What has the Secours populaire observed about poverty and instability in France, Europe and around the world?
Nobody knows what the future will bring. Not the people who contribute nor those who receive support. Yet both attended the solidarity event organised by the Secours populaire in nearly 1,300 places throughout France and in 53 countries on all continents. You are about to read the figures in this activity report. But you can’t see the faces of the men, women, young people, boys and girls, graduates and the unemployed people we have met. Each person tries to put on a smile, just like the volunteers who provide the support they need, fearing that soon they will no longer be able to keep up with demand. It’s the anxiety of wondering if in the future, you or a loved one will also be affected. It’s the anxiety of wondering if the people they meet in the various departments and services, at all levels, will still be there tomorrow to listen to them and at least attempt to loosen the noose. It’s the anxiety of feeling alone and isolated in a world where human contact, meeting people and talking to others, looking for new ways to make life less worrying are all so important. At Secours populaire, we don’t have a magic formula, but by working with you, we can take action and ward off that anxiety by helping you out of unstable situations through training, work and sharing as a community.
How does the association work on a daily basis for a fairer and more united world?
It channels energy. That means responding to the tidal wave of instability by getting as many people as possible to work together. In 2022, the number of volunteers exceeded 90,000. It means allowing everyone to help organise widespread solidarity for all; from the collection of resources to concrete action with and for those who are victims of poverty and instability. It means ensuring that this unconditional and voluntary solidarity has a leverage effect in seeking more funds from companies such as foundations and institutions. It means affecting outcomes by looking for the reasons why individuals and communities struggle. It means acting unconditionally to provide education and support, a listening ear and a path towards dignity. It means driving solidarity for all, taking into account every aspect of what it means to be human, from dealing with emergencies to providing long-lasting support. It means developing solidarity throughout Europe and around the world through our network of partners who provide aid according to what people on the ground truly need. We can draw on this network to share experiences on common issues facing our continent and the planet. It means planning with and for future generations by deploying all our energy to facilitate solidarity initiatives led by young people and children. This activity report sheds light on these subjects and bears witness to the challenges faced in 2022 to create the conditions for a fairer and more united world.