Reference Work Entry

International Encyclopedia of Civil Society

pp 53-54

ATD Quart-Monde

  • Anael LabigneAffiliated withCentre for Social Investment, Universitaet Heidelberg
  • , Regina ListAffiliated withCentre for Social Investment, Universitaet Heidelberg

Address of Organization

114 avenue du Général Leclerc 95480 Pierrelaye France www.​atd-fourthworld.​org


The international NGO Aide à Toute Détresse Quart-Monde (ATD Quart-Monde or ATD Fourth World, in English) mobilizes poor families and communities in housing estates, slums, and isolated towns, researches issues of poverty with the participation of those affected, and informs public opinion. It does this with help from the members of its international Volunteer Corps.

Brief History

In 1956, Father Joseph Wresinski (1917–1988), the son of a poor immigrant family, was assigned by his bishop to be a chaplain to 250 families placed in an emergency housing camp in Noisy-le-Grand, near Paris, France. In 1957, Wresinski and the families of the camp founded an association, which was later to become ATD Quart-Monde. Wresinski chose the term “Quart-Monde,” or “Fourth World,” to represent all people needing help, not only those in the so-call ...

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