Sara, summer volunteer at the little Brothers of the Poor, talks about her engagement...
Sara was a summer volunteer at the Little Brothers of the Poor, in the South of France... She talks about it.
"Besides motherhood, my experience with les petits frères des Pauvres was the most refining in my life. Initially, I wanted to work with "les petits frères" to improve my french. I'd always dreamed of living in France, and this seemed like the perfect opportunity. But my experience was much different than I planned.
A few days after arriving in Marseille, I became homesick. I left behind a boyfriend, cupcakes (I couldn't find any in France!), and the comfort of my college town. My French was patchy, and I kept getting lost on the metro. And that was when I realized that I wasn't in Marseille for myself. I was there to volunteer.
I stopped worrying about my broken French. I stopped missing my boyfriend, and I started focusing on the sweet elderly people who truly needed me. Really though, I needed them. I spent hours each week visiting these kind people who were more lonely than I was. They told me about their lives, WWII, and their lost hopes and dreams. I realized that the harder I listened and the more I became involved, the less I worried about my problems. My problems seemed menial in comparison to theirs. And it changed my heart, refining me in a way that can only happen by serving others.
I was brokenhearted when I had to leave these sweet people who had given me their hearts. I wrote them for months and months after I left, sending them lots of pictures, trinkets, and even my wedding announcement. Until a couple years later, I no longer got responses to my letters, and I was left to assume that these sweet elderly people who wrote me so faithfully had finally moved on to a new life free of pain and full of joy.
I will never forget the precious experiences I had with les petits frères des Pauvres because they prepared me for a more selfless life in marriage and with my sweet baby girl."
La Casa de dia San Agustín souffle ses 2 bougies !
Le 28 juin, la Casa de dia San Agustín, au Mexique, fêtait son deuxième anniversaire.
Deux ans de joie, de sourires, d’attentions spéciales mais aussi de tristesse suite à la perte de quelques Vieux amis et à qui hommage a été rendu...
"Nous sommes heureux et fiers de leur avoir donné une fin de vie heureuse et digne, remplie de gaieté et de bonne humeur", témoigne Cathel.
Dans une entrevue filmée, le Père Abel évoque notamment son engagement auprès de la Casa de dia San Agustin. La vidéo est en espagnol mais les images parlent d’elles-mêmes :
Et si vous mettiez plus de solidarité dans votre ISF ?
Depuis 1946, les petits frères des Pauvres accompagnent les personnes, en priorité de plus de 50 ans- souffrant de solitude, de pauvreté, d’exclusion, de maladies graves. Implantés dans 8 pays en Europe (Allemagne, Espagne, France, Irlande, Pologne et Suisse) et en Amérique du Nord (Etats-Unis et Canada). En France, l’association représente plus de 130 équipes d’action dont 9 700 bénévoles engagés et 38 700 personnes aidées dont plus de 10 000 accompagnées régulièrement. Les petits frères des Pauvres en France et dans d’autres pays agissent essentiellement grâce à des bénévoles et sont quasi exclusivement financés par des fonds privés (dons individuels ou d’entreprises, subvention de fondations, legs…).
Les petits frères des Pauvres France souhaiteraient consolider et appuyer leur réseau international en apportant un soutien financier et leur expertise mais également renforcer les liens entre les membres du réseau et créer de nouvelles implantations dans d’autres pays où ils sont sollicités pour répondre aux besoins des personnes âgées.
Comme le souligne Jean-François Serres, secrétaire général des petits frères des Pauvres « Le vaste mouvement initié en France par les petits frères des Pauvres doit être relayé par une nouvelle génération de philanthropes dans le monde prêts à investir leur générosité autour d’un vrai projet de société ». Afin de lutter contre ce fléau, frappant les plus exclus de la société, la Fondation des petits frères des Pauvres lance un appel aux résidents étrangers assujettis à l’ISF en France afin qu’ils soutiennent son action au service du développement des petits frères des Pauvres. Vous êtes imposés en France à l’ISF au titre du patrimoine que vous y détenez ? Les dons faits aux organismes éligibles en France sont déductibles dans les mêmes conditions que pour les donateurs français. Si vous faites un don à la Fondation des petits frères des Pauvres (France), 75 % de son montant seront déductibles de l’ISF dans la limite de 50 000 €. Attention toutefois, les dons doivent être faits avant la date de déclaration, c'est-à-dire au plus tard le 15 juillet pour les résidents en Europe. Daniel Bruneau, Directeur de la recherche de fonds pour les petits frères des Pauvres décrit la façon dont les dons issus de l’ISF ont été utilisés en 2010. L’argent collecté a permis notamment la construction et la rénovation de plusieurs maisons-relais à Paris et à Marseille. Il rappelle les différents modes de don possibles pour soutenir les actions des petits frères des Pauvres.
En savoir plus : www.investirlagenerosite.petitsfreres.asso.fr
Faire un don : https://faireundon.petitsfreres.asso.fr/b/mon-don
Contact : Christine Lutran, email@example.com, 00 33 1 49 23 13 74.
