Viatores Christ (VC) is an Irish-based development organisation supporting and working within the faith-based international development sector. First established as a Lay Missionary Association, under the Catholic Church in Ireland in 1960, today, VC works with over 30 partners across a wider range of sectors in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean. VC works with its partners to identify and address clearly defined needs ensuring that the root causes of poverty within communities are addressed, and real and sustainable futures sought for the projects’ beneficiaries. VC addresses these needs through through clearly defined development interventions and when needed through the recruitment, training and placement of highly-skilled long-term volunteers.
VC also specialise in the area of grant support, (proposal writing), monitoring and implementation of projects as well as in the recruitment of experts/consultants for clearly defined projects in developing countries. The organisation is needs-driven focusing on assignments in projects identified by its partners in the field which meet the needs of their beneficiaries. In 2015 alone, 38,252 individuals directly benefited from the work of VC across partners in the areas of agriculture, community development, education, environment, health, human rights, income generation and microfinance. VC are members of Misean Cara, an Irish Aid supported funding organisation and are signatories to the Comhlámh Code of Good Practice for volunteer sending organisations.
VC offer our field partners
- Access to funding through VC’s donor and support base – one stop shop for proposal development and support, advice on project design, baseline research, administration, reporting, M&E and much more.
- Access to professional volunteer development workers (VDWs) who can help to build capacity of partner projects over medium to long term.
VC offer potential volunteers
- Long and medium term VDW opportunities for volunteer placement with our partner organisations across a wide range of sectors
- One of the sector’s best training preparation courses aimed at preparing people for an overseas opportunity
- Financial support for volunteer while overseas including flights, accommodation, living allowance and excellent insurance cover.
- Practical assistance with stages of an assignment, including support while overseas and on return
- Opportunity to learn about and explore the context of mission and development today, and reflect on your own motivation and talents.
- Opportunity to serve
Incorporation and Structure
Viatores Christi Limited (Company No. 68333) is incorporated under the Companies Acts 2014 as a Company Limited by Guarantee and not having a share capital. It is also a registered charity (CHY No. 5526 and CRA No. 20008444). The organisation is run by a CEO who reports to a board of directors/council members. There are 9 directors appointed by the members who are elected at the AGM each year. There are a further five trustees who are also elected at the AGM as serve as guardians of the association. The council is made up of a President, Vice-President, Treasurer, Secretary and six additional members. It meets 10 times per year and is responsible for policy and other governance issues including approving membership of the association.
VC was set-up as a lay missionary association in 1960. The organisation grew from among a group of students at University College Dublin (UCD) who were members of the Legion of Mary. VC provided a support framework for emigrant young men and women who were leaving their country and parishes for the first time in search of work. The first VC members participated in pastoral work as volunteers during holiday periods in England and Scotland helping these emigrants with their new lives. In 1960, the first members went on assignment to Nigeria. In 1961 members departed for Peru, Nigeria and Sierra Leone. The organisation has supported thousands of projects and sent over 2500 volunteers/development workers into the field since its inception.
Today, the line between the secular development approach and VC’s faith-based approach is not as clear cut as it perhaps may have been in the past. The organisation’s understanding of ‘mission’ has moved in line with the Irish Church’s own understanding, from one that set out to win people over to the Catholic Church to one of journeying with, in solidarity with the poor and marginalised in the world.While it is firmly rooted in the Roman Catholic tradition it is open to all faiths and those respectful of the organisation’s ethos.
Staff and support volunteers
Shane Halpin – CEO
Colette Rooney – Recruitment and Marketing
Susan Lakes – Mission Development Officer/Projects Officer
Niamh Caffrey – Projects Support Officer
Tessa Cornally – Mission Support Officer
Ann Waldron – Training and Finance
Sally Roddy – MCP and Volunteer Support (Volunteer)
Mary Winters – Parish Promotions Programme (PPP Ireland)
Rose Salaama Bavuga – VC Coordination Uganda
Patron: Most Reverend Diarmuid Martin DD- Archbishop of Dublin, Ireland
Contact Dublin Office +353 1 8689986
Contact East Africa Office + 256 41 4691400