What is Franciscan Aid?
Franciscan Aid is the Charitable Trust of the Third Order of the Society of Saint Francis, Charity Number 285413. Franciscan Aid works through local Franciscans across the developing world to relieve poverty and advance education in the world’s poorest countries. The Trust was set up in 1982 by Br. Geoffrey SSF (Minister General) Mary Johnson and Bob Diaper (Guardian and Treasurer respectively of the European Province of TSSF.) It stated in the Trust Deed that the objects of the charity “shall be to relieve poverty and advance education of deprived people from Third World Countries whose needs may not be covered by other agencies and those with whom the Franciscans are in contact and whose needs are known so that they can be aided quickly and precisely.”
Franciscan Aid, now clearly defined as “The Charitable Trust of the Third Order,” has been closely linked with First Order brothers and Tertiaries working outside the UK in some of the poorest parts of the world, particularly Africa, Palestine, SE Asia, Melanesia and South America. All office holders give their time freely to keep costs to a minimum and great care is taken that gifts are monitored and used as requested and all accounts are viewed by Independent Reporting Accountants every year in line with charity law.
How does it work?
Franciscan Aid is run by a group of UK Trustees in consultation with the Third Order Minster General and Ministers Provincial and the Minister General and UK Minister Provincial of the First Order. The Trustees meet three times a year in London to review applications supported by First and Third Order Franciscans, and to disperse available funds. All funds come from Tertiaries through Standing Orders, Donations, Collections and Legacies. The impact of a grant is monitored by the sponsoring Franciscan who sends reports to the Trustees.
Who can apply?
The needs of individuals and organisations are put forward by Franciscans of the First and Third Orders. Certain things cannot be supported, e.g. building costs, and applications for tertiary education fees will only be considered where there are particular difficulties. Detailed funding guidelines and an application form can be obtained from the Secretary or downloaded using the links below.
Please use Form I for Education Grants and Form II for Other Applications. If possible, please send the form by email to the Secretary.
Where does the money go?
Here are some recent examples:
- Computers for Hope School in Beit Jala, Bethlehem –Practical Compassion for Destitute Children has a long association with this school. Through PCDC, we have been able to support their need for new computers.
- Funding an emergency fund for desperately poor families in Palestine Members of PCDC have found families in Palestine with absolutely no food in the house. They also find students who cannot go to school because they cannot buy school uniform or pay fees. Franciscan Aid gave £1000 to be used for such emergencies.
- Computers for CECON (Centro de Convivencia – Community Centre). This project is in a slum in Rio de Janeiro. The Centre opens daily and provides a shower, breakfast, lunch, chiropody and a haircut. We have already supported their Franciscan Reading room. The computers enable them to provide training to young people who then are more likely to get paid employment.
- Under Tree Schools in Sudan – during the war in Sudan, children were taught sitting trees. This meant they were able to see if militia were approaching and move. Now there is peace, the charity is trying to build permanent schools. More information and photos can be found at: www.undertreeschools.org
- Delhi Brotherhood, India. This was originally a mission from Cambridge and there is still a link with Westcott House in Cambridge. They run many charitable projects in a poor area in East Delhi. These include 2 schools one of which has a hostel for boys who have no home, a night shelter for street boys (some of whom move not the hostel), a childline, work with sex workers, a home for elders. We have bought fans, chairs, greenboards (=modern blackboards) for classrooms, beds for the boys’ hostel and a pressure cooker for the night shelter which means they save on gas. More information can be found at: www.delhibrotherhoodsociety.org
- Re-aforestation project in Solomon Islands –the trees are used for building and fuel so it is important they are replaced.
- Western style toilets in Solomon Islands for some of the many leg amputees (there is a high incidence of heart disease and diabetes) who cannot use the traditional “squatties”. They had to drag themselves into the bush.
- Playground equipment at the Peace and Reconciliation Centre in Bethlehem – this is the only such equipment in the whole of Bethlehem.
How can I help?
Every donation we receive from the Tertiaries helps us help more people. If you can give regularly through a standing order it helps us to plan ahead and to extend grants beyond one year. If you are a tax payer and gift aid your contribution, we can increase the amount received by 25% by reclaiming your tax and making it go further. You can donate:
- By CHEQUE direct to the Treasurer. Whatever the amount (provided you are a standard rate taxpayer) we can recover the tax through the Gift Aid scheme.
- By STANDING ORDER, monthly, quarterly, six monthly or annually. You can download a standing order form using the links below.
You can also download a Gift Aid Form using the link below. It can also be used to make one-off donations. Please DO NOT send cash through the post. Postal orders do still exist if you cannot pay by cheque. Please send all donations to the Treasurer clearly marked Franciscan Aid.
What else can I do?
Please pray that we will receive the resources necessary to meet the needs before us. Please pray for our grant recipients and their futures. Please also pray for our Franciscan partners and the Trustees as they seek to carry out God’s work.
Who to contact:
- Enquiries about Franciscan Aid: Angela Alexander TSSF (Secretary): Rose Cottage, East Church Street, Kenninghall, NR16 2 EP. firstname.lastname@example.org
- Donations to Franciscan Aid: Roland Randall TSSF (Treasurer): St Francis Toft, The Green, Hilton, Huntingdon, Cambs, PE28 9NB. email@example.com