Our Mission

Overcome Poverty

ATD Fourth World works to overcome poverty by seeking out people living in the worst economic conditions and exclusion.

Poverty is not inevitable. Poverty is the worst scourge ever created by human beings; it is up to human beings to end it.                                                                       – Joseph Wresinski

The most disadvantaged people can free themselves from the dependence and indignity of poverty when their courage and their capacity for action are recognized and when everyone takes responsibility for overcoming the prejudice and discrimination that continue to exclude people in poverty, on every continent. All our projects are designed and planned together with people living in persistent poverty, with the goal of leaving no one behind.

Building Knowledge and Accessing Education — Every Mind Counts

Wasting the intelligence of people living in poverty is a serious form of discrimination. We bring recognition to the life skills and knowledge of those who resist extreme poverty in their daily lives.

Shaping a People-Centered and Earth-Friendly Economic Vision

Today’s economic systems subject people in extreme poverty to punishing exploitation and often condemn them to uselessness. Around the world, there are many initiatives for the public good, fair-trade, and promoting self-sufficiency and community resilience. We work to ensure that people in extreme poverty be able to participate in these projects.

Speaking Out about Human Rights and Peace

We aim to increase public awareness and civic engagement in ways that counteract prejudice against people in poverty, and that defend their human rights. We do this work on both national and international levels. Everyone’s efforts are needed, and it is important that everyone have opportunities to show their solidarity so as to overcome poverty.