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The charity of Christ urges the sisters to network and help the vulnerable


Photos courtesy of Sr. Hiwot


By Sr.Hiwot


Sr. Hiwot who is a Daughter of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul, Province of Ethiopia and an ambassador of World Women Observatory (WWO) called to respond to their Motto: “The charity of Christ urges us.” (2 Cor. 5:14)


Reflecting on the call of our Holy Father:


Let us pray together so that women, every woman, may be respected, protected, and esteemed. Violence against women and mothers is violence against God himself, who from a woman, from a mother, took on our human condition.” (Pope Francis, Mar 8, 2023)


The Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul was founded in the 17th Century in France and opened a mission in Ethiopia in November 1927. It serves God in his sons and daughters through corporal works and spiritual ministries with preferential options for those who live in poverty. Since our arrival in the country, our priorities have been upholding the dignity and rights of women, developing their potential, and strengthening their faith. Pastoral ministry is carried out together with other non-discriminatory or whatsoever services where the majority of beneficiaries are female and children. We serve with systemic Change and an integral development approach so that those served may realize their full human potential, and know and love their creator.


Our works/strategies include but not only the following:


1 - Empowerment through opportunities for good quality education:


  • With a conviction that education is the best means to eradicate poverty, and fight against any odds that violate the rights and dignity of every person but especially women and children, our schools in different parts of the country have been producing assertive, responsible, productive, and proud women of faith. These schools lay a solid foundation for a promising, successful, and bright future for our students.


  • College level training: The education institutes and training centers we run aim at giving marketable knowledge and skills to trainees the majority are women. In addition to the formal skills training, these institutes also give awareness education on different priority fields where human rights, prevention of Gender-based violence, discrimination, and traditional harmful practices are integral parts of our efforts.


2 - Socio-Economic empowerment:


Both in urban and rural areas, our Community strives to ensure the socio-economic empowerment of resource-poor people, mostly poor women and girls through diversified income-generating schemes. The main aim here is reducing poverty and gender inequality empowering vulnerable groups toward economic stability way producing results that complement each other.

 

We also foster a spirit of unity, dialogue, and a spirit of caring community within different groups of women and men in different villages. One of the means that help to ensure this is by introducing Saving and Internal Lending Communities (SILC) – a type of informal microfinance mechanism that works for women living in poverty, usually in rural areas. This fosters the social capital and economic aspect of the communities by pooling resources from the community itself. It creates not only economic empowerment but also social capital. This brings up the participation of women in work and also in decision-making. The women learn from each other’s wisdom.

 

3 - Walking along/with the marginalized (synodality in action):


Our Holy Father said,


"We will carry in our minds and hearts the sufferings of the sick, the poor, the rejected of this world,” he said, adding that “we will remember the ‘sacrificed lambs,’ the innocent victims of wars, dictatorships, everyday violence, abortions…". (S.S. el Papa Francisco, 31.03.2021)


In the spirit of Synodality, In the Charism of Our Congregation, and in the mission of the World Women Observatory, we dedicate our service wholeheartedly to the needy with love.

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