The Saint Vincent de Paul Society started in 1833 when a group of French Catholic university students led by Frederic Ozaman debating religion were challenged by what they/the Church were doing: ‘Show us your good works, that we might believe …”
By 1835 the society was named after St Vincent de Paul, (born 1580 in France and canonised a Saint in 1737) who dedicated his life to the poor.
Actions Speak Louder Than Words
We live out our mission –
Our aim is not only to provide immediate support, but to enable those we assist to break free from the cycle of poverty. Our desire is to empower and enable – a hand up not a handout. Visiting the needy must always be seen as a humble demonstration of love. The first act of charity is love. Nelson Mandela said that “ over coming poverty is not a task of charity, but an act of justice”
The Vincentians of Bryanston have been doing just that as an act of love for the poor and downtrodden that we serve in all our deeds, prayers, time and charity. We have a dedicated group of like minded people in our society all pulling together and supplying their own personal contribution in order to make difference in someone else life. Every one of the Vincentians are helping someone. Vincentians are diverse and all have a special contribution to make. The members have pushed our boundaries in doing more and more with less resources.
We help any parishioners or resident in need and respond to many calls or referrals for assistance in many forms.
Historically through our parish in Diepsloot just north of us & Meadowlands in Soweto (previously also Phiri and Ivory Park) we have been alerted to major needs of the Diepsloot community north of us where we are very active. Our twin conferences in Soweto have received financial support from us to carry out their good deeds and feed the poor as well.
At the Diepsloot Catholic Church the Father Louis Blondel Youth Centre (FLBYC) built from the estate of Father Louis Blondel a missionary murdered in 2009 on the same Church grounds. The centre is dedicated to planting seeds of hope in the soils of despair. The FLBYC is a vibrant and integral part of the community, providing pupils and unemployed youth, with assessments and support to enable them to obtain gainful employment. We have partnered with the Wot-If trust and are focussing on Agriculture, IT, Construction and Training.
Our support in Diepsloot X12 and X1 typically revolves around the lives of over 300 people. Family home visits take place fortnightly and we provide encouragement, comfort and assistance – because we follow in Christ’s footsteps to help the needy and poor. The appreciation of those we help who should be so bitter “with their lot” is a profound lesson in humility and respect for the downtrodden.
Palliative care and dignity for chronically ill and terminal patients is a basic right for all. We work with authorities for the human dignity to be upheld and supplied and assist ourselves to get this.
Accessing health care is a real problem for the poor, sick and physically and mentally disabled and we assist with taxi fares or accompaniment to hospital or clinics. The neglect and disrespect of the poor and sick by the majority of our government and people that we encounter is alarming. We are All God’s people and do follow Christ’s love for all.
Lack of ID’s and birth certificates is a major problem for those who apply for their grant entitlements or jobs or school attendance in Diepsloot .Once again like with health neglect ,dis-respect is encountered and we do our best to assist as best we can but injustices continue against our downtrodden brothers and sisters.
Our Vincentians initiated teaching people to grow food, knit and sew and sell goods in order to provide for themselves.
We are sending 2 local residents to be trained as auxiliary social workers to expand the good deeds. We also pay small hand up stipends to 2 other residents to provide assistance and practical help to the community.
Believing that further education is vital we have found assistance for 4 other resident students through bursaries obtained or through contribution from conference members.
A talented & caring husband and wife team (newcomers) ran motivational courses to Grade 4 & 5 children to motivate them out of their dire circumstances and inferior education. In addition they are providing much needed mentoring, love and care to our sponsored students.
We are blessed in SVDP Bryanston to have wonderful support, strong community partners, and a true village approach. The SVDP community is the village that helps those in desperate need.
Thanks to our donors in all areas without your support good deeds would not be possible; the people collecting money, the jumble team who: distribute/help to those in need, raise money and empower others to provide for themselves, those visiting and supporting the downtrodden & needy and fighting for them, encouraging the youth, empowering and validating individuals & showing our love for all God’s children. You are making a large difference but we ALL still need to do a lot more to break the deprivation trap for the unfortunate people we assist.