What is the mission of the VFHI?
The VFHI creates opportunities for people living in poverty to achieve sustainable human and economic development.
What does the VFHI do?
Our human development work includes sponsoring hundreds of families in the highly successful Pathway to a Better Life program conducted by Fonkoze, an alternative bank for the organized poor in Haiti. We also coordinate a school consortium in which every child in these schools receives a hot meal on each weekday and we deliver teacher training to improve educational outcomes.
Our economic development efforts involve supporting existing Vincentian businesses and launching social businesses that provide jobs and productive skills to local people. A project in development is a fish farm/animal breeding program in the north of Haiti. The VFHI’s first project was Zafèn, a microfinance initiative launched in 2010 in partnership with Fonkoze and the Haitian Diaspora.
When did the VFHI begin?
Vincentian nuns and priests have worked in Haiti for about 40 years. In 2010, on the 350th anniversary of the deaths of St. Vincent de Paul and St. Louise de Marillac, the Vincentian Family sought to commemorate the lives of their patrons by concentrating special efforts among the poorest of the poor. It chose to do this in Haiti.
Who is involved in the VFHI?
Representatives from the following organizations make up the International Board of the VFHI:
• Congregation of the Mission
Often known as Vincentian Fathers and Brothers or Lazarists, it is a community of Roman Catholic priests and brothers founded by St. Vincent de Paul in 1625 for the evangelization of the poor and the formation of the clergy. Vincentian priests and brothers total over 3,000 worldwide and serve in 86 countries.
• Daughters of Charity
The Daughters of Charity were founded in 1633 by St/ Vincent de Paul and St. Louise de Marillac. Following the path of Jesus, Vincent and Louise, the Daughters proclaim the Gospel by serving those who are poor. There are 18,000 Daughters of Charity worldwide.
• DePaul University
It is the largest Catholic institution of higher education in America with about 25,000 students. Its patron is St. Vincent de Paul.
• International Association of Charity
It was the first lay women’s organization in the world, founded by St. Vincent de Paul in 1617. It was established in order to fight against poverty and to give women a recognized role in the church and in society. It counts with 53 associations, with more than 200,000 members worldwide.
• Society of St. Vincent de Paul
A Catholic lay organization, the society leads women and men to join together to grow spiritually by offering person-to-person service to those who are needy and suffering in the tradition of its founder, Blessed Frédéric Ozanam, and patron, St. Vincent de Paul. The Society has about 700,000 members in some 148 countries worldwide.
• Vincentian Marian Youth
The first 15 groups in the Children of Mary Association were organized in different regions of France between 1835 and 1847. All members of the Vincentian Marian Youth Movement contemplate in Mary the young people’s resolve to imitate the virtues characteristic of the Association: transparency (purity), collaboration (humility) seeking the will of God (obedience), sensitivity to the poor (charity). It has over 110,000 members worldwide in 65 countries.
How can I support the VFHI?
We greatly appreciate your support!
Please send checks made out to the Vincentian Family Haiti Initiative to:
Rev. Joseph Agostino, C.M.
St. Vincent’s Seminary
500 E. Chelten Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19144
You also may make donations through PayPal on our website. For transactions above $10,000, please contact us for wiring instructions. You do not need a PayPal account to make a donation. You can use credit cards, bank accounts or the PayPal credit system to transact business via PayPal.
Is my donation tax deductible?
Donations to the Vincentian Family, US 501(c)(3) organization, are tax deductible by U.S. taxpayers to the extent permitted by law.
How can I learn more about VFHI initiatives?
Please subscribe to our newsletter here.