Vendors come from all religious backgrounds – Catholic, Muslim, Hindu, Jewish, or no religion at all. But all vendors were excited when SVP got invited to meet Pope Francis this month at the Vatican!
It was part of the World Meeting of Popular Movements, a conference that Pope Francis has convened the past three years. The meeting brings together representatives from 70 countries who work on labor, land, and lodging — excluded worker movements (vendors, waste pickers, etc.), informal housing organizations, and various campesino movements working on agrarian land reform. SVP, represented by director Sean Basinski and Leadership Board member Mohammed Saad Ali, was honored and thrilled to attend.
After three days of intense meetings at the Pontifical International College, the final day took us to the Vatican, where we were addressed by Pope Francis himself. A video of the address, in which the pope spoke of love as an antidote to fear, is here.