Overseas Development Programs (OPD) is the overarching term for all international programs and fundraising efforts carried out by the St Vincent de Paul Society in Australia. Some of the programs we offer include: Twinning, Assist a Student and Projects.
St Vincent de Paul Society operates in 143 countries and has nearly one million members. In Australia we run various programs to help neighbouring countries within our jurisdiction.
Project planning and fundraising activities typically take place in Australia and are then implemented in countries within our assigned region, which encompasses several countries in Asia and the Asia-Pacific region such as Pakistan, India, Myanmar, Indonesia and the Philippines, plus Vanuatu and Fiji to name just a few.
What is Twinning?
Currently, the St. Vincent de Paul Society is twinned in partnerships with 14 South East Asian countries, including PNG, Solomon Islands and Cambodia. Our conferences, which are locally based groups of members, support their twinned conference in SVDP twinned nations in South East Asia by sharing financial resources through a basic quarterly contribution of $80. Easter and Christmas gifts are also given with amounts up to $200. Twinning is open to those countries in which the St Vincent de Paul Society operates and funding only goes to those nations that have a local St Vincent de Paul Society National Council (these nations are impoverished and struggle to meet even the most basic needs).
Through the twinning partnership, impoverished nations are afforded the opportunity to achieve a greater level of independence through our contact which reflects the St Vincent de Paul Mission Statement- “to serve the poor with love, respect, justice, hope and joy. The quarterly donations allow them to contribute to their Good Works material needs.
Who benefits from Twinning?
The object of the partnership is to assist our twinned countries to move towards self-sufficiency, as we join them in prayer, contact and material support.
What is Assist a Student?
The Assist a Student program gives you the opportunity to provide the funding for education sponsorship to train and educate a student in one of our South East Asian partner countries for one year. Your donation is tax deductible.
Throughout our partner countries, local St Vincent de Paul Society members select students from families in need to be supported by the program. They receive the Assist A Student funds for one year and the money donated contributes to their education needs. Poverty is a vicious cycle. In many Asia Pacific countries poverty means talented individuals lack opportunities. The education of a person develops self-esteem and skills and in turns has a positive effect on the whole community. Education is the key to enabling an individual to support themselves, their families and their communities to achieve a more just and sustainable lifestyle in the future.
How can you help?
Your donation of only $70 will be matched with a student from one of our partner countries. You will be informed of the student’s name, country and course of study. The program includes students at all levels – from primary, secondary and post-secondary. Sponsorships are allocated across the countries to ensure fair distribution. No Administration cost is deducted from your donation.100% goes towards the student’s education needs for one year, such as fees, uniforms, books etc.
Click on the Assist A Student brochure, which includes a donation form for those who wish to make a financial contribution.
What are Projects?
Australian conferences may, from time to time receive a project application request from their twinned conference. These projects generally are under $2,000AUD and are a project that will serve as an income for the entire conference.
Projects may include cow and goat banks, water systems, tailoring and other small livelihood programs. Projects may also be received that are developmental. These developmental projects provide technical skills through education and training, or support small enterprises in areas such as garment making, fishing, and food production through farming.
Who benefits from this service?
The objective of projects is to contribute to break the cycle of disadvantage. We do this by providing economic resources so people in impoverish countries have opportunities to thrive. In these projects, we are exposed to the richness of faith, humility and hope of our twinned Vincentians. We also gain significantly by the extension of the Society in Australia.