By Dian Lestariningsih Karina (Caritas Indonesia) is working closely with the Lembaga Daya Dharma (LDD) of Archdiocese Jakarta after flooding hit the Indonesia capital. In the immediate response LDD and Karina provided a rescue boat and equipment to evacuate survivors from the affected area. LDD will provide medical supplies and conduct a needs assessment as well as prepare for the next phase. The Caritas network in Indonesia is on standby to send volunteers if needed. The National Disaster Management Agency reported more than 15,000 people have been affected. Access to Central Jakarta was closed due to the high level of the floods and public transportation was shut down. The Government of Indonesia has announced an emergency situation.
Caritas Sri Lanka Director Fr George Sigamoney says he is deeply upset by the execution of Sri Lankan housemaid Rizana Nafeek in Saudi Arabia on 9 January. Caritas had fought for her release since she was sentenced in 2007 to beheading for strangling a baby she was looking after as a nanny in 2005. Rizana was just a minor herself when the tragedy took place. She maintains that it was an accident caused by her inexperienced efforts to save the baby from choking. "Unfortunately, what we expected to happen happened," he said. "As a representative of the Church and of Caritas I want to express my sorrow and solidarity to Rizana's family. I pray for them that they may have the courage needed to face their pain and get through this moment." "I want to remember Rizana in another way," Fr George said. "As a nation, we must reflect and weep for [...]
Caritas India says capital punishment is not a deterent against crimes of sexual violence, but improved protection for women and a national school curriculum that tackle these issues will help. Last month, a 23-year-old student died of her injuries after being raped in the capital Delhi. Five men have been charged with her murder and are facing trial. If convicted, they face the death penalty. In recommendations to the Justice J.S. Verma Committee, formed by the government to recommend safety measures for women, Caritas India urged for curriculums from school levels onwards to tackle the issue of violenece and abuse agaisnt women and girls. “The need of the hour is to revolutionize our thinking through education,” said Patrick Hansda, a young public relations officer at Caritas India. The Verma committee’s recommendations in less than a month from now will be considered in amending laws for speedier justice and punishment in sexual assault cases [...]
The International Day on 18 December provides an opportunity to promote awareness of issues relating to Migrants and increase the knowledge of the social, economic and demographic processes affecting families. For copies of the prayer in 18 languages go to: http://jpicformation.wikispaces.com/EN_18Dec ORACION POR LOS NOMADAS ENTRE FRONTERAS - JORNADA MUNDIAL DE LOS EMIGRANTES (18 DE DICIEMBRE):Este Día Internacional brinda la oportunidad de promover la conciencia sobre las realidades de los migrantes, ampliando la comprensión de los factores sociales, económicos y demográficos que repercuten en los mismos. Para copias de la oración en 18 idiomas ver: http://jpicformation.wikispaces.com/EN_18Dec PRIÈRE POUR CEUX QUI SONT MIGRANTS - JOURNÉE MONDIALE DES MIGRANTS (18 DÉCEMBRE): Cette Journée Internationale offre l'opportunité de promouvoir la conscience des réalités concernant les migrants, en agrandissant la connaissance des procès sociaux, économiques et démographiques qui ont un effet sur elles. Per le copie della preghiera in 18 lingue vai a: http://jpicformation.wikispaces.com/EN_18Dec
By Jen Hardy, CRS Communications Officer Lush trees dominate the landscape in the tropical Philippines. But in this mountainous section of Mindanao, brown, barren landscape now stretches into the distance. The trees that stayed standing were stripped bare on 3 December, as Typhoon Bopha devastated areas of Compostela Valley and Davao Oriental. In many areas, every tree, stretching to the mountains in the distance, lies snapped on the ground. Massive banana plantations have been flattened, leaving only traces of homes and other structures. Bananas sit rotting in the mud, and plantation labourers worry that with no bananas to harvest they’ve lost their incomes just as they’re grappling with so much other loss. Fele Ondocan is thankful that her home in Andap barangay is only damaged, not totally destroyed. “The roof and part of the frame blew away, but we found it nearby. We’re relieved, because we can’t afford to buy new materials,” she said. [...]
