France honours Madeleine de Blic, 10 May 2013 [fr]

“Volontariat India” was created in Pondicherry in 1962 thanks to a young Belgian social worker, Madeleine HERMAN, whose will was, as Abbé Pierre always did, to “Serve FIRST the poorest of the poor”: children, people suffering from leprosy, unemployed people, gypsies, etc.

The need of organizing the growing activities, very soon, drove Madeleine to register “Volontariat” as a non-profit, non-political and secular organization, under Indian law. It was done as early as in 1966 at the “Register of Societies” in Pondicherry (an Union Territory of India). Its statutes state that the organization does everything to improve the living conditions of the poorest [advice, education, relief, jobs, etc.].

From the very beginning, Volontariat was composed of well-known people in Pondicherry, freely helping Madeleine who acts as the founder and General Secretary. The organization recruits local employees to carry out its different programs in accordance with its goal and defined by its statutes.

To help its activities financially, Madeleine encouraged the creation of a Committee in her native city of Liège, Belgium. Its members also organized the free collection and shipment of sweet condensed milk and medicines. Thus, the organization “SOS Boîtes de Lait” was founded, which collected products, mainly in the schools, for many years, for “Volontariat” and other charitable organizations.

Then, gradually, some volunteers who had the opportunity to take part in various activities in Pondicherry wanted to continue helping, once they were back in Europe, as they were moved by working among the poorest and by what they received from this population. That is how several supporting committees were set up with devoted people whose commitment is very important; nowadays there is one committee in Belgium, with three branches: Liège, Brussels and Louvain-la-Neuve and there are eight committees in France in Paris, Le Vésinet, Lyon, Bordeaux, Toulouse, Montauban, Pamiers and Marseille.

The permanent support of these groups and individuals has enabled to go ahead in several fields, such as the education of children and adults, the hosting and counselling of children and teenagers facing problems, the vocational trainings, the learning of handicraft work, agriculture and raising cattle, the rehabilitation of handicapped people, the help to lonely old people without resources, etc.

Volontariat, in 2011, run various and numerous activities. So it needs your friendship, your help and your financial support in order to carry out its programmes:
- Sponsorship of children: education, vocational training, health,
- Social work,
- Creation of jobs in handicrafts and culture of Spirulina,
- Heart surgeries,
- Housing and support for aged people from the platforms
- Housing and support for children, orphans, abandoned or gipsy children.

Source of the text : website.

Last modified on 08/08/2014

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