The International Movement ATD Fourth World was founded by father Joseph Wresinski in 1957. Born in the most abject poverty and intimately aware of the stigma of it, he encouraged the most poverty-stricken families to forge a community life for themselves and non-poor persons from all the walks of life to join with them in creating a culture which rejects poverty.
ATD Fourth World brings together
families living in the most abject poverty, who are the first-line combatants against poverty and who, with Joseph Wresinski, gave a name to their people: the FourthWorld
permanent core-workers from 5 continents and all cultures and walks of life, with a long-term commitment to helping the most poverty-stricken break free
they work in more than 50 centres of poverty in the world
allies working within their own social, work, spiritual and other environment to forge new links of solidarity with the poorest of the worldâ€™s poor
correspondents, both individuals and organizations, working alongside the dispossessed in a hundred countries (Permanent Forum on extreme world poverty)
The aim is to enable the most poverty-stricken individuals and families to live with dignity, to be able to lift themselves out of poverty and take part in the future of their family, their community, their country, and humankind as a whole.
Partnership work with the poorest of the poor on housing, health, education, access to culture and the new technologies and accession to citizenship is directed towards
sharing knowledge (street libraries, art and poetry centres, cultural centres, learning and solidarity clubs, pre-school centres)
being able to plan for the family and achieve basic security (family-friendly housing estates, care homes, skills centres)
speaking out and taking part in public life(Fourth World Peopleâ€™s Universities)
Locally, nationally and internationally, the Movement helps build awareness of poverty as a fact of life and what must be done to ensure respect for human rights for all. Through its various schemes and projects, it aims to influence the public authorities to introduce comprehensive, coherent and forward-looking policies to eradicate extreme poverty. It encourages organized friendship between young people (Fourth World Youth Movement) and between children (Tapori Movement) from all sectors of society.
ATD Fourth World is a non-governmental international organization with no religious beliefs, political of other affiliations. Through its consultative status with Ecosoc (UN) , UNICEF, UNESCO, the ILO and the Council of Europe it helps give the most dispossessed a say in the future of society and an influence in policy-making.
It also has a delegation to the European Union, and was the prime mover behind the UN Member States celebration of 17 October as World Day for Overcoming Extreme Poverty.