The Daughters of Charity will be honored by DePaul University for the work in building infrastructure to teach children and empower women in Kenya. They and African theologian, Rev. Laurenti Magesa, whose work has reshaped the study of Catholicism in Africa, will be recognized with an honorary doctorate from DePaul University .
Daughters of Charity build infrastructure to teach children, empower women
The Daughters of Charity were founded in the seventeenth century by Vincent de Paul and Louise de Marillac to minister to the poor. They arrived in the small Kenyan village of Thigio in 2002 and began by managing a health clinic. Later, they expanded to home visits, particularly to people suffering from AIDS or mental illness, and supplied medication and food. They went on to open a nursery to care for at-risk children and founded a residential community and program for women living with HIV and AIDS.
To further their Vincentian mission, the Daughters of Charity opened their first Kenyan seminary in Nairobi in 2008 and welcomed four new sisters. Under Mulligan’s leadership, the sisters designed programs that were coordinated and managed by Kenyans — a sustainable model that continues to give back to the community. In the area of Chepnyal, they offer courses for young women to learn how to cook, knit and sew, while also expanding educational options for children. They have centralized the administration of their programs in Nairobi and opened facilities in two additional locations to serve the poor.
The ceremony is part of commencement activities for an undergraduate degree program offered by DePaul’s School for New Learning in partnership with Tangaza College. Seventeen students will graduate with degrees in leadership and management from the program, which was established in 2006 with a grant from the Conrad H. Hilton Foundation. Students in the program include laypeople and religious men and women who are chosen by their communities because of their leadership potential.
DePaul is the largest Catholic university in the United States. Tangaza College also is a Catholic institution that prepares graduates for ministerial and social work.
The School for New Learning at DePaul University provides a distinctive approach to learning for adults, with customized programs that build upon abilities and experiences add knowledge and develop skills to help achieve personal and professional goals. More information is online at www.snl.depaul.edu. Information about Tangaza College is online at www.tangaza.org.
MEDIA CONTACT: Kmathew5@depaul.edu