Forward from Sister Hiwot

We, the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent De Paul, are a Society of Apostolic Life in Community founded IN 1633 by St. Vincent de Paul and St Louise de Marillac in France within the Catholic Church. Currently, over 14 thousand Daughters of Charity are serving in 93 countries.

During the Vincentian Family celebration of the 400th anniversary at the Vatican in 2017, Pope Francis in his speech proposed three simple things that are of great importance to our Vincentian spirit:

  • To worship: - According to Pope Francis, prayer is to stand before God and be with Him, to devote oneself to Him alone. This is the purest form of prayer: to make room for the Lord and his praise, and nothing else. It is the pure intimacy with the Lord, which gives peace and joy, and melts the sorrows of life. A Vincentian, in practicing this type prayer, becomes more merciful, more sympathetic, more available and exceeds his/her stiffness to become more open to others.
  • To welcome: - The pope advised us Vincentians to be welcoming, available and accustomed to others, knowing that man is an imitation of God. He added that the welcoming Christian is a true person of the Church, because the Church is a Mother, and a Mother welcomes and accompanies her life around her. So we are invited to be like God and like mothers to those who are in need.
  • To go: - His Holiness, Pope Francis, reminds us to inflame the hearts of people throughout the Earth by doing what Jesus, the Son of God did for us. Our vocation is as dynamic as Love. This vocation is relevant to everyone. He challenges us to ask questions like: “Do I meet others as the Lord wants?”

In line with our vocation, the congregation’s primary goal is to serve God in persons who live in poverty and the most disadvantaged within society. Inspired and guided by the gospel values, we, the Daughters of Charity, focus on values such as love, justice, solidarity, collaboration, commitment, equality and respect for human dignity and integrity. We seek to address the inequality in our world by giving preferential treatment to people who are poor and most disadvantaged.

The presence of the Daughters of Charity in Ethiopia goes back to November 1927, when three sisters arrived in Addis Ababa. The Work has expanded and there are now 14 local community houses directed by 61 sisters serving hundreds of thousands of disadvantaged people.


Following the footsteps of our Founders, Vincent and Louise, we currently provide person-centered pastoral services as well as integrated social services in 5 National Regional States of the country and seven dioceses. Here are just some of the services we provide:

  • Quality Education
  • Health care
  • Support for the youth, children found in difficult situation (vulnerable children), women and elderly (livelihood)
  • Support for people with disabilities
  • Prison ministry
  • Support for people with HIV and AIDs
  • Housing support for the destitute and homeless
  • Prevention of Human Trafficking and Rehabilitation of victims of the same.
  • Support for refugees and internally displace people
  • Pastoral ministry

The details behind these services (and many others!) will be outlined in this report, and we hope you enjoy reading about some of the great work undertaken by our sisters. So much good work has been done in the past 91 years, but our mission in Christ continues. We endeavor to continue to address the inequality in our society, asking God’s help to serve His people.

Background of the Congregation/Society

Daughters of Charity

The Company of the Daughters of Charity (DOC), which was founded by St. Vincent de Paul and St. Louise De Marillac in the 17th century in France, is an international Congregation classified as “Society of Apostolic Life” within the Catholic Church. The primary purpose of the Society/Congregation is to serve God in those who are poor corporally and spiritually. The Society provides holistic services to those who are poor in ninety-three countries of five continents in line with their Co-Founder’s teaching who said,

"I beg all of you to renew your courage so that you may serve God and the poor with more fervor, humility, and charity than ever."
(L.581 Louise de Marillac to the Sisters of the Hotel-Dieu of Nantes, 13 July 1658)

The presence of DOC in Ethiopia goes back to November 1927. The base of its work in the country is rooted in the Catholic Social Teachings (CST) of the Church. Its mission is inspired by the values of the Gospel to promote Integral Human Development (IHD) and respond to the ever-growing needs of assisting communities at the grass-root level.

The DOC provides its services in 14 mission locations in Ethiopia, spread over five regional states and seven Dioceses. The services include:

  • Quality education at different levels
  • Health care
  • Support program for youth; children; women and the elderly
  • Support program for people with disabilities; HIV/AIDS
  • Prison ministry
  • Housing support for the destitute and homeless
  • Support program of basic needs to refugees
  • Prevention of human trafficking and rehabilitation of the victims
  • Pastoral ministry

The work of the Daughters of Charity is guided by its fundamental values such as love, justice, solidarity, collaboration, commitment, equality and respect for human dignity, stewardship and integrity. They seek to address the inequality in the world by giving preferential treatment to people who are poor and most disadvantaged.

Taking into account the legal provision of the Ethiopian Government, the DOC has been affiliated to the Ethiopian Catholic Church Social and Development Commission (ECC-SADCO) which is established as a separate entity and registered with the Ministry of Justice since 2000.

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Core values

Dignity of the Human Person:

The dignity of the human person as free, intelligent, social and with rights and duties is central to the work of the DOC. Preferential options for the poor and marginalized are always prioritized through addressing the cross-cutting issues that cut across their existence in order to restore a sense of co-responsibility in building a world more favorable to the poor


The Catholic tradition insists that we show our respect for the Creator by our stewardship of His creation. The DCO of the Daughters of Charity strives to use the resources entrusted to it in an efficient and effective manner, being aware of its responsibility to act at all times in a manner that is transparent and accountable to all stakeholders.


The DCO strives to instill and ensure a genuine sense of solidarity with partners, other ecumenical bodies and global institutions.

Justice, preferential option for the poor and vulnerable.

From its earliest days, the Church has taught that we will be judged by what we choose to do or not to do in regard to the hungry, the thirsty, the sick, the homeless, the prisoners, etc.


Equality of all persons comes from their essential dignity while differences in talents are a part of God’s plan. Social and cultural discrimination in fundamental rights are not compatible with God’s design.


Every person, from the moment of conception to natural death, has inherent dignity and a right to life consistent with that dignity.

Daughters of Charity