Article paru sur le site de London Macadam (juin 2013) : http://www.londonmacadam.com/french-best-kept-secrets/les-petits-freres-des-pauvres-lance-un-appel-aux-residents-etrangers-6548.html
The foundation Amigos de los Mayores celebrates its 10th anniversary
The foundation Amigosde los Mayores, member of the International Federation of Little Brothers of the Poor, whose aim is to assist the elderly who feel lonely, celebrates its tenth anniversary in 2013.
In 2012, the Foundation has helped more than 300 people and mobilized as many volunteers in Madrid.
The Little Brothers in Spain accompany more than 1,500 people in Valencia and Barcelona.
On the occasion of the celebration of its 10th anniversary, the Foundation organizes on Friday, May 31st, a conference designed specifically for professionals, volunteers and people aware of the elderly. The purpose of this day is to talk about the reality of the elderly who live alone and have few resources, and the importance of appropriate support that will help them to continue to exercise their rights of citizenship and participation, as where they are able to stay active.
On Sunday, June 1st, a big lunch will be held for all seniors and volunteers.
Enjoy a volunteer experience in Catalonia!
Amics de la Gent Gran (Catalonia) is willing to receive international volunteers to bring quality company to elder people on holidays.
Every shift is designed to accommodate between 10 and 20 elders, from a total of 4 shifts. All our elder friends must have their needs covered by volunteers and professional staff. This way they will have the chance to enjoy a unique and unforgettable moment of their life.
Dates and venues:
Our current volunteers participating in these summer holidays are mostly young and eager to promote exchanges between generations. It is an unforgettable experience which requires:
- Ability and sense to take care of the elders.
- Involvement in the organization and active participation in the activities.
- Support the overall organization (daily evaluation, night shifts, and roles within the team).
If you wish to participate, please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
IMPORTANT NOTE: Amics de la Gent Gran takes care of all fees for accommodation and transport from Barcelona to final destination. Transport costs from your country to Barcelona will be on your behalf.
Looking forward seeing you here!
The Barcelona team
Participation of the Director of Cincinnati to a radio program on the Isolation
Mary "Yogi" Wess, the executive director of Little Brothers - Friends of the Elderly in Cincinnati was the guest of "Talk of the Nation", National Public Radio.
That was a very interesting program regarding the University College, London, study on elder isolation: indeed, researchers from University College London followed thousands of people over the age of 52 for seven to eight years to assess the effect of loneliness and isolation. Isolation, not loneliness, may actually shorten people's lives regardless of health or income.
Little Brothers were invited to talk about connection between social isolation, loneliness and mortality. To help with isolation of the elderly, in Cincinnati, 350 volunteers provide friendship and a lot of direct service that they may have difficulty in getting on their own. « Our slogan « Flowers before bread » means that we believe in honoring the elderly with dignity and respect, and it also means that we believe in providing the nice things in life », commented Yogi.
Solidarity concert on Saturday, April 6th in Paris
Saturday, April 6th, at 6:00 PM
in the Church Saint Albert le Grand 122 rue de la Glacière, 75013 PARIS
The organization Pan y Flores, in partnership with les petits frères des Pauvres, invite you to attend the concert given by the Choir Canta Latinoamerica, the polyphonic chorus of over 40 singers, musicians and dancers in the Church of Saint Albert le Grand.
The funds raised during the concert will entirely serve to finance the activities of La casa de dia san Agustin that the organization Pan y Flores supports. La casa de dia is a place for elderly isolated and people living in conditions of extreme poverty in Cuernavaca, Mexico.
· Price of the ticket: 12 euros
· Price of the ticket (presale): 10 euros
· Big Tombola at the time of the break with many prizes. Sale of Mexican crafts.
Association Pan y Flores
97, rue de la santé, 75013 Paris
In partnership with Les petits frères des Pauvres
33 et 64 avenue Parmentier, 75011 Paris
The little brothers of the Poor of Madrid celebrate their 10 years in 2013
The little brothers of the Poor of Madrid celebrate 10 years of existence and actions for the elderly.
Ten years ago, a group of volunteers decided to create the organization, which has gradually increased step by step, at its own pace, stifling the difficulties, experiencing new challenges, thanks to the involvement of its teams of volunteers, through the presence of the elderly and thanks to the Barcelona Foundation. That’s why the organization has decided to celebrate its tenth anniversary, with everyone who has participated to the expansion. A series of events will be revealed throughout the year. In June, a celebration will be held to celebrate all the actors: volunteers, elderly, staff and partners. "Our main objective will be the same once again and for ten years more at least: to help to fight the loneliness of elderly people”
Bonjour, la Fédération Internationale des petits frères des Pauvres
Pierre Asselin, Président de la Fédération internationale des petits frères des Pauvres et Barbara Bringuier coordinatrice internationale, furent accueillis par les membres du conseil d’administration de la Fraternité de Minneapolis et de l’équipe salariée lors de leur visite de l’ensemble des Fraternités américaines des petits frères des Pauvres. L’objectif de la Fédération Internationale est de renforcer le réseau mondial des petits frères des Pauvres pour permettre d’accompagner un plus grand nombre de personnes âgées à travers le monde.
