This French Group Goes Above and Beyond to Help Those in Need
When you’re in need, it’s fair to assume that people lending a hand will help with the basics — food, clothes, shelter. Those are the fundamental things we need to survive.
But one group in France goes way beyond that.
For more than 70 years, Secours Populaire Francais (SPF) has played a key role in the fight against poverty in France and throughout the world.
SPF provides emergency housing, food, clothing, and referrals to support those individuals and families in most dire need of these services. But beyond that, it works to combat negative stereotypes about refugees, which sadly, are not uncommon in many parts of Europe.
“SPF brings together people of all views, circumstances, and origins who wish to live in solidarity,” the organization said. “Whether an emergency or not, the respect and dignity of the person assisted is vital for the association.”
SPF’s efforts don’t end there. They also go out of their way to make sure that the people they are aiding can still take part in the best parts of life — like celebrating holidays, experiencing different aspects of culture, and staying focused on developing their professional skills.
In other words, just because people are down on their luck doesn’t mean they should miss the best of what life has to offer. And focusing on these things helps people maintain their dignity.
So what kind of impact is SPF making?
In 2011, SPF supported emergency actions or development projects in 57 countries. This means things like nutritional programs, AIDS victims support, building small-scale fishing communities and improving living conditions in health centers.
This year, Comcast NBCUniversal France is going to add to the rich fabric of SPF’s work. The team in the Paris offices will collect clothes, shoes, books, and toys — especially toys, because children need to have a childhood, even if they’re poor.
The team set a high bar last year — they collected over 15 boxes full of goods — but we’re sure the team this year will do even better.