Auxiliary Bishop Joseph Galea-Curmi announced that the Maltese Archdiocese was the first contributor, with €5,000, to the newly officially established Voluntary Solidarity Fund (VSF). This fund will be aimed at helping people not making ends meet to get back on their feet, following Pope Francis’ appeal to practice the principles of solidarity and common wealth.
The Fund was established in light of the work done by the Centesimus Annus Pro Pontifice (CAPP). The aim of the fund is to help people get on their feet by being more productive, which includes the possibility of helping with providing capital and resources for people aiming at starting some form of business. These will then pay back the borrowed capital sum with no interest to VSF Malta for the money to go to others who might need it in a ‘revolving loans’ system.
A statement by the Archdiocese explains that this will help these people “live a more dignified life and contribute to the common good of society”. Apart from the Auxiliary Bishop, Professor Josef Bonnici also spoke of the fund encouraging companies, businesses and people to earn more than what is explicitly necessary for a comfortable life, with the eventual aim of voluntarily contributing to the fund.
Prof. Bonnici, who is VSF Malta’s Chairman and the Chairman of the Malta Development Bank, said that the NGO can help by providing a means for people to earn their living. VSF Malta’s motto is, “It is far better to teach a man to fish, than giving them a fish to eat.”
The Chairman said that in many advanced economies around the world, the tendency is to assume that everyone is getting their share from economic growth, but unfortunately, today’s reality is a little different. He cited the International Monetary Fund and Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development who warned of the negative effects of unsustainable and unequal growth, including socio-economic decay.