History of Dokita...
Msgr. Fallani, Prof. Rino Cavalieri and Fr. Mario Picchi arrive in Cameroon to study where and how to become stably present and involved in the country in order to give a helping hand to the people, especially in their needs regarding health care. They visit and meet leprosy patients. They sow the seed of what will become an ever more concrete presence of the Conceptionists among the leprosy patients of Cameroon.
At the end of February, Fr. Franceco Cavalieri, Bro. Abbondanzio Millefanti and Bro. Clemente Maino arrive in Sangmelima, giving origin to the first Conceptionist community in Africa. Mr. Pierfrancesco Pracchi takes on the task of installing water and lighting facilities in the leprosarium.
An analysis laboratory is inaugurated in the leprosarium. Collaboration with the Italian lay volunteers begins. Mrs Lena Bonora, nurse and paediatrician, goes to help Bro. Clemente Maino. Amelia Monfreda, a professional nurse and operating room specialist, soon follows her.
The volunteer Giovanni Cantù builds the dispensary at Sangmelima and sets up a carpentry and woodworking shop there.
On 30 August 1974 at the age of 54, Bro. Clemente Maino dies of a cerebral haemorrhage while in Italy. The figure of Bro. Clemente Maino, called “Dokita”, was indeed emblematic and immense (both physically and humanely). The Conceptionists take charge of the leprosarium of Nden, located in the middle of a forest over forty kilometres away from Sangmelima and later transformed into a general hospital with 120 beds.
Lay voluntary service takes shape especially within the structures of the Congregation as a concrete response to those who are less fortunate.
Voluntary service makes great strides. Vicolo del Conte, the headquarters of the Congregation, is throbbing with activity (dispatching material, collection of funds, demonstrations etc.). Guided by Mariano Passerini, Enrico Zeni and Damiano Mozzetta, the volunteers are joinned by the students of the “Padre Monti" School along with their families.
The voluntary service takes the name “DOKITA” (“doctor” in the Bulu language) in memory of the title given to Bro. Clemente Maino by the people of southern Cameroon. A group of 13 persons guided by Fr. Mariano leave for Cameroon and start building a home at Sangmelima for physically challenged children. They are all volunteers who had opted to work during their holidays and paid to cover their travelling expenses. With their help the building is ready by October, and thus hosted are the first 25 children.
Given the positive experience of the preceding year, 11 more volunteers leave for Ebolowa (South Cameroon) to restructure three classrooms of a boarding school for physically challenged children. On the initiative of Fr. Ianeselli, work begins on the production of orthopaedic devices to assist children afflicted by poliomyelitis.
These years see the commitment of the volunteers of DOKITA in Anisok in Equatorial Guinea in the support of the activities of the mission that had just been opened there. A nursery school, schools, service facilities and dormitories are built. The centre D.A.R. ('Rural Self Development) is established for the promotion of self-development. Sangmelima and Anisok are enriched by the presence of the first DOKITA volunteers present on a long-term basis.
1988 - 1991
The need to give this movement of volunteers an organisation, coordination and an institutional configuration had been perceived for some time by all those involved. For this reason on the 20th of September 1998 the voluntary association “DOKITA” was constituted. On the basis of the activities carried out overseas both autonomously and in support of the initiatives of the CFIC (Congregation of the Sons of the Immaculate Conception), a request was made to the Foreign Affairs Ministry for recognition as being qualified to operate as a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) in developing countries.
On the 8th of April 1991, with the D.M No 1991/128/001024/6, the Association was recognised as qualified to carry out cooperation activities of development for the execution of projects in developing countries, the selection, training and the employment of volunteers in civil service, and the ad hoc training of citizens of the developing countries. Continuing to sustain and support the activities of the CFIC, DOKITA becomes active in the Philippines in 1988, Equatorial Guinea and Brazil in 1989.
1991 - 1998
In Foz do Iguacu, a nursery school and a Family-Home is built for street children. In 1992, a branch is opened in Zaire (today’s DR of Congo); in ’93 in Albania preparations are made for the construction of a large outpatient clinic and in '94 activities begin in favour of a sedentary nomadic people of Equatorial Africa, with whom the DOKITA still has a very special relationship: the Pygmies. In '94 as well the first issue of the periodical “DOKITA” is published. Abroad, activities in various fields take place in Albania, Cameroon and Brazil.
1999 - 2003
1999 sees DOKITA involved in Nigeria in favour of AIDS patients and the handicapped, and, in Albania, in attending to refugees from Kosovo. The Roman base of DOKITA becomes a national centre for the collection of materials destined for the Kosovar refugees in Albania. DOKITA runs a refugee camp in a zone on the outskirts of Tirana called “KinoStudio”, and also assists 350 families sheltered by Albanese families.
In 2001 the municipality of Rome assigns" the Oscar Capitolino ", also known as "Premio Simpatia”, to the "Associazione Dokita” for being one of the most serious organizations involved in voluntary work. The first Web site of the Associazione Dokita is published. In 2002 the Mayor of Rome, Walter Veltroni, visits our facilities in Brazil, in Iguaçu Falls.
Since 2003: Dokita’s facility is accredited by the Lazio Region for training and orientation, organizing up to one hundred courses at its headquarters in Rome. The cooperation sector/area has been strengthened.
In Tirana, Albania the University was founded with Dokita’s support who laided the foundation with its vocational training courses in many fields such as Medical and healthcare, information technology, graphics and printing, between 1998 and 2004 more than 31 courses have been held.
Dokita starts up it’s internal restructuring to improve the capacity of synergism. The project co-financed with MAE for self development of the Baka pygmea population gets started.
2007 - 2010
In September 2007 a new website and a new magazine are introduced. Procedures initiates for certification of the budget and the SAD project. In May 2008 the first physiotherapists graduates at Tirana after three years of study at the "Casa Verde-Dokita" in Albania. In April 2008 starts the project, cofinanced by the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, "Center of Integral Attention alll'adolescente (CAIA.) In Albania in December take place the inauguration of the new Center for Rehabilitation and Sports Medicine, with a conference convened by the International girona disabilities. . In 2009 followes the inauguration of a new maternity department at the growing hospital Ngondo Maria in Kinshasa, a project part-financed by Dokita Trentino Alto Adige and the Province of Trento. In October of 2009 inaugurates the new structure of the CAIA which, as a result in a short time doubles the number of assisted (200 adolescents in October more than 400 in early March of 2010. End of 2009 concludes the project "BAKA" and start the project "Access to and participation in society. Support for people with disabilities in South and Central provinces of Cameroon."