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     Home > Culture & Society  >  2013-10-17 10:06:43
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17 October: Day for the Eradication of Poverty

(Vatican Radio) Every year on October 17th, we mark The International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. Recognised by the United Nations in 1992, this day is celebrated throughout the world, but the first commemoration of the event took place in Paris in 1987 when 100,000 people gathered on the Human Rights and Liberties Plaza to honour victims of poverty, hunger, violence and fear.The day was inspired by the life and work of Father Joseph Wresinski, the founder of the Fourth World Movement.

Vatican Radio's Linda Bordoni spoke to Reverend Nick Edwards, Chair of the ADT Fourth World UK movement about this annual observance and its significance.
But first he talks about who Father Joseph Wresinski was and how he gave meaning to his vision… listen to the interview... RealAudioMP3

Rev Edwards explains that Father Wresinski was born of migrant parents in France, and he grew up in a family that suffered chronic poverty and exclusion. His mom sent him to Church to serve at the altar as a little boy and that had a huge impact on him. He was ordained a Catholic priest in 1946 and worked in industrial and poor parishes. But critically, in 1956 he was asked to go and be a Chaplain to about 250 families living in temporary accomodation in Noisy-Le-Grand just outside Paris, they were in shelters in a muddy field. And he - speaking of that - said it inspired everything that he undertook subsequently, trying to work with the needs of those families, "not in terms of charity as such, but just in terms of trying to get alongside them and develop the work.

Fr. Wresinki was also the founder of the ADT - Fourth World Movement. Rev Edwards talks about the aims of the movement saying that includes an engage the poor themselves "as they understand povertybetter than anyone else".

Rev. Edwards explains that ADT "is not a charity providing relief to the poor, its volonteers living and working in the communities in which the poorest live, taking a human rights approach to their condition, working and supporting them on a grass roots basis, with the aim of creating awareness, changing people's own conditions with their own efforts wherever that is possible...".


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