The Malta Independent 21 February 2019, Thursday

Archdiocese sets up Voluntary Solidarity Fund, donates €5,000

Giulia Magri Monday, 4 February 2019, 14:43 Last update: about 16 days ago

The Archdiocese of Malta is setting up what will be known as Voluntary Solidarity Fund (VSF) and is the first to donate €5,000 to the fund itself, Auxiliary Bishop Joseph Galea Curmi said today.

Addressing a press conference, Bishop Galea Curmi (centre) said that the fund is being set up by the archdiocese as part of an international network. He said that the VSF comes at a crucial time when Pope Francis has called for a new leadership based on solidarity and the common good.  VSF is a social organisation with the main goal to help deprived people to stand on their own socially and economically, and to reduce poverty and uphold human dignity.

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He explained that VSF does not compete with existing charities and other organisations that provide such sustenance, but to complement them by creating a new tool intended to counter socio-economic decay. He said that VSF will also make micro loans through partner financial institutions for the set-up of small businesses. 

Professor Josef Bonnici (left), who is chairing the fund, said that VSF’s ethos can be summarised by the well-known proverb, “give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.”

Bonnici, a former minister and later VCentral Bank governor, said that the Fund will be reaching out to companies, businesses and people who have a higher income and who have financial and other talents, to contribute voluntarily to VSF. The main focus of the fund is to find means of sustaining and helping those individuals to gain skills to participate more in society and become socially independent.

These funds can help those also who wish to start their own business, especially if they do not have enough capital or resources themselves. That way these persons can live a better life and contribute to society.

He explained that VSF will work with a system of revolving loans, with individuals who gained positively from VSF by starting out their own businesses slowly paying back the capital to VSF. That way, the money can be given to other people who applied for aid through VSF.

 

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