"Together we have the strength to overcome poverty."

ATD’s secret is bringing people together. If we don’t start out working together–the powerful alongside the powerless, those who are strong with those who are not, the ones who know with those who don’t–people in extreme poverty will always remain on the sidelines. They will always lose out.

Joseph Wresinski, 17 October 1987

In Senegal, ATD Fourth World encourages everyone to get involved. ATD brings together people from different social backgrounds in activities to overcome poverty. Those who know extreme poverty well because they have lived through it seek to overcome prejudice by describing their perspective and experiences to others. Those who have not experienced poverty encourage others to respect the rights and dignity of people who live in disadvantaged communities. Young people volunteer in activities that break down barriers and overcome judgemental attitudes that hold back the children of families living in extreme poverty.


  • Each month, ATD gatherings provide a forum for discussing topics related to poverty.
  • Each week, young people lead educational activities in the streets for children and teenagers eager to learn new things. The fun and respectful way that activity leaders listen helps these young people to express themselves through various learning projects.
  • Interested community members help identify the services and aid available to support people in poverty.
  • Throughout the year, a committee organises events such as World Day for Overcoming Poverty to raise awareness of the strength and dignity of people who live in extreme poverty.
  • Members of the ATD Fourth World Volunteer Corps continually seek out people living in extreme poverty and encourage them to take part in all the organisation’s activities.

ATD Fourth World has been working in Senegal since 1982.

On the island of Gorée, a plaque on the House of Slaves museum.

Today, millions of men, women and children are saying ‘no’ to poverty and shame because, yesterday, people whom the powerful treated as slaves asserted that they were human beings. Countless people have died over three centuries so that this can never be forgotten.

Joseph Wresinski

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