“It looks like a tsunami hit. It’s just complete and total destruction. Whole hillsides were washed away in flash floods,” said Joe Curry, CRS country representative in the Philippines. “I’ve talked to colleagues who’ve worked in disaster response for ten years, and they say the devastation in the Compostela Valley is among the worst they’ve ever seen in the Philippines,” said Curry. The official death toll now stands at more than 647, with at least 550 people missing. Tens of thousands of people have lost their homes since the typhoon made landfall last Tuesday. “As the roads are now being accessible and the electricity is back in many areas , the communication and access is bringing a clearer picture of the extend of the destruction,” says Cynthia Perez from Caritas Philippines (locally known as NASSA).
Typhoon Bopha (local name “Pablo”) slammed into the Philippines Tuesday forcing the evacuation of 160,000 people and leaving hundreds dead. The category 5 super typhoon hit south eastern Mindanao with 160 mph winds, causing flooding and damage to homes, businesses and farms. Caritas Philippines (NASSA) and Catholic Relief Services (CRS is a US-based Caritas member) have sent joint teams into the affected areas. Fr. Edwin Gariguez, Director of Caritas Philippines, is with one of the teams in Suriago del Sur where he says damage has been substantial. “Most of the coastal area has been affected,” he said. “In the town of Nigig, only three out of 50 family homes are still standing.” Caritas says the areas of Compostela and Davao Oriental have the highest needs, such as sleeping mats, blankets, water/hygiene supplies, and tarpaulins for emergency shelter. “Caritas here have been able to channel assistance through the churches. Many people took refuge in churches, [...]
By Francesca Matera, Volunteer at CI Delegation to the UN in Geneva Members of Catholic Asia-Pacific Coalition on HIV and AIDS (CAPCHA) met for the third time, on 10-13 September, at the Camillian Pastoral Center in Bangkok, , to discuss and report on the development of the work of care and prevention carried out by Catholic organizations around Asia. Fr. Giovanni Contarin, MI, Chairperson of Catholic Committee on HIV/AIDS in Thailand, introduced this year’s theme, ‘Exchanging and Growing Together Within Catholic Values,’ with an inspiring welcome speech. Fr. Giovanni expressed appreciation for the work carried out by CAPCHA members and outlined the challenges that lay ahead. He mentioned, for example, the need to implement the United Nations Plan to address Non-Communicable diseases and to join the global effort in the fight against HIV/AIDS by advancing the so-called ‘triple-zero’ target of no discrimination, no new HIV infections, and no deaths due to [...]
Caritas is appealing for funds to help families in the Philippines, many of whom are living in temporary evacuation centres following massive floods. Heavy rains in early August left over 100 people dead and hundreds of thousands of families without shelter and food. Conditions are still very difficult with food scarce and many people unable to return home. Caritas will care for over 6000 families in five dioceses, providing food, hygiene items and cooking utensils. The cost of the two-month programme will be 352,050 euro. Priority will be given to vulnerable people such as pregnant women, the elderly, the disabled and child-headed households who have either lost their homes completely or whose homes have been severely damaged by water. Caritas’ work in the flood areas aims to prevent illness and further deaths caused by such difficult living conditions. When the floods first struck Caritas mobilised its network of diocesan centres and church volunteers [...]
Caritas has launched a three-month emergency programme to help families following severe flooding in Pakistan. The programme will cost US$1.4 million (€1.1 million). Heavy rains in August and September hit the provinces of Punjab, Sindh and Balochistan and have left hundreds of dead and tens of thousands of people homeless. Caritas in Pakistan will provide tents, blankets, food and medical assistance for the next three months to many people who are in difficulty. “People are facing many challenges following the floods,” says Amjad Gulzar, executive secretary of Caritas Pakistan. “Stagnant and contaminated water, lack of food and hygiene facilities all present serious risks to those living in temporary conditions and make people vulnerable to gastroenteritis, malaria and skin problems as well as other illnesses.” Six thousand families will be given tents by Caritas Pakistan until they can find more permanent accommodation. Nine thousand five hundