Church launches interest-free lending scheme to help people get back on their feet
In a new initiative, The Church has set up a Fund for Voluntary Solidarity and has bestowed the first sum of €5,000 into the fund. At a press conference led by Auxiliary Bishop Joseph Galea Curmi, it was announced that the Fund will give assistance in the form of an interest-free loan to people who wish to get back on their feet by starting a business or a new venture.
Those who have fallen behind for various reasons may now apply for this scheme.
The idea to create this fund came from Prof. Josef Bonnici who explained that this fund would encourage businessmen and people who earn more than they need, to contribute voluntarily to this fund. The aim is to help people by providing them with the means to earn their own living in a dignified way.
Prof. Josef Bonnici said, “we believe that all individuals have abilities which, with a bit of support and assistance, they are capable of using to live a dignified life once again within the workplace, so that they can then go on to earn their livelihoods to support themselves and their families.”
He explained that the aim is for the Fund to lend money without interest and for the loan to be paid back once the person is back on their feet with the work they have carried out.
Auxiliary Bishop Joseph Galea Curmi said that this financial assistance will help the individual to move forward.
Mons Galea Curmi said, “The Church helps the person not by giving him a fish but by teaching him to fish, in other words, it does not just give him what he needs at that moment, like Caritas, but also helps him to fish in order to get out of the situation he finds himself in.”
Prof Bonnici said that because of the inequality in financial incomes which is being created even within economies which are growing, the International Monetary Fund and the Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development have warned about the negative effects which this can have on the sustainability of the economy, because the unequal distribution of wealth causes social problems.