Our Four Values:
Damien had respect for every person. At Molokai he took care of everybody: also of non-believers. Damien Foundation does likewise. Respect for all patients Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, non-believers, young or old, of rank or position…. Damien Foundation cures everyone with the same attention and without charging. Besides this we also take care of the human being behind the patient. Wherever needed, we take care of the education, housing, schooling of their children and social (re)integration of people affected by leprosy. Respect for all local staff In the countries where Damien Foundation manages projects, it works almost exclusively with local personnel; from drivers to surgeons, to nurses and physiotherapists. We invest in their training and a decent salary so that they can perform their roles in an optimal way. Respect for all volunteers A volunteer is someone who participates for either two hours a year, or someone who helps weekly: we appreciate both equally. People who devote themselves unpaid to a good cause like the Damien Foundation are worthy of every respect.
Chaos at Molokai, quarrels with his superiors, lack of money and tools…: nothing could stop Damien. He is an example to the staff of Damien Foundation, who often continue where others would give up. Never give up Famine, floods, war, political chaos, extreme drought ... sometimes the situation seems 'hopeless'. However, our local staff keep devoting themselves to helping people - even if they have to go into the farthest corners of the country and the most inaccessible regions. To the last The burden of leprosy has already been reduced considerably, but Damien Foundation will continue the fight until the last patient will have been cured. Only with this attitude, will we discover the last focus of leprosy in the world. This is also the only way to counter the spread of TB. Tenacious volunteers Our volunteers in Belgium also show tremendous perseverance. Some people have dedicated more than 50 years’ service to Damien Foundation; that is without salary, on an entirely voluntary basis.
Damien felt happiest when he could collaborate. Damien Foundation draws its strength from intensive collaboration with volunteers, local staff, countries and organisations. Volunteers and ambassadors Every year, thousands of volunteers go out onto the streets for Damien Foundation. They sell markers and raise money. Famous people in Belgium act as our ambassadors.
Stronger together… Schools, youth movements and parishes are committed to Damien Foundation. Media report on ‘project discovery visits’. Gospel concerts reach thousands of people. Enterprises encourage their employees to develop fundraising activities. A bundled force makes the difference.
Boundless commitment A surgeon from Damien Foundation in India exchanges his knowledge with a colleague from Congo. But also the Congolese ‘Club of Damien friends’, ex-patients who refer new patients... the solidarity engendered through Damien Foundation is boundless.
Not alone in the world Damien Foundation closely collaborates with international organizations to fight against TB and leprosy, but also with local governments, scientific institutions and local NGO’s.
Damien found his inspiration in his religion. Many collaborators of Damien Foundation find inspiration in the figure of Damien, but also in Raoul Follereau, ”lawyer of the lepers” and in Dr. Frans Hemerijckx, “doctor of the lepers”
Raoul Follereau was a French journalist, philosopher, lawyer and writer who will be remembered as the chief founder of World Leprosy Day.
Frans Hemerijckx was a specialist in tropical medicine from Ninove (Belgium), who introduced mobile care and aftercare of people affected by leprosy.
Inspired staff Our local staff draw courage from the thankful eyes of their patients, from the idea that they can cure patients and from their collaboration with colleagues.
Inspired volunteers And the many volunteers? They get their energy from every single marker they sell, from the enthusiasm of the young sellers, from every single person, who is convinced of the importance of solidarity.