Some Voice of the Poor Vincentians are staff members, most are volunteers; some hold elected positions, some have been appointed to these roles; all have a keen passion for justice and, most simply, want to be the “voice of the poor”, always being faithful to the Rule of the Society.
Regardless of their position, all Voice of the Poor Vincentians need to take a “leadership role” within the Society, because “No one can do advocacy alone!” Leadership is not about managing, but about creating a climate where inspired ideas and action can become a reality. It is about shared responsibility and working with others as a team. It is about helping each other to maintain a clear focus in our mission.
The Society’s mission is “moving people out of poverty.” Direct assistance allows people to survive temporarily, but, beyond that, we want to provide the resources needed to help in their long-term improvement, whether that is education, job training, mental health, addiction recovery or anything else. For this to happen, we have to ensure, through our advocacy efforts, that these essential resources are available from public and private programs. We also want to make sure that those living in poverty, benefiting from these programs, are motivated to change their life. Having built constructive relationships with people in poverty through home visits, we are in a position to mentor them and to monitor their progress. This process is the beginning of Systemic Change.
Advocacy is key for Systemic Change to happen. The resources of SVdP are limited; to address the root-causes of poverty, the larger society has to be involved and do their part! Through Advocacy, we ensure that this will happen.
Voice of the Poor Vincentians have built an expertise in Advocacy. They can lead the way by training, facilitating, involving their peers in the Conferences and Councils, but everyone in the Society needs to be the Voice of the Poor.
Furthermore, with Systemic Change, we plan to involve those living in poverty in advocating for themselves and bring their stories to members of Congress State legislators and city government.
Voice of the Poor Vincentian, think as a leader, act as a leader and teach the public skills that you have acquired to the other members of the Society!