The international charter

All the organisations member of the International Federation of the little brothers of the Poor share common values expressed in the little brother’s International Charter.

The members of the IF throughout the world are in keeping with the spirit given by Armand Marquiset, who created the association of the petits frères des Pauvres in 1946.

The values

The action led by the petits frères des Pauvres has found its inspiration in the following fundamental values:
  • The unique and irreplaceable value of each human being
  • The dignity of every man and woman whatever their origin, situation, mental, physical or social state
  • Everyone’s fundamental freedom, fraternity and faithfulness.

The mission

Brotherly relationship is the core of the petits frères des Pauvres mission


The mission of the petits frères des Pauvres is to support people suffering in isolation from the consequences of aging, particularly when they live in precarious conditions.

The petits frères des Pauvres commit themselves in an authentic and durable relationship with the elderly in a spirit of gratuitousness, friendship and faithfulness, beyond the material support they can provide

It is this fraternal support that illustrates Armand Marquiset’s motto: “flowers before bread”. Supporting means:
  • meeting regularly and individually each person, listening, speaking to him whilst respecting his dignity, his privacy, his pace of living and his fundamental freedom .
  • Supporting and helping each person in all the fields of his life and particularly when they lack the minimum to live with dignity.
  • Helping the person to live in relationship with others and to share happy and convivial moments.
To back the support, the petits frères des Pauvres have developed specific actions such as:
  • holidays
  • Christmas Eve dinners and lunches
  • collective activities
  • material help
  • premises for welcoming, accommodating and housing
  • etc.

Acting together

The petits frères des Pauvres’s commitment towards the elderly is a lasting one; it must always be carried by a team and is an associative and fraternal commitment.

The commitment in the associative action of the petits frères des Pauvres must not be submitted in belonging to any religious, political or ethnic group.

The organisation must allow those evolved to discuss, witness and to take place in decisions.

To operate together, the petits frères des Pauvres develop actions of awareness, training and support to volunteers and staff.

The petits frères des Pauvres work closely with the person’s circle of family and friends and if it exists with the professional and institutional partners.

To witness

The fraternal support commits the petits frères des Pauvres to bring to light and to testify of situations encountered. The petits frères des Pauvres report on the conditions and the realities of the people they support, regarding their sufferings and their expectations.


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