Our Values

Our Four Values:

What does Damien Foundation stand for?
The values of an organisation clarify what it stands for and believes in. They are the beacons that guide it throughout the planning, implementation and evaluation of its activities. They translate into concrete principles where the organisation gets its inspiration from.

As a pluralist organisation, Damien Foundation finds its inspiration in the humanitarian and social work of Father Damien. The vision that every human being is entitled to respect, led to his commitment to people affected by leprosy. He shared his life with them, aiming to improve their living conditions even in the direst circumstances. Persevering in his engagement, he dealt with obstacles and difficulties in a constructive manner.

Damien Foundation also finds inspiration in the work of Dr. Frans Hemerijckx and Dr. Claire Vellut. They managed to bring leprosy services to the patients through the so-called clinics under the trees. This allowed patients to have access to quality services and care close to their home, saving many from stigma, disabilities and handicaps.

Raoul Follereau is also important for the organisation; he managed to bring people together and launched ‘World Leprosy Day’. He was instrumental in bringing about the merger of several Belgian leprosy organisations into Damien Foundation in 1964. Inspired by this targeted and coordinated approach, Damien Foundation became two years later co-founder of ILEP, the International Federation of Anti-Leprosy Associations.

Inspired by these examples, Damien Foundation has endorsed 4 core values.


Damien Foundation is an organization open to everyone. It firmly rejects any form of discrimination among its beneficiaries, volunteers and staff members. In its projects, Damien Foundation takes care of people who are ill regardless of their nationality, language, skin colour, age, gender, social origin, culture or philosophical, religious, sexual or political orientation.


Damien Foundation sets its own priorities inspired by the organisation’s vision without political or religious interference. Revenues from a variety of sources ensure financial independence. Damien Foundation autonomously determines its strategy and activities in consultation with the local partners and according to internationally accepted standards.


Damien Foundation stands for solidarity, open dialogue, social justice and respect for diversity. It gives priority to the most destitute and accords a central place to the patients and their right to privacy, autonomy and information with respect for their human dignity. It provides quality services that follow the strictest ethical rules, both medically and socially. Ethical principles also apply to the management, communication and fundraising of the organisation.


Damien Foundation is answerable to its patients, donors, collaborators and partners. The organisation has its way of working and its financial management externally evaluated in a transparent manner. It reports on its achievements through open and regular communication.