At Sisters Hospitallers we join the UN call for the international day to combat poverty and social exclusion, which we celebrate on October 17, to build together forwards: put an end to persistent poverty, respect all people and to our planet.

“Building forward together” means transforming our relationship with nature, dismantling structures of discrimination that harm people living in poverty, and building on the moral and legal framework of human rights that places human dignity at the center of life. politics and action ”. (International Day for the Eradication of Poverty | United Nations)

In a world characterized by an unprecedented level of economic development, technological means and financial resources, it is a moral scandal that millions of people live in extreme poverty. For this reason, we must stop thinking that this problem is exclusively a lack of income. It is a multidimensional phenomenon that also includes the lack of basic capacities to live with dignity, currently 1.3 billion people live in poverty (UN, 2020).

Build forward together.

Globally, the number of people living in extreme poverty fell from 36% in 1990 to 10% in 2015. However, the rate at which this change is taking place is slowing, and the COVID-19 crisis 19 puts decades of progress in the fight against poverty at risk. (Agenda 2030)

In the papal encyclical FratelliTutti, through the Fraternity and Social Friendship, the latest and best formulation of the ideal of social justice and Christian concern for the poor is transmitted to us, affirming that love and care are preeminent laws. and models for achieving friendship and social justice. The option for the poor has therefore become the option to overcome with the poor the main obstacle to social justice, which is the innumerable economic and political inequalities.

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development sets the eradication of poverty as the fundamental objective and obliges all countries to eliminate it, through strategies that guarantee the exercise of all human rights and ensure that no one is left behind.

Although not explicitly mentioned in SDG 3, mental health is relevant to many of the Sustainable Development Goals. One of the main reasons for this relevance has to do with the close relationship between mental illness and poverty. It is a circular relationship that is self-perpetuating. Lower levels of income, education, housing, and social support increase the risk of mental illness. But, at the same time, the appearance of a mental illness leads to a cascade of events that end up aggravating poverty and other socioeconomic variables associated with it (Caldas de Almeida, 2020).

Hospitaller Mission, with a preference for those most in need.

The Congregation of the Sisters Hospitallers of the Sacred Heart of Jesus develops its mission preferably in favor of people who experience mental illness and people with disabilities, with special attention to the poorest. The universality of our work, as well as the needs and urgencies of each moment and place, are an important part of our performance. The hospitaller service, open and dynamic service, configured from an inclusive, reintegrative and life-promoting vision and practices, constitutes a force for social transformation without borders in favor of a healthier and more fraternal humanity. In order to promote the hospital mission in the neediest countries, an international Development Cooperation service is developed that favors solidarity and social transformation in these countries.

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