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Fidesco Information Session offered FREE online Participants from all over the world who are discerning service with Fidesco are welcome! Date & time: February 23 @ 2:15 pm to 3:45 pm (EST) Topics: •What is Fidesco? •Discerning a departure •Q&A Register at: info@fidesco.de

SOUTH to NORTH PROJECTS

Why launch the South-North mission? In the past the mission had been the response to a call from the Universal Church which concerned people of all origins. Like in the past, now it is the volunteers of the South who leave their countries and their habits to put themselves at the service of others. They set off to meet another culture, to meet sisters and brothers who suffer because, if the countries of the South have poverty, the countries of the North also have poverty. The people of the countries of the South have a great wealth to bring to the North and former volunteers have noticed this during their own missions.  The implementation of this voluntary reciprocity is driven by the urgency of building a culture of encounter for a more fraternal world. Our former volunteers have experienced the joy of meeting and of serving the poor; they have known how much volunteers in the field need to feel supported. I make myself the spokesperson for Laura and Aimé (read below) to tell you how much your prayer counts for their mission. I wish you to live this Christmas season in joy and hope. Very fraternally, Emeric Clair, Director of Fidesco PS read more under Posts

2020 Recap by Emeric Clair, Fidesco International

The year 2020 is coming to an end! It is an opportunity for Fidesco to remember all that we have experienced during this special year, marked by the ordeal of the pandemic. Through this letter, we wish to share with you the joys, the difficulties, the challenges taken up, the reasons for hope that have marked this trying but so richly instructive year.

A mobilized team

The year 2020 has been turned upside down by the outbreak of the pandemic. Faced with this crisis, the Fidesco team, and in particular the monitoring center, took action: setting up a crisis unit, daily monitoring of the situation in the various countries in close collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, repatriation of some volunteers… This monitoring work is still ongoing.

Recruitment, training and dispatch continued

The needs of our partners in the field are even stronger today! This is why Fidesco resolutely pursued the recruitment and training of volunteers in 2020, with one key word: adaptation. E-discernment session, Fidesco remote meetings, and an additional discernment session in Paray-le-Monial in July: a new promotion of volunteers was thus formed and sent during a very nice sending session in Paray -le-Monial, for our greatest joy! The attitude of abandonment and availability of these new volunteers, who said yes to the mission in an uncertain context, particularly touched us. At present, some of them have been able to go to their place of mission; others are still awaiting departure. Fidesco maintains contact with everyone and closely follows the openings of the mission countries.

In the field: missions under the sign of fraternity

The pandemic had a considerable impact on the missions of our volunteers: confinement, missions to arrest or cut off certain activities, increase in poverty. This difficult situation allowed the volunteers to enter a more essential dimension of the mission: to be a simple fraternal presence, at the heart of the ordeal. This presence in fidelity and perseverance has greatly affected the local populations: we have received many testimonies of it through the mission reports of the volunteers. Many of them have also invested in local solidarity actions to deal with the crisis.

Support our partners in times of crisis

The current crisis sharply worsens poverty situations around the world. During 2020, our partners had to face immense needs, not only health, but also economic and food. That is why Fidesco has decided to open an exceptional fundraiser to meet the needs generated by COVID. We were touched by the outpouring of generosity that this fundraiser generated!

New projects have emerged

Finally, the current pandemic has not prevented us from implementing new projects. After a long preparatory work, the South-North mission now allows Fidesco to send volunteers from countries of the South for a year of mission in France! The pioneers of this project are Aimé and Laura, two young Rwandans who arrived in France in September, at the service of the associations Aux Captifs la Liberation, APA and Simon de Cyrene. Other South-North volunteers are expected in 2021 from several African countries: a very concrete way of living this culture of encounter to which Pope Francis invites us in his last encyclical Fratelli Tutti.

Finally, a new mission formula has been put in place for retired people, with the possibility of leaving between 4 and 6 months per year, over a period of 4 consecutive years, in the service of the same partner. The first volunteers who will experience this new mission proposal will leave at the beginning of 2021!

During this year 2020, you have once again shown us your faithful support, without which our mission would not be possible: we would like to warmly thank you.

Jean & Florence in Madagascar

This young couple is with their baby working the Rural Farm School established by the Jesuit priests in the 1950s. Jean [John] and Florence bring their skills of management to the cheese producing sector and for the financial planning of this school.

Happy to serve

Next Departure: 2021

Fidesco USA is actively recruiting candidates for a 2021 departure. Use the non-binding application found at the Volunteering with Us tab to let us know of your interest in a Fidesco service mission.

Fidesco Information Webinar

On June 10 at 2 pm (EST), there will be a Fidesco Information Webinar for people who are considering a departure with Fidesco and the webinar is open for people from all over the world! Register for this free webinar at: webinarfidesco@yahoo.de . You will receive a link before it begins.

Covid – 19 Information

In this period of confinement linked to the global COVID-19 epidemic, all Fidesco employees remain mobilized in the service of volunteers in the field. Here are some answers to the questions you may be asking yourself.

Are volunteers continuing their mission?

All our volunteers have a contract with the French government. In consultation with the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs, as well as with all the organizations sending international solidarity volunteers, and with our partners in the field, we have kept – except in special cases – our volunteers at their place of mission.

Nevertheless, we still evaluate with each individual volunteer, to adjust this general measure to each situation, depending on the state of health of the volunteer and the potential risks, the progress of the epidemic in their country of mission, and local capacities to deal with a health emergency.

How is Fidesco coping with the current global crisis and its evolution?

Fidesco set up a crisis unit at the start of the crisis, to analyze each situation and to support volunteers on missions around the world.

With great concern for each volunteer and their children in the field, we are monitoring this situation very closely. It is different in each country. We are always in very close contact with the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs, the Ministry’s crisis and support center and the local French Embassies.

How are volunteers dealing with the crisis on the ground?

The needs on the ground and the development projects are still immense, and our volunteers continue to support them: the mission continues. However, we called on the volunteers to exercise special health vigilance in this risky situation, to very strictly respect both the instructions of each country, and also the social distancing measures, which would not be required locally. Be certain that we are in close contact with each volunteer and constantly watching.

Are Fidesco meetings and sessions maintained?

Due to confinement, all meetings and sessions, as well as interviews, are adapted to current constraints. However, as the needs are still immense in the field, recruitment continues. We ran one virtual discernment meeting and will host an in person discernment session then a separate send-off training session in France this July.

Is the Fidesco team still available?

All Fidesco employees remain mobilized in telework, respecting the confinement instructions. The offices are beginning to reopen and everyone can be reached by email or by phone. For any request, send an email to: info@fidescousa.org

2020 Candidates Discernment

This invitation-only Discernment gathering will be held in France this July. Send in your application NOW so that you may be included in this time of discerning one’s call to work with the poor at a Fidesco project site abroad.

Heidi and Louis Hauguel go to Chile

Louis and Heidi will be serving orphans in Concepcion, Chile for the next two years. Taking their children on such a mission has been a desire that they have nurtured for many years and their support base extends to the United States. Their work will be to create workshops for children as well as fundraising to continue the success of this foundation Ciudad del Nino that was started in 1960.

2018 Send-Off Week in Paray-le-Monial

When 85 volunteers gathered for the final training session in France, all of the staff was present as well as many former volunteers and country coorespondants. Bishop Emmanuel Gobilliard, auxiliary bishop from Lyons, France, is the spiritual godfather of this group. In addition to the French nationals, volunteers from the Netherlands, Portugual, Germany and Poland were taking notes to best prepare for their two years of service.