One of the worst hit areas of Gaza.
Addressing trauma in children helps prevent
serious mental illness.
Caritas peacebuilding ismaking a difference. Fromurging dialogue in Uganda, the Holy Land and Sri Lanka to promoting reconciliation between Catholics and Muslims in the Philippines, Nigeria and Tanzania, Caritas plays a critical role in peacebuilding around the globe.
The north of Congo experienced renewed attacks by Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) fighters, which also spilled over into the Central African Republic, Chad and Sudan. Villages and churches were destroyed, women and girls abused, and children abducted.
Caritas provided aid and lobbied governments for better security in Congo. Caritas helped survivors come to terms with the tragedy by hosting cultural events where people of different ethnic backgrounds sang, danced and performed in plays expressing compassion for those murdered, raped or abducted.
“These cultural events help the population overcome the trauma of the massacres and also act as a challenge to the government to restore peace,” said Benoit Kinalego, a local Caritas Congo partner.
As bombs fell on Gaza and Israel in January, Caritas staff met Israeli and Palestinian officials at the United Nations and in Jerusalem along with local Jewish, Christian and Muslim communities to open avenues for dialogue. Caritas lobbied for humanitarian access to Gaza, protection of all civilians and an end to the military action.
“The Gospel reassures us that God can make all things new, that history need not be repeated, that memories can be healed, that the bitter fruits of recrimination and hostility can be overcome,” said Pope Benedict on his pilgrimage to the Holy Land in May.
As well as providing aid in conflict situations, our work in 2009 included:
- Helping communities to find their own solutions to conflict
- Brokering peace deals between warring parties
- Holding military forces to the Geneva Conventions
- Collaborating with regional and global actors to seek peace
Surf the web, stop conflict
Just as war has entered the 21st Century, so has peacebuilding. The manual has now been expanded and put online. Caritas launched the online “Peacebuilding:Web Toolkits for Trainers” in March 2009...
Sri Lanka’s children celebrate
In early 2009, the 25-year-old conflict between the Tamil rebels and the government of Sri Lanka reached a bloody end. Up to 250,000 people were trapped between the two sides in the final stages of the war...
Singing for peace in Uganda
Karamoja is Uganda’s land of warrior nomads. Armed with automatic weapons from Congo and Sudan, young men engage in tit-for-tat cattle raids against rival clans...