img

About
Daughters of Charity

About Us

Help is Our Main Goal

"The main purpose for which God has called the Daughters of Charity and brought them together is to honor our Lord Jesus Christ as the source and model of all charity, serving Him corporally and spiritually in the person of the poor." Constitutions pg. 28.

We are an international group of women in the Catholic Church, who follow the gospel vision of St. Vincent de Paul and St. Louise de Marillac, giving our lives totally to God, in Community for the service of persons living in poverty in an evangelical spirit of humility, simplicity and charity.

For administrative purpose, our worldwide Community is divided into Provinces. Each Province has its own leadership team which is responsible for the administration and development of the works of the Province and for the care and well being of the members of the Community. Each Province is made up of Local communities of between 3 - 15 Sisters who work in various services in a particular area.


Our Services

What we do?

Since our foundation in 1633, the Daughters of Charity have remained a beacon of hope for diverse people with wide-ranging needs across the entire globe. Her work spans a broad range of services and advocacies to address the root causes of poverty, by partnering with the local people, government and non-governmental bodies, recognizing individual and group needs, while respecting the socio-economic, cultural and political realities of each region.

Major areas of apostolate the Daughters of Charity of the Province of Nigeria are involved in include Education, Health Care Services, Services to persons with disabilities, Social Services, Pastoral and formation.


Pastoral & Spiritual Care

As a Catholic organization we are involved in parish ministry which involves catechesis, preparation of children and adults to receive the sacraments, liturgy, accompaniment of bereaved families, coordinating or supporting the people in those parishes that do not have a resident priest, and visiting the people in their homes, especially those people who are house-bound.

Moreover, we offer spiritual accompaniment of various groups and movements in the church, in schools as well as groups belonging to the Vincentian Family (various associations inspired by St. Vincent de Paul).


Health Services

Health services are the largest activity of the Daughters of Charity in Nigeria. In all of the states where we are present we have at least one community that offers health services. Providing high quality, low cost health services is one of the cornerstones of our work.
The aim is to bridge the gap between the formal public health services and the health needs of the people especially those in rural areas. We offer general health and medical services, but also several specialized health services.


Maternal & Child Health

We help build a stronger new generation. We offer antenatal services focused both on training and prevention. Training the mothers-to-be on how to take care of themselves and their babies is a vital part of our maternal and child care services. We also assist when the mothers give birth, and offer surgical intervention when necessary. Immunization and child welfare program help to keep the children alive and healthy.


Primary Health Care

In addition to specialized maternal/child services, we offer primary health care to the community at large. Health education remains an important aspect of our primary health care services; nevertheless, our primary health clinics treat all kinds of illnesses such as malaria or typhoid, cuts and wounds, eye problems and various general health complaints. Treating people at an early stage, and at a cost that even the poor can afford, is crucial in preventing unnecessary deaths.


DREAM: This service is being developed in St. Catherine's Hospital Iwaro-Oka, Akoko, Ondo State. it will take off in July 2021.


Specialized Services for People with Leprosy

Over 90% of people affected by leprosy live in developing countries where resources are scarce. In Nigeria, leprosy risks becoming a forgotten problem amongst higher profile social problems. Due to the efforts of several countries in making free treatment for leprosy available the disease has almost been eradicated with only some 4000 people getting leprosy each year. Unfortunately (ex)patients and their families still suffer from stigmatization and the effects can linger for several generations. We offer both treatment and rehabilitation services. Moreover, those who had treatment too late are often in need of special aid to improve their livelihoods.


Specialized services for people with Tuberculosis

Nigeria has the world's 10th largest tuberculosis burden with nearly 84,263 estimated new cases annually and over 27,000 mortality rate. Both the TB detection rate (ca. 30%) and the treatment success rate (ca. 60%) are among the lowest of high-TB burden countries. The public health burden posed by TB is becoming increasingly important as the country's HIV/AIDS epidemic unfolds; the WHO estimates that 26% of Nigeria's TB patients are HIV-positive. Our specialized TB services are essential in a country where TB is so widespread.


Specialized HIV/AIDS services

The official HIV adult prevalence rate is 5.4% -but accurate data are hard to find, and the prevalence of HIV in children is rising. Also, the prevalence in some states is much higher than in others. Although awareness of the existence of HIV is high, behavioral change comes about too slowly and people living with HIV/AIDS are still social outcasts. We offer HIV-education programs, sensitization & anti-stigmatization programs, counselling, testing, and treatment to the growing number of people living with HIV/AIDS, Prevention of mother to child transmission during pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding, Anti-retroviral therapy for those infected with the HIV virus, running of molecular biology laboratories to diagnose and monitor response to treatment, Monitoring of blood donations, Prevention and care of the diseases linked to Aids (opportunistic infections, sexually-transmitted diseases), Nutritional support for people living with HIV/Aids, Home-based care for the seriously ill.

