The Vincentian Family includes several hundred diverse groups of women and men, laity and religious, Catholic and non-Catholic, starting with the Congregation of the Mission, the Daughters of Charity, the Sisters of Charity, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, the International Association of Charity, Lay Vincentian Missionaries, Vincentian Marian Youth, etc.
They took that decision based on a number of successful projects in which the members of the Family succeeded not only in serving the immediate needs of the poor, but also in assisting the poor to develop strategies by which they can emerge from poverty.
In those projects, the approach and strategies used to foster systemic change came directly from the gospels and the Vincentian Tradition:
- Involving the poor themselves, including women and young people, at all stages of the project: the identification of needs, planning, implementation, evaluation and revision;
- Having a holistic vision - addressing a series of basic human needs: individual and social, spiritual and physical, especially jobs, health care, housing, education, and spiritual growth - with an integral approach toward prevention and sustainable development;
- Placing particular emphasis on self-help and self-sustaining programs, with a special view toward addressing the root causes of poverty.