Video story : Jim O'Brien
Jim O'Brien tells us how he became volunteer with Armand Marquiset.
Témoignage de Jim O'Brien
New Healthy Moves program aims to strengthen and prevent falls
Beginning this spring, LBFE will be providing elders who are homebound or lack transportation the chance to become more active through the Healthy Moves for Aging Well program. Offered in partnership with the Wilder Foundation, Healthy Moves is a 12- week evidence-based program that provides frail elders the opportunity to learn simple exercises to build strength, flexibility and endurance right in their own homes. Volunteer Coaches are needed to check in with elder participants weekly by phone throughout the program. Coaches will be trained to motivate participants to increase their physical activity, fitness, strength and independence and reduce the fear of falling and number of falls.
In Poland, elderly helps the elderly
An article of press agency: France press from proposes a focus on the action of “les petits frères des Pauvres” in Poland, and a report about the Poznan implantation.
Home visits are organized in order to keep in touch with isolated people and helps elderly affected by lack of autonomy. “I’ve lived alone since my daughter died following a sudden illness 6 years ago” said Janina Kalisza, 80 years old, who suffers from partially-sighted, diabetes and hypertension. Maria tytula, a senior and volunteers of the organization came to get over and leave his loneliness. “We make shopping together, we walk, we go to the cinema, to the doctor, we complete each other” said Maria, highlighting that Janina never went out when she met her. Those two women became almost inseparable; they regularly met over the last years. “I try to make her life more enjoyable by spending time with her” said Maria. But she admits that she can’t do any more physical efforts to help her with exhausting tasks.
Since the organization of the little brothers of the Poor was found by Armand Marquiset, the organization is presents in Germany, Spain, Ireland, Switzerland, USA and Canada. Since 2002, Poland is the eighth and the latest country that entered in the International Federation.
The association is present in three cities: Warsaw, Poznan and Lublin. “Before the entry of Poland into the European union, many volunteers get trained in France”. So, in the early 2000’s, it is the French association who wanted us to be part of the international federation of les petits frères “said Anna Kosikowska, president of the association in Poznan. She spent five month training in Lille, Dunkerque and Paris. During the early years after their foundation, the polish association was supported by French companies.
In 2006, they become autonomous. In Poznan the association’s project are financed by the city up to 80.000 zlotys per years (20.000 Euros). “This money is used to pay our employees, to finance cultural excursions as well as important project” said Anna. They carried for a while an exchange plan for vacation with the France but it unfortunately not succeeds. “Transport is too far complicated to organize. We have to keep in mind that these are elderly and such travel is very tiring for them. However, we are in a permanent contact with our French counterparts who send us all their knowledge in term of training” said Anna.
Rosemarie, a volunteer in Chicago for 10 months
Further to an internship at the Chapter Paris Saint-Maur, Rosemarie went during 10 months in Chicago as "volunteer" in the biggest Chapter of the states. Here is a feedback of her experience.
I was determined to go abroad after my studies of Advisor Social and Family Economics (social worker) but I didn’t know exactly where. So, I caught the opportunity to make my end report of study in Saint-Maur Chapter of the little brother of the Poor. Thus I heard that there were other organizations abroad.
After exchanging my motivations with volunteer’s manager from Chicago, I decided to embark on the adventure. I was going to volunteer for 10 months at Little Brothers-Friends of the Elderly in Chicago. Freshly graduated, I bought my plane ticket to Chicago.
A windy city: very welcome! I lived in the associations with other volunteers. After an adaptation time (including language skills), I found my rhythm. The association's mission was to overcome isolation of the elderly. I had various missions. Indeed, every month, I visited twice 25 people who suffer from isolation. We could eat together, go to the museum, walk...
I lived a very rich human experience, I even became attached to people I visited. They told me about their lives, their fears, their joys. Every weekend, the association organized friendly meals. I was driving people to the festival, after that, I was charged to bringing them back home. During the week, the association organized workshops (computers, cinema, coffee, arts ...). I was responsible for the film workshop on Friday. It was a great opportunity to have lunch together and watch a movie. The association - but the city too- is animated by the party: Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day, Easter). So much time used to share and learn about his table neighbor.
Before my trip, I had the idea that Chicago was a cold city, industrial and unwelcoming. Is it really cold? Yes! I even had the opportunity to be present during a blizzard (a huge snowstorm) that blocked the city during two days. But be reassured, the summer is rather hot. People are they unfriendly? Not at all, I found people very friendly and open. Nevertheless, I was quite shocked by the segregation of 'white' and 'black'. People live in community.
The city is also warm and inviting. I really enjoyed myself. I remember the good humor of my fellow volunteers, especially the temperature and all smiles of people I met. I am very happy to have lived such rich experience. I hope one day I could return to Chicago.