St. Martin has a particular way of dealing with the problems in the communities. This approach has developed over time and is continuously undergoing changes, incorporating insights from everyday experiences. Even those involved in St. Martin do not always find it easy to grasp and internalise this approach. They need time to make it their own.
Targetting the Able
Targeting the ‘Able’
St. Martin does not directly target the vulnerable people in the community, such as those with disabilities or living with HIV/AIDS. Our focus is on the ‘able’ people who have gifts, talents and resources - however small or great they may be - which could be shared with the needy people around them. By involving these people St. Martin indirectly cares for those who are vulnerable. Here's also the origin of our motto: ONLY THROUGH COMMUNITY.
The approach of St. Martin starts from the potential available in the community. We believe and have trust in people, that solutions for problems of the beneficiaries can always be found by the community and in the community itself. We are convinced that resources in the community are available and that there are many people of good will that just need to be mobilized. By promoting solidarity, sharing and love, changes in the lives of the beneficiaries will be lasting and sustained beyond the existence of St.Martin. In addition, they will be of greater quality as they were given by one's own neighbours,
Besides the available potential in the community, the beneficiaries themselves also have a potential in which we believe. They have hidden talents and abilities, often overshadowed by their issues and problems. Often they have lost hope, self-esteem and belief in their own capacities. It is our duty to bring out the best in every beneficiary and to make them realize that they can do something for themselves. Whatever the community does for the beneficiaries, there is a contribution from themselves to the supporting community that will make people see that they are not helpless but that they can actually give their lives a new direction. By doing so, we recognize the dignity and potential in each one of them.
Transforming all, a long term process
Promoting solidarity can only be achieved by the transformation of communities, by involving all the different people and making a change in their lives. By involving those considered rich and strong and those generally considered poor and weak. Giving them a chance to meet, learn from each other and help one another. Involving the community at all levels is a long term process however St. Martin believes that the final result will not only be a beautiful one but also one that lasts.