Interviews with three of our members
At ATD Fourth World’s international center
For more than a year, in local, national and international meetings, and through correspondence and communication via Internet, the General Assembly process has enabled members of the Movement to take stock of their commitment in combating extreme poverty and in offering support to one another. The General Assembly gathering at ATD Fourth World’s international centre in Méry-sur-Oise in France represents the final stage of this process.
Coming from more than 20 countries where ATD Fourth World is present, the participants invited to the General Assembly meeting gathered for a first day of work together.
Introducing the day, Isabelle Perrin, Director General of the International Movement, spoke about Mbaraka R. K., who is still being held by the immigration authorities and thus prevented from participating in the opening day.
She said “We need all the countries to be together, so we can give one another force, strengthen our commitment, harness our collective intelligence, and share our knowledge, plans and ideas for overcoming extreme poverty”. She added “We also have to ask whether our way of sharing our commitment encourages younger people to join us. Does it allow them to take a real responsibility alongside other members of the Movement? And is our way of creating links with others sufficiently communicative and contagious […], forging new links with others in society, and becoming a force for unity between members of the Movement and with others in the world?”
Diana Skelton, Deputy Director, reminded us that this meeting is part of the final stage of the General Assembly process involving members of the Movement around the world. It follows in the footsteps of the three-year research programme on the violence perpetrated on people in poverty. “It is striking to see that members of the Movement often say how vital are the links created between us in facing up to this violence.”
Afterwards, participants met in small groups and then in creative workshops, enjoying opportunities to get to know one another better, to share experiences and to learn from one another by talking together and by working together with their hands.