History of Damien Foundation

The evolution of the Damien Foundation originated from various organizations in Belgium that raised funds for leprosy patients and planned an annual World Leprosy Day. Eventually, in 1964, these associations merged to establish the Friends of Father Damien, an organization honoring the selfless efforts of Father Damien De Veuster, a Belgian-born priest, who served in the Hawaiian archipelago in the second half of the nineteenth century and dedicated himself to aiding leprosy sufferers in Hawaii, is commemorated with the name of the Foundation. Father Damien initially moved to Hawaii as a missionary in his 20s, and his most notable contribution was his work with leprosy patients on the island of Molokai. The association was later renamed the Damien Foundation.