DREAM: Bringing hope to people living with HIV/AIDS

The DREAM Centre (Drug Resource Enhancement against Aids and Malnutrition) in Kubwa Abuja FCT is the first of its kind in Nigeria and offers free services for people living with HIV/AIDS.The community of Sant'Egidio initiated this model to fight the spread of AIDS. It guarantees free access to diagnosis and treatment and uses a holistic approach, which not only focuses on HIV/AIDS but also on other factors such as malnutrition.


Education

"We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone." (Nelson Mandela)
Teaching was the first activity of the Daughters of Charity in Nigeria and has lost none of its importance since. Over the years, we have provided high quality education to different target groups, tailor-made to their specific needs. From teaching in regular schools we have moved on to cater for people with various disabilities; people who are even more marginalized than others.

Currently we offer the following education services:


  • Running and teaching in mainstream nursery, primary and secondary schools.
  • Inclusive schools .
  • Services and schools for the hearing impaired .
  • Services and schools for the intellectually impaired .
  • Services and schools for people with physical disabilities .


Special education does not get priority from government or even parents. In a hard society, children with disabilities are probably most stigmatized of all. Disability is still often seen as a punishment from God or as a sign of being possessed by the devil, and many disabled children are not getting any chances at all. In such an environment we do more than just teaching: we give these children a chance to survive and to have a meaningful life.


Empowerment of Marginalized persons

In all our works with marginalized individuals, empowerment is our goal. This is achieved in various ways; through sensitization, focused group meeting with the target group, home visitation and community based rehabilitation, we create the awareness that people who are marginalized deserve to be loved and cared for by their own community.

Through our empowerment programmes, we offer education and skill development to children and youngsters with various special needs, to equip some who are able to learn, with skills that will enable them to take up jobs and earn a living in the future. We also target marginalized women and offer according to individual needs, adult literacy programmes, catering, tailoring computer training courses and assistance to set up their own businesses to build their self esteem and to be self reliant.


Social Services

For over four hundred years, we have been known globally for our social services and these services are provided in all of the locations where we are active. It is often a basis for our further activities, and as always we target the marginalized and poor. We take care of abandoned babies, young and abandoned pregnant mothers, of destitute women, of prisoners, street children, immigrants and many others who are in special need for assistance and support.


Ministry to Homeless People

To various groups of homeless people and in several locations we provide drop-in centres and night shelters. We also provide clothing and meals for these people. Besides the immediate care, we also try to rehabilitate homeless people. We do this by providing literacy and self-empowerment programmes, and we help to find jobs and temporary accommodation. Our advocacy efforts hopefully help change the situation of the homeless permanently.


Street Child Project

Children turn to the streets for many reasons often due to the death of one or more parents, poverty, a difficult and often violent home situation, ignorance driven by tradition and culture. Many street children have been severely traumatized, either before they come to the streets, or whilst they adapt to a life of survival and poverty. Their life is made even more difficult by the street gangs who force street children into violence. Successful intervention to improve the quality of the street children's lives is often counteracted by forces like these street gangs, or by economic problems. In our services to street children, we offer the street children, food, clothing, shelter, medical care, education, empowerment and employment, and try to reconcile them back to their families.


Care for the sick and elderly

Part of our work is to visit the sick in hospitals and to visit the elderly in residential nursing homes or in their own homes. We provide spiritual support, practical care and human compassion to those who need it.


Care for mentally ill and destitute women

We find the women in the marketplace. We get them stark naked on the road dancing. Some we get in traffic jams. We take them off the streets and bring them to our centers where they are fed, loved, and sheltered. And with that, they have a fighting chance.
Our goal is to rehabilitate these women, make them self-reliant and reintegrate them into society. However, the road to recovery is more like a long, dark tunnel with only a blessed few finding light at the end. Restoring self-esteem and dignity, our keys to success, begin with washing, cleaning, and clothing each new arrival. A psychiatric doctor makes an assessment, and treatment begins. Then a daily routine from wake up to lights out, and all the meals in between is that a happy ending has not been scripted. But as long as the women are searching for light in the pitch darkness, we keep helping them.