Projects of Saint Lazare in Ethiopia
Man is the perfection of the universe. The spirit is the perfection of man. Love is the perfection of the spirit, and charity the perfection of love.
St Francis de Sales
Quite apart from possessing rights, man also has duties, first among them the duty of charity. Charity must fit itself to meet every need; it must reach out to those with every kind of wound – wounds to the body, wounds to the mind and wounds to the spirit.
Saint Lazare is a charity carrying out charitable and humanitarian work in over forty countries across the world, giving aid to thousands of people in need, people who are sick, people who are society’s ‘rejects’. Through the Military and Hospitaller Order of Saint Lazarus of Jerusalem and its volunteers, Saint Lazare brings the light of hope to those who are overwhelmed by misfortune, to those dying of hunger, to those who are forgotten, to those who are ravaged by disease and to the innocent victims of others’ barbarity.
Day by day, Saint Lazare contends with human misery, the tragic reality of the world that knocks upon our door…
Members and volunteers work primarily within aid and rescue organisations, providing first aid, assistance when natural disasters strike, and social services. They also work at the most basic level with young people.
Aid services established in Central and Eastern Europe have been particularly successful and seen considerable growth following the fall of the Berlin Wall, which made it possible for the Order to expand and draw on the skills offered by a large number of people. This means that the Christian commitment is worked out on the ground in an organised fashion, as an expression of the will of a socially responsible community. The expansion of the aid services testifies to the vitality of the Order’s mission and to its capacity to attract others.
Hospitals and medical centres
Most of the Order’s hospitals are located in Europe, mainly in the Eastern part of the continent. Most of them provide general services, although some provide care for the terminally ill, who are treated by specialists in palliative care. Over recent years, care for the terminally ill, whether in hospitals, hospices or at home, has become one of the Order’s priorities.
The fight against leprosy in the Third World has long been one of the Order’s main priorities. It runs anti-leprosy programmes and gives aid in this field in a variety of countries.
The Order also runs medical centres across the world, and, in developing countries, maintains hospitals, medical centres and dispensaries. In various regions of Africa, it provides short-term management for such bodies, some of which it restores and reorganises.
Homes and aid services for elderly people
Aid given to older people has developed significantly, with the Order running several specialised centres for them.
In various countries, a whole range of services intended to enable old people to remain in their homes has been developed, including the delivery of meals, organising transport and visits, help with shopping and an emergency helpline.
Work with children and adolescents
The Order has committed itself to a range of programmes dedicated to children living in disadvantaged areas.
It gives help to those institutions that provide important medical, social and educational support, and sets up training programmes for lone mothers, alongside conventional crèches. The Order runs programmes for teenagers with social problems.