Overseas Development is the umbrella 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: Assist a Student, Twinning, Projects and Panasco. The 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, Philippines, Papua New Guinea and East Timor plus Vanuatu and Fiji to name just a few.
What is Assist a Student?
The Assist a Student program gives you the opportunity to provide the funding for an education scholarship to train and educate a student in one of our partner countries for one year.
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. Scholarships are allocated across the countries to ensure fair distribution.
One of the programs strongest and most attractive features is that administration costs, funded by the Society are kept at an absolute minimum, so nothing is deducted from the $70 for such costs. One hundred per cent goes towards the student’s education needs (including course fees, uniforms, books etc) for one year.
Who benefits from Assist a Student?
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 a scholarship 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 independently in the future.
What is Twinning?
The St Vincent de Paul Society in Australia is twinned in partnerships with 14 countries. Our conferences (parish groups of Society members) express their twinning commitment by sharing their spirituality through prayer, their cultural through letters and financial resources through a basic quarterly contribution of $80.
Twinning is only open to those countries in which the St Vincent de Paul Society operates. Currently twinning commitments have evolved between the 149 countries throughout the world.
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 Panasco?
Panasco is a Conference of congress members from the St Vincent de Paul Society in the Asia and Oceanic regions. ‘Panasco’ stands for ‘Pan Asian Congress/Conference’.
Panasco was an initiative of the Australian St Vincent de Paul Society and the first Conference was held in Sydney in 1968. Since then Panasco has been held in Singapore in 1975, in Sydney in 1989, in the Philippines in 1994, in South Korea in 2001, in Perth in 2006 and in 2010 it was held in India.
Who benefits from Panasco?
A Panasco Conference is usually held every four years for members of the St Vincent de Paul Society to share their experiences in helping and serving people experiencing poverty and marginalisation.
Through discussions, key note speeches, networking and prayer, Vincentians learn new ways to gain ideas on how to serve people in need of their assistance regardless of where they live.
For more information about Panasco please contact the St Vincent de Paul Society National Council of Australia on (02) 6202 1200.
What are Overseas Development 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?
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. National Council encourages conferences to support their twins in these projects.
Contact information for Overseas Development
Please contact our National Admin Officer for Overseas Development (Twinning, Projects & Assist a Student), Kim Watson on the contact details provided.
St Vincent de Paul Society National Council of Australia
PO Box 243 Deakin West ACT 2600
NEW Phone: 0409 352 750
Fax: (02) 6285 0159
Vinnies Overseas Development Newsletter
Find out more about Vinnies Overseas Development Projects in our Newsletter.