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Global Solidarity Partnership is a program of Catholic Relief Services (CRS) that pairs U.S. dioceses with a diocese or development partner in a country where CRS works overseas. It is designed to foster mutual relationships of solidarity through direct connections between U.S. dioceses and their parishes and communities and local organizations overseas. The partnerships provide opportunities for information sharing, education, project support, exchange visits, faith sharing and spiritual enrichment leading to greater action in the U.S. on behalf of the world’s poor.

An Invitation to Greater Involvement
Through the Global Solidarity Partnership (GSP) program, CRS engages U.S. Catholics more directly in its work and demonstrates how the agency builds capacity with its working partners overseas. The program works with a volunteer team of interested lay people and religious from both partners who implement the program within their community. CRS’ domestic staff in Baltimore, Maryland and international staff in field offices overseas will provide support in their capacity as facilitators for the partnerships.

GSP Delegation Visits: A Journey in Partnership
As the relationship develops, representative groups from the U.S. partner will organize and fund visits with people in their partner country. Our experience shows that these visits energize U.S. Catholics to return home as true ambassadors of solidarity. Likewise, visits from the partner community to the U.S. diocese result in similar blessings. Visits are an important part of any relationship and the Global Solidarity Partnership Program helps prepare, implement and educate participants for an immersion experience in the partner community.

As Catholics, and as U.S. citizens, we have time, talent and material blessings to share with our brothers and sisters overseas living and working in poverty. Funding support for development projects provided by CRS to people in need overseas is a strong, vital component of the Global Solidarity Partnership Program. Parishioners in the U.S. will want to provide financial support to the people in their partner country who struggle for food security, clean water, good health, economic security and education for their children. Through this Partnership Program, U.S. participants learn about development first-hand as an initial activity-a way of opening a door toward other activities beyond this first step.

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Date Added: January 25, 2006

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