• International Confederation

    Society of Saint-Vincent-de-Paul

    30 million poor people served in the world

  • International Confederation

    Society of Saint-Vincent-de-Paul

    "I would like to embrace the World in a network of charity"

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SSVP France : a joint competition to fight against poverty

19 April 2017 National Councils news

SSVP France : a joint competition to fight against poverty

On 31 March, the competitors for the “Innovate for solidarity” prize met at the offices of Ulule, the leading crowdfunding site.   

Launched by SSVP France last September, this competition aims to raise awareness of the fight against poverty in France as well as making the SSVP better known. The competition is aimed at students in higher education, encouraging them to reflect on social enterprise projects for combating all forms of poverty, in France or abroad: whether material (poor housing, unemployment, food, sickness, etc.), or emotional (loneliness, isolation). 

Michel Lanternier, National President, SSVP France, says,“this competition aims to place the intelligence and generosity of young people at the service of those in need”. This is a meaningful dynamic, echoing the first comments made by Michel Lanternier in his opening speech, talking about the founders of the Society: “Saint Vincent de Paul was a bold and innovative man. He was one of the first people to entrust women with administrative work, very rarely done at that time. […] Frédéric Ozanam wanted to found a Society of young people for young people”. Then, recalling the statistics for 2016 in France: 310,000 home visits, 13 million meals distributed (equivalent to 6500 tons of food supplies), and 165,000 people cared for.

9 groups of students (from a shortlist) each gave a 6-minute presentation of their project. From solar lighting for Burkina Faso, water filters to combat disease in Sri Lanka, a community kitchen to help integration of refugees and cultural exchange through to a social housing scheme using empty office space...there was no shortage of ingenuity among the candidates. As for the projects, they had to meet 5 criteria in order to convince the jury :  

  • Innovative nature of the project
  • Social impact
  • Economic viability
  • Team involvement
  • Ability to implement 

After the 9 projects had been introduced, Raphaëlle Menajovsky (chair of Webassoc), Jean Marc Potdevin (founder of the Entourage network, event sponsor), Bertrand Decoux (general secretary of SSVP France) and Nicolas Fekete (chair of the Suzanne Michaux foundation) took nearly half an hour to come to their decision. 

After congratulating all participants, the jury awarded first prize to the mobile app “Infomeless”, intended to “give useful information to those who need it”. An innovative information platform, Infomeless aims to help in the social integration of people living on the street and refugees, by providing them with as much useful information as possible (on housing, benefits, hostels in Paris, food banks, etc.).

More information about the Infomeless project : http://www.infomeless.fr 

More information about SSVP France : http://www.ssvp.fr