The ‘twinning’ concept of the strong helping the weak is at the heart of Christianity. As the main Catholic charity serving the poor, SSvP must take the lead in calling Catholics to action. In this, we cannot find a better example than that set by the Holy Father. Pope Francis often draws attention to the plight of the poor – and his words, actions and compassion are an inspiration to us all.
Sadly, many of us view good works or acts of charity as “nice to do” – provided they do not interfere with other, more important aspects of our lives! But if, as Catholics, we believe that everything we have in life is a gift from God, then we have a duty to share these gifts with others less fortunate. If you think about it, our lives could have been so different – more like the lives of the poor that we should serve and sometimes forget!
Concern and good intentions are simply not enough – we have to act. But how do we encourage and empower Catholics to serve the poor in the face of the current culture of apathy?
We believe that collaboration between business, schools and charities is the answer. And this is where the twinning system works so well.
Previously, twinning at both local and international level was purely a financial transaction between donor and recipient. Unfortunately, this reinforces the South African culture of dependency. Because, when you are used to getting money without any effort, there is no need for innovation or empowering action. Add to this the problem of dwindling donations, and the system is clearly unsustainable.
We aim to introduce more interactive and interdependent relationships between donors and recipients. This will be managed by National and Central Council twinning officers, who will actively:
- Encourage conferences to help themselves rather than depending on others;
- Create awareness of SSvP activities among the youth and business;
- Create trust between business and SSvP conferences;
- Ensure a structured approach to good works and financial control;
- Instill confidence that business resources are being put to good use;
- Enable volunteers to donate time and skills in the most effective way;
- Prove that people can make a difference in a specific way on a specific project.
The new twinning model will be implemented during the third quarter of 2018 and the whole of 2019. Training courses will be held at Central and District Council levels and this training will filter down to Conference level through the district training team.
Use the links alongside to find out more about the various types of twinning.