24 Jan

Irish President opening speech of the “European Year of Development” will inspire us for #action2015!!


“The choices that will be made at the end of the year in relation to both agendas will have a real impact on this and future generations. Our decision-makers are presented with a unique opportunity to address the most urgent and fundamental needs of millions of people around the world, people who have the right, and seek the means, the freedom, to live their lives in dignity. And it is a task for all of us – elected representatives, NGO workers, students, activists and, simply, concerned citizens – to use whatever means we have at our disposal to ensure that the governments who represent us conduct these multilateral negotiations with real commitment and an appropriate sense of urgency.

Last week, addressing a gathering of Irish Ambassadors and Heads of Mission in this same venue, former President of Ireland Mary Robinson told them how, in her view, this year 2015 is comparable to 1945, a year of reconstruction and hope, when new institutions were designed, new texts drafted, and new declarations adopted for humanity’s shared future.”

From the speech by President Michael D. Higgins at the Irish Launch of the European Year of Development – Dublin Castle, Thursday, 22nd January 2015

Do read full speech here.

20 Jan

What does “sustainable development” mean for an Irish MEP?

2015 has been designated the European Year for Development (EYD), a year in which we are encouraged to look at what Europe has already contributed to international development and what we can each do to strengthen our contribution to a more just and equal world.

It is also the year in which the global community will agree on a new framework for sustainable development and a new set of goals to succeed the Millennium Development Goals. As the largest donor in the world, the EU has a critical role to play in this process and the contribution of
MEPs and citizens is vital to the debate and its outcome.

One of the objectives of the EYD programme in Ireland is to gather perspectives from across Irish society on what “sustainable development” means to people. As part of this initiative Irish MEPs have been asked  by the European Parliament Information Office in Ireland, Dóchas and Concern to provide their perspectives and visions.

21167 - 148s

Picture copyrighted to SKP & Associates Ltd trading as Lensmen & Associates, Lensmen Photographic Agency and Lensmen Photographic Archive

Irish MEPs visions have been presented at open meeting in Dublin on 16 January 2015. This event was also an opportunity for ATD to remind Irish MEPs about the need to have an Irish representation within the MEPs Intergroup on “Extreme Poverty and Human Rights”. Below, Mairead McGuinness, MEP and Vice-President of the European Parliament with Pierre Klein, national coordinator of ATD Ireland.

21167 - 191ss

Picture copyrighted to SKP & Associates Ltd trading as Lensmen & Associates, Lensmen Photographic Agency and Lensmen Photographic Archive

17 Jan

Ireland among EU countries with highest poverty hikes!

Ireland, Greece, Spain, Italy and Hungary were the EU member states where poverty and social exclusion increased the most during the economic crisis, according to the European Commission’s Annual Review on employment and social developments in 2014 released on Thursday 16 January 2015.

The high unemployment since 2008 had resulted in an increase in the number of households with no working family members, mainly, in Greece, Spain, Lithuania and Ireland.

Ireland, with Spain and Greece had also the highest percentages of young adults who continue to live with their parents or have moved back into their parents’ home due to financial problems, often with “no other choice than family solidarity”

More about the EU Annual Review on employment and social developments in 2014 here.

Full reportPresentation ESDE



15 Jan

In 2015, we can leave this world better than we found it!


action/2015 is a global movement calling for pivotal change in 2015 for the future our people and the planet.

Right now, few people realize that the year 2015 is a test of our human rights and values. The year ahead is a historic opportunity for us to come together as a global community to demand equality for all and ensure that every member of our family – now and future generations – are able to lead good and dignified lives enriched with opportunity.

Find out more at: www.action2015.org

12 Jan

Nonstop, we keep up the struggle! Haiti 5 years after the earthquake


This message, prepared by over 100 members of ATD Haiti, tells of the strength and resilience of communities in poverty after the 2010 earthquake.

It’s a message of promises made and of real changes that have taken place. But also a message of international aid that didn’t reach everyone, and the daily struggles of people in extreme poverty working to participate and contribute to building a better future for their country.

In the wake of the 2010 earthquake, people were forced to seek shelter with their neighbors and to accept help from people they didn’t know. Entire neighborhoods lost their homes and had to live on the streets, relying on solidarity to survive.

It is this solidarity between people living in such difficult conditions that gives people the strength to carry on today.

Nonstop, we keep up the struggle from ATD Fourth World on Vimeo.

10 Jan

Creating Community and Rejecting Violence

charlie ATD

After the tragedy that took place at the Charlie Hebdo magazine in Paris, the International Movement All Together in Dignity (ATD) Fourth World shares the grief of the families and relatives of the victims.

As with so many other acts of violence that occur daily in our world, this murderous attack against freedom of expression, which seeks to create fear and division, touches us all deeply. This reinforces our conviction that freedom of expression is an inestimable value for everyone. It must be reinforced also for those who are condemned to silence because of poverty and exclusion.

More than ever we must reject intolerance. In the face of hatred and violence, there is no other way than solidarity and the recognition and respect of others, no other answer than learning to know and understand one another so as to live together peacefully.

In neighborhoods around the world, men and women of different origins, faiths, and convictions pose acts of friendship and community, even while living conditions, sometimes so difficult, can be divisive.

Now more than ever is the time to be at their sides to better understand all their efforts to create unity and peace.

We hope to continue hearing from you your thoughts and exchanges.

Diana, Isabelle, Jacqueline and Jean
long term full-time volunteers – ATD International Leadership Team

01 Jan

2015, a real opportunity to reshape our priorities!


 The ATD volunteers and friends,
the permanent volunteers’ staff
and the ATD Board

would like to thank you for your friendship
and your support in 2014
and wish you a
Very Happy New Year!

We are looking forward to coming
together with all of you in 2015!

In 2015,  a number of high level summits
will formulate new approaches and new goals

to #EndPoverty, protect the planet
and limit the #ClimateChange.

These events provide all of us with an opportunity
to reshape our priorities,
and to re-think our place in the world.

ac20will be a global movement to End Poverty,
Inequalities and Climate Change.

In 2015, let’s make every day, an #EndPoverty day
download now the 2015 Calendar!

At the heart of all the difficulties and suffering,
today, we firmly believe,
a better world can be created.
Let this hope live in our hearts.
Joseph Wresinski (1917-1988), founder of All Together in Dignity

 In this time of new start, we are also happy to post on this page an extract of the concert of the High Hopes Choir, with singers from Waterford and Dublin who know what it means to be homeless. Here singer-songwriter Lisa Hannigan performs River (by Joni Mitchell) with Margaret Brophy and the High Hopes Choir during their concert at Christ Church (Performed with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra and conducted by David Brophy).