Day 2 for the Systemic Change Philippines Workshop began with a reporting of what the groups had discussed on Vincentian Spirituality. The insights from the participants was enriching with one of the groups highlighting St. Vincent de Paul as a “man of disturbance” – a man who was courageous to face the wind, unafraid to “walk towards trouble” and responding to it with compassion. This was deepened by Jim Claffey in his input “Vincentian Spirituality and Systemic Change”. Fr. Joe Foley then followed explaining to us the UN Millennium Goals emphasizing that when we work collectively, we are able to achieve our goal and able to do more. It was interesting to reflect together with Jim Claffey on the “Seeds of Systemic Change in the Life of St. Vincent”. We were encouraged to “start small… to move forward patiently step by step…and with hope we will see that the seeds we have planted will transform the entire field and make it blossom anew”.
The afternoon focused on the Strategies of Systemic Change with Fr. Joe Foley, CM and Kerry Anthony orienting us on the 4 different strategies: a) Mission-Oriented Strategies; b) Person-Oriented Strategies; c) Task-Oriented Strategies; and d) Strategies Oriented toward Co-responsibility and Participation. This was done through an input combined with video presentations of systemic change initiatives such as Chemin Lavi Miyò, Zafen and the Restaveks in Haiti. The challenge for each one of us in the Vincentian Family is to know where and how to break the circle of poverty. By changing unjust social structures, we create new possibilities. Let us make Systemic Change happen!
Ana Maria P. Escaño