Viatores Christi’s pastoral programme embodies the core values of the Missionary Approach to Development*, to operate through justice, compassion, integrity, commitment and respect. This applies to all aspects of our work.
VC Mission Partners, many of whom are faith based organisations, have proven good practice in development and humanitarian work with strategic plans, child safeguarding and financial policies actively implemented. On a similar footing, VC pastoral volunteers/Lay Mission Workers are assessed, recruited and trained before departure, to ensure their qualifications, expertise and faith motivation are aligned with that of VC and the Mission Partner, who also conduct final interviews with potential candidates. VC recognise people are at different stages of their life journey when they seek to go on mission, but encourage a participation and engagement in the core ethos of the organisation. Mission and Development is one of the core modules in the Venture Training for this reason.
Longer term intervention
VC believes that longer term intervention is preferable to a short term approach. This is an understanding that change takes time and is an investment. It’s crucial for volunteers to give it the due time required. That is not to deny there are times when short term consultancy support is valuable, but rather to say solidarity and relationship building takes time. A long-term commitment implies speaking the local language, living the local culture and journeying with communities, especially in times of crisis.
Solidarity with the Poor and Marginalised
VC work with missionary partners and faith organisations in underdeveloped and developing countries, many of whom work with the poorest and most marginalised throughout our world. These groups are not widely targeted by secular development organisations, as it can be extremely challenging to work with this sector. Many of the faith-based organisations that VC work with are based in areas that are often overlooked by mainstream development actors including the slums, favelas and shantytowns of larger cities. Many of these projects have high security issues and some are in very remote areas.
Pastoral and missionary opportunities come up quite regularly and are applied for in the same way as other roles.
*The Missionary Approach to Development is a term developed by the members of Misean Cara to describe the unique characteristics of a faith-based approach to assist in the transformation and support of communities worldwide.