Bernard Monnet was born in Versailles, near Paris, where he lived the poverty and exclusion with his family. He saw his parents and many other families struggle to live in dignity. In 1977, while living in Toulon, he discovered the ATD Fourth World Movement and he saw how it worked to defend the rights and dignity of his parents and all his community. Finally, he chose to become personally involved and committed to this movement as a Fourth World activist, to show solidarity with the poorest.
He has since worked continuously within the Movement, including several years as a permanent volunteer with ATD Fourth World in the Netherlands and in France, in Lille and Paris. In 1987, he worked with young people who helped organize the first World Day for Overcoming Extreme Poverty. On the evening of that first World Day, he realised that he could no longer live without carrying this light of hope and that he would answer the call to unite for human dignity all over the world.
“Every human being has a fundamental value that determines his human dignity”, says ATD Fourth World. And the poorest people, in their struggle, in their suffering, carry this desire for dignity and peace deep inside them. Taking part in 17 October is to be a witness of this suffering and of this daily fight, it is a cry that calls for the construction of a world of peace.”
President of the International Committee for October 17
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