Volunteers are meaningful
Written by Albert Deby S., Yohanes Baskoro and Victor Dimas B. Putra (Karina-KAS’ volunteers for Caritas Joint Response).
Volunteers with the Bishop of Padang
"For the first time in the history of Caritas in Indonesia", said Father Raymond OFM.Cap, Manager of Caritas Joint Program (CJR) of the Padang’s Earthquake Response. "Volunteers from various Diocesan Caritas in Indonesia arrived. Many kinds of aid were offered to help the affected people. We should record this in Caritas Indonesia history”.
After a coordination meeting with the Bishop of Padang, Mgr. D. Situmorang, related to the emergency response to Padang and surrounding areas earthquake, Caritas Internationalis and Diocesan Caritas network established CJR. Under the coordination of Caritas Indonesia – Indonesian Bishop Conference (Karina KWI), members of Caritas Internationalis and Diocesan Caritas joined together in one team.
Father Raymond of Caritas Sibolga was chosen to be the Program Manager who coordinates all the volunteers and all Caritas staff. He was also responsible for the communication and coordination between CJR and Archdiocese of Padang as well.
The mobilization of volunteers of Diocesan Caritas is very significant. "It's like the poor widow, told in the Gospel, who donated her only money," said Father Raymond. ”Diocesan Caritas provide assistance although they still have various limitations, especially on funds. However, volunteers with their sufficient capacity and good will, make every aid meaningful".
The spirit of Caritas was manifest in the coordination and cooperation among the more than 135 volunteers. We are all in one spirit, Caritas!
"Such condition requires communication and good coordination. Without it, certainly the objectives would never be achieved. I am very grateful. Though volunteers came from different regions and backgrounds, all proved to have openness and eagerness to work in line with the emergency response standard system," Father Raymond said.
The presence of Caritas and its volunteers, on the other hand, is a great opportunity to develop Caritas Padang as a member of the national Caritas network. It is an opportunity to deepen the spirit of Caritas. There are many volunteers who have skills in the field and are willing to share experience and knowledge. There is an international standard system that can be adapted.
With the aid of crossing religious boundaries, interests, groups, and tribes, the Church becomes not merely a religious institution that only deals with personal piety. There is an opportunity for the local Church to show its social face by what has Caritas network has done.
CJR will be in Padang until the end of the emergency phase. The rehabilitation and reconstruction phase will be handed over to Padang Diocese and its Caritas. Of course, other Caritas Internationalis and national Caritas member will support according to their capacity.
For Karina KWI as the Diocesan Caritas animator, there will be an opportunity to compile a data base of Caritas volunteers and disaster response guidelines.
“If this incident was just overlooked, we will not learn anything. There are many things to be learned and developed," Fr. Raymond said and ended his speech at the morning briefing with all volunteers and CJR staffs.
He promised that there would be a lesson learn meeting after this emergency project.
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