The Forum on Overcoming Extreme Poverty came into existence at the end of the 1950s, as Joseph Wresinski and the families of Noisy-le-Grand found themselves isolated and searching for a way forward. During this period, Wresinski decided to create a network of friends around the world, so that individuals and small organizations also working with people in extreme poverty should not remain isolated in their efforts to fight poverty. Today, this network is called the “Forum on Overcoming Extreme Poverty”.
The Forum is coordinated by ATD Fourth World, but all participants in the Forum have their own identity, objectives, and philosophy. The aim is not for participants to join ATD Fourth World.
The objective of the Forum is rather to enable participants to share their questions, successes, and failures, and to think with others about their own projects and their commitment to the fight against poverty in a spirit of freedom and reciprocity.
The Forum does not have a legal status or a membership structure. It does not provide subsidies or material or financial assistance, and cannot be used as a platform for promoting individual interests or projects.
The Forum’s Tools:
Letter to Friends Around the World
The network’s resources are simple: personalized correspondence and a simple newsletter — “Letter to Friends Around the World” — published three times a year (currently in English, French, and Spanish). Through this letter, someone living in Colombia, for example, can learn about the work of someone fighting poverty in Morocco, and perhaps offer encouragement or a new perspective.
The Forum Website
The website allows a direct exchange within the network of people committed every day and during events organized on October 17. Many of these correspondents are involved in consultations, studies and seminars (Guiding Principles, assessment of the Millennium Development Goals, Seminar “Poverty is violence break the silence build peace“, etc.) involved in advocacy with international authorities.
Exhibit: The “Letter to Friends” in Living Colour
An art exhibit has been created by the Forum on Overcoming Extreme Poverty. It can be used as a tool for getting to know new people, sparking dialogue, consciousness-raising, and inviting society to engage in social justice. This exhibition was designed with mobility in mind. The thirty posters exist in either of the following dimensions: 80 x 120cm or 29.7×42 cm. If you or someone you know would like to display the exhibit, please contact us at Email
The real strength of the Forum derives from the commitment and the testimonies of people in poverty themselves and of those who are working alongside them.
Want to share your commitment, your questions, thoughts with others and join the Forum on Overcoming Extreme Poverty?
To learn more, and to subscribe to the Letter to Friends Around the World, visit the website