on addressing. Any improvement emerging from these meetings make it possible to step up our assistance to people in need.
In conclusion, Brother Moisés Martin Boscá OH thanked all the participants and urged them never to stand still, even during this transitional phase of change, because “solidarity means being steadfastly and perseveringly committed to the common good, for the good of each and all.” Our Hospitaller Order must, above all, feel its responsibility towards everyone, and must work to persuade our neighbours to assist the poor and the needy. This can also be done by networking with other areas of the institution. We must therefore move forward, and leave our footprints as we do so, never ceasing to act.