There is an organization in France with the French acronym abbreviated to LACIM. Villages with needs in poorer countries communicate to the LACIM secretariat in Croizet-sur-Gand in central France (the home village of the Charlat Family). The secretariat regularly sends out lists of poor villages requesting help, receiving expressions of a willingness to partner with the needy villages from various villages in France. The LACIM coordinator in a French village takes responsibility for writing a few times each year to the partner village and to collect from other participating villagers a fixed contribution which is sent every 3 months via the LACIM secretariat, to the partner abroad. The partner abroad likewise has a committee which coordinates the needs for its village development and corresponds regularly with the French partner or twin.
Some more active French villages simultaneously assist several villages in various parts of the world. Usually, the assistance component may last 10-12 years, though the friendship built up among the partners may be more permanent. Sometimes, persons from partner villages may visit in order to learn firsthand the realities of the partner’s situation, culture, living conditions, and so forth. The purpose of the LACIM partnerships is to build relations between the world’s poor and those well-off and to learn about each other as well as to share resources. In a very divided world, the LACIM model calls humanity to overcome historical and civilizational differences and to realize our common humanity.
Andre Vernhes, a French Marianist, and Anne Rouve, a three-year IIRD volunteer from France, helped to link LACIM and PEP. The first twinning or partnership was established in November 1995 between Requista in south-central France (Anne’s home village) and Shengua in Kachua Thana of Bangladesh. Currently, Mr. Pierre Rouve and his wife Mrs. Solange Rouve have been coordinating the program from France.
Thirteen twinnings exist between LACIM and PEP. Requista has the two twinnings of Bitara and Shofibad. There are 16 villages of Kachua sub-district in Chandpur district of Bangladesh which come under the 13 twinnings by French villages, as 3 twinnings have two smaller villages each. The double Bangladesh villages are Malchoa-Baghmara, Doholia-Bokshoganj, and Changpur-Obhoypara. From the inception of the project, various types of supports such as education, medical treatment, homestead land raising, flood relief, winter clothing etc. were provided to LACIM development partners.