On Monday 24 April, the Society of St Vincent de Paul announced the election of our new National President. Vincent Teboho Williams will lead the organisation, which was established in South Africa in 1856, for a three year term beginning in September 2023.
Established in France 190 years ago, the worldwide organisation of lay Catholics is run mostly by volunteers. They express their faith through service to the poor.
Passion for uplifting the poor
Williams, a 69 year old IT professional who runs his own business, has served the Society in his native Soweto. He has a passion for uplifting the poor. Encouraging young people to volunteer and serve is key to the organisation.
“Every day, our 2 500 members and volunteers reach out to vulnerable and marginalized people in their local community,” he said. “We aim to provide a hand up, not just a hand out. At the core of our work are over 200 parish committees known as ‘conferences’. Members from all walks of life join together to relieve suffering and promote human dignity amongst the poor.”
Of his new role, Williams says, “My predecessor has laid a strong foundation. I would like to build on this, so that we can expand our work throughout the country. My dream is that no person ever goes hungry. If we are to achieve this, we need committed people from all corners of our country to work together. And we need generous donors who want to make a difference.”
Members of SSvP work with those in need on a person-to-person basis. Our goal is to create a more just and compassionate South African community. Our work is centred on developing people, respecting their dignity, sharing our hope, and encouraging them to take control of their destiny.