On the threshold of 2013...

Last year seemed to have been forged under the sign of hard times for Associations like ours. However, looking at the economic forecast, it seems as though 2013 is born of different stock. What does the future hold for associations which ceaselessly remind us of our social emergencies : the poverty and the impoverishment of the weakest among us ?
Certainly there seems to be a political will to make the struggle against exclusion a priority. But without the real means to do so it goes without saying that the results won’t be equal to the hopes and needs of society.
In the body of our society today there are clear signs of the disengagement of a growing portion of the population, for whom access to a life worthy of the name is an unattainable goal.
A goal which is even more distant if economic perspectives don’t allow significant improvements to be foreseen in the short term. Poverty and social breakdown are taking root in our country and only the tenacity of associations such as ours, borne by pro-active public policy, will be able to push them back day by day.
By means of experiences and innovations, of those little commonplace moments, the professionals of social action gradually build social cohesion and hold high the values of solidarity.
Of course nothing is ever taken for granted, and today’s context underlines such different problems as the desire to withdraw into oneself, the stigmatisation of difference, the radicalisation of ideas. You only have to look at the debates which have gripped civil society in the last few months to see as much : marriage for all instead of just in church, not to mention the endemic violence which undermines our suburbs.
These are subjects which show that we have a real need : that our social body is dangerously fragmenting, weakening more and more each day the foundations of our republican pact. So many legitimate reasons for professionals of our sector to worry...
But we won’t abandon ourselves to fatalism !
2013 should be a fruitful year for associations like ours, created out of an irrepressible desire to come face to face with difficulties of all magnitude, to concede no part of our original ideal : that of a society which doesn’t abandon its members.
The journey won’t be without pitfalls. But they will only reinforce our conviction never to shy away from our social objective.
Long live innovation and the will to strive in the service of our most needy citizens !
Best wishes to all,
The President
Francis BOUTEN