Jesus said, ‘Let the little children alone, and do not stop them from coming to me; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of Heaven belongs. (Mt 19:14)
For Saint Louise de Marillac, our founderess, taking care of children was one of the most important services of the Daughters of Charity. Her own personal experience taught her how important the presence of loving and caring people is in the lives of children, especially those children who don’t have their parents. Children need attention, caring and guidance to grow up healthy and happy because what happens to us in childhood affects us for the rest of our lives.
In many places, children don’t have the right to their childhood anymore. Because they are very poor or don’t have their parents, they have to work and very often are exploited by those who should take care of them. Violence and drugs often enter into their lives at an early age and many times, they don’t have access to other possibilities. That is why children have such a central place in our outreach to the poorest.
We promote the well-being of children in a variety of ways:
- In nurseries and primary schools
- Through childcare agencies, providing adoption and foster care services
- In nutrition programmes for the malnourished
- By providing parenting and family support programmes