“a process where community members come together to take collective action and generate solutions to common problem”

Daughters of Charity

The Daughters of Charity’s aim is to assist the poor to become agents of their own future through structured intervention that gives communities greater control over the conditions that affects their lives. They collaborate with local communities and organisations on a wide variety of projects such as income generation, urban development, women’s empowerment, education and health. The demographics targeted include: impoverished members of society; disabled people/those suffering from ill-health; women; young people; and elderly people.

Projects:

Disability and Ill-Health

DisabilityandIll-Health

Currently, in order to define disability, Ethiopia uses the definition of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities: ‘those who have long-term physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairments which in interaction with various barriers may hinder their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others’. In Ethiopia, underreporting of disability - due to stigma, misconceptions, and differing interpretations of the word disability, combined with the exclusion of homeless disabled persons from the majority of studies, has made accessing exact numbers of disabled people in Ethiopia very difficult. The World Health Organization (2011) estimated the prevalence of people with disabilities in Ethiopia to be 17.6% - totalling 14,449,952 in 2011 – a number which is likely to have increased with the countries expanding population. This is far higher than the global average of 10% (WHO, 2011). One theory for Ethiopia’s higher percentage of disabled people is because of the prevalence of infectious diseases (e.g trachoma, polio, leprosy, elephantitis, etc.) and the famine/war which ravaged the region in the 1980’s and 1990’s. This theory explains the occurance of lower limb disability (which is thought to be caused by war injuries), and blindness (caused by trachoma infections discussed earlier). Figure 1, from the Dutch Coalition on Disability and Development, shows specific information about different types of disability in Ethiopia

Contribution of DOC

Often disabled people in Ethiopia are marginalised, and do not have the same opportunities, or equal access to the services that are enjoyed by the rest of the population. They face stigmas which reduce their quality of life and can leave disabled people feeling out-cast – particularly those suffering from leprosy. The Daughters of Charity aim to provide people with disabilities with dignity, and to empower them to become self reliant. The two main houses which carry out this work are Saint Cathrine’s House in Jimma, Bulbulla and at St Mary’s in Addis Ababa.

ST. Catharine’s House – Jimma

The Jimma project aspires to see all leprosy infected and disabled people to be actively participating in social and developmental activities without prejudice, discrimination or exclusion.

St Damian House Bulbula

St. Damian’s House - Bulbula

St. Damian’s House collaborates with a number of other hospitals and care institutions to improve the opportunities of families affected by disability.

Young and Elderly People

Young and Elderly People

Two of the most vulnerable sectors of Ethiopia include unemployed young people and the elderly.

Female Empowerment

Female Empowerment

Louise de Marillac was a great believer in helping disadvantaged women

Bethlehem House— Bonga

Bethlehem House— Bonga

Bethlehem House is an excellent example of the holistic work that the Daughters of Charity do in communities, looking to tackle a number of issues in the same area.

Bethlehem House— Bonga

Tigray Women Development Project

In Mekele, several projects promote the empowerment of women.

Work with the poor

Work with the poor

A sister will go and visit the poor ten times a day, and ten times a day she will find God there.”

Work with the poor

Urban Development Project, Yeka, Addis Ababa

To assist the disadvantaged residents of the area to develop skills and provide opportunities for residents of the area to improve their living standards.