July 9, 2015
"That economy kills. That economy excludes.”
Pope Francis' denunciations of an economic system that benefits the few is well-founded. According to the latest Oxfam report, only 8 people have the same wealth as the poorest half of the planet.
However, there are also "counterexamples", such as the Economy of Communion. It is an initiative of the Focolare Movement, formed by entrepreneurs, committed to the common good.
They understand companies less from an individualistic perspective, but rather more from a social perspective. They allocate part of the company's profits to people in need, or to solve specific problems in a region.
For example, Teresa from the Philippines runs a rural bank that specializes in granting microcredits. Her help has been vital to the survival of the industry in her area.
"We share our profits worldwide. Not just to our country, but also to our worldwide community in order to help the poor.”
The Economy of Communion is currently formed by an international network of 800 companies. They share projects, experiences, and, above all, the commitment to improve their personel and neighbors. Their strongest facet is that they do not only provide the means to get out of poverty, but also continue to collaborate with them so that they do not return to their former state.
STEVE WILLIAM AZEUMO
Economy of Communion (Central Africa)
"Our challenges are not financial challenges. Our challenges are... let me describe, okay? Sometimes people have been given fish, sometimes people have been taught how to fish, but the most important thing that they need is to be able to fish together.”
Mundell & Associates (USA)
"Our employers are often given time to help with a local development project during the day. For example, many go to distribute food to poor people in their community.”
The Economy of Communion was launched in 1991 under the impulse of Chiara Lubich, also the founder of the Focolare Movement. It proposes a new business culture, and entrepreneurs from over 50 countries have joined. They face the challenge of realizing the Social Doctrine of the Church; Thinking about the common good and not just the economic benefits.