In early 2018, DDI was introduced to the Daughters of Charity and its mission. Dr. Larry Boone, a board member at DDI, connected the organization to the Daughters of Charity in Kenya as they share a very similar mission.
“While in Nairobi I had the opportunity to meet the Daughters of Charity who were serving the needs of developmentally and physically disabled children and adults in nearby Thigio,” stated Dr. Boone. “Since I had been serving on DDI’s Board of Directors since 2016, it was natural to see how DDI personnel could assist the Daughters with their work in Kenya. DDI’s leaders, educators, trainers, and therapists were very happy to form a relationship with the Daughters. All parties benefit from this cooperative relationship, especially the disabled children and adults in Kenya.”
Soon after Skype sessions began with Sister Pat and Sister Deb to learn more about the charity, their needs, and how DDI could be of assistance. DDI shipped a variety of training materials including self-help and independent living curriculum, parent training tools and adaptive equipment.
Also, the team programmed more than 30 iPads with chargers with curriculum apps for children with special needs and staff training materials across a variety of domains. Since sending the materials, Skype sessions have continued.
Rana Babury, behavior specialist and Megan DiLello, board certified behavior analyst at DDI’s Children’s Day Program along with Kathleen Schuppert, a physical therapist and supervisor of physical therapy and occupational therapy at DDI’s Early Childhood Learning Centers will be traveling to Thigio, Kenya in May for two weeks to volunteer their time in the Education Sector of the Daughters of Charity. Once there, they will lend their support to staff and parent training.
“DDI has some of the most dedicated and hardworking employees that I have ever encountered,” stated John Lessard, DDI’s Executive Director. “Our staff members have always been ready to go that extra mile to help someone in our community, and now they are doing that for people halfway around the world. I am so proud to be a part of this organization whose employees are truly people inspired by purpose.”
Since 1633, the Daughters of Charity has taken a unique leadership role throughout the world. The Daughters of Charity commit themselves to live intensely in the charism of their founders St. Vincent de Paul and Louise de Marillac, by constantly re-evaluating and re-defining their response to the needs of the poor.
Today, Daughters of Charity reach out to victims of hunger, homelessness, and war, substance abuse, the sick, broken families, refugees, at-risk youth, children and adults with developmental disabilities, and persons living with HIV/AIDS.
“The staff in Thigio are very eager and grateful to learn from the staff at DDI, “ stated Sister Pat Beyrau. “We look forward to developing a shared vision for our program with DDI’s understanding and expertise.”