April 2015
To all those men and women deprived of springtime...

How lovely and mild are these first rays of spring sunshine, making the break with that dull greyness of a winter that went on only too long !
How fortunate we are to be able to sample all those tiny little pleasures that spring brings us ! Indeed, it would be wrong of us to deprive ourselves of them and what malcontent could reasonably begrudge us this enjoyment ?
However, there are many for whom spring is just the sad continuation of a winter that has been going on for a very long time, well beyond the immutable rhythm of the seasons. I’m talking here about all the people living a hand-to-mouth existence with no security, about whom there is a regular outcry in the media regarding the intolerable situation in which they find themselves.
You know that class of invisible people who haunt the corridors of the metro or inhabit the vile slums on the fringes of our cities !
Can a society such as ours be content with this growing misery on the fringes of our towns ? I don’t think so.
Associations are striving relentlessly to improve the daily life of these people who have been battered and bruised by life’s trials or pushed into a forced exile. Paths that are ultimately very far removed from the gold mines initially envisaged !
At a time when there is strong talk of getting back to a more united society and a pressing need for peaceful coexistence, endeavouring to resolve these problems of extreme insecurity, poverty and vulnerability is more than just a matter of urgency.
The declared political will must be followed up with resources. These are currently inadequate ! This is evident in the serious problems faced by organisations providing accommodation facilities, CHRS emergency housing and social integration centres and other schemes and systems.
The associations are teeming with ideas and initiatives. They constitute the prime source of opportunities for closely monitoring social cohesion.
Let us not sacrifice them on the supposed basis of strictly financial reasoning. They deserve much better and our democracy will undoubtedly gain from it !
The President
Francis Bouten