“Justice is a fixed star which human societies try to follow from their uncertain orbits. It can be seen from different points of view, but Justice itself remains unchanged.”
Blessed Frederic Ozanam - the Society’s Founder
What is Twinnage?
SVP groups in developed countries are twinned with groups overseas for mutual prayer and support. Groups in England and Wales send funds on a regular basis to support their twins in a practical way.
We recently received a letter from twinned groups in Sudan sharing how they were able to use about £1200 to assist 124 people with flour, blankets, food and money. This is in an area about 300 miles from Khartoum. To read the whole letter, please click here.
The History of Twinnage at the SVP
The SVP's commitment to personal contact appeared to preclude it from assisting developing countries until Pope John XXIII suggested a twinnage programme whereby financial support be given to members in developing countries, by groups in the developed world. Groups in England and Wales are twinned with groups in India, Grenada, Guyana, Romania, Sudan and South Sudan. This enables members on the spot not only to provide "first aid" but also to finance projects and initiate schemes that make the local population self-sufficient - e.g. supplying bicycles, sewing machines, or animals, providing loans to start small businesses and digging wells. Correspondence and mutual prayer are essential features of this twinning. In 2012/13, Conferences in England and Wales were twinned with 1,786 Conferences overseas.
A scholarship scheme for students in India can provide a year's training for just £60. Students have been trained as teachers, nurses and engineers through this scheme.
The fall of communism in Eastern Europe has left some ordinary people very vulnerable, as economies restructure. There is much work for the young local SVP to do and the Society in England and Wales has taken a special interest in Romania , helping to set up many new groups. The children who had been so terribly affected by poverty (not only the ones in orphanages), are now young people needing jobs and accommodation, with many having families of their own. They are often in need of our help.
What does Twinnage Involve?
Prayer is the key aspect of any successful Twinning. The promise to pray for the Twin is really what sets Twinnage apart from a secular exercise.
It is impossible to really have a good relationship with a Twin without a closer link. Correspondence is the answer and letters should be exchanged at least three times each year. In this way a true bond can be established.
The tangible evidence of our sharing is shown by our Financial Support. This helps our oversease Brothers and Sisters to increase their efforts to overcome the poverty in their own Parishes.
Other aspects of Twinnage
Projects are always initiated by a Twinned Conference overseas and approved by its National Council. The chance to support a Project is always offered first to the Twin in this country. Projects may be for Training Institutes, starting small businesses, equipment for tradesmen, sanitation, housing and many others. If a UK Conference can help support a Project, contact your Central Council Twinnage Representative.
Student Sponsorship helps with the education of poor students in India. Currently £15 is all that is needed to help one student in their studies for a year.
Disaster Fund is designed to meet the immediate needs of the poor ANYWHERE when a disaster of any kind strikes. Almost as soon as it has reached the news, it is likely that a donation is on its way to the National Council of the affected country.
General Reserve is a fund used to meet any other financial demands that are not covered above. It can fund one-off projects, such as the Good Shepherds in Sudan, St Martin’s Home for the Aged in Grenada and similar projects in other countries.
Sudan Sponsorship Appeal
The SVP in England & Wales has launched a long term sponsorship programme to aid the humanitarian crisis in Sudan and in South Sudan. The SVP in Sudan is already supporting hundreds of thousands of people. Together with local people, the SVP has developed projects including:
• baby feeding programmes
• the vocational training projects
• medical care
• foster homes for orphans
Countries Twinned with England & Wales SVP
The following countries are designated twins with the SVP of England & Wales.
- South Sudan
For more information:
See the national SVP twinnage website at www.twinnage.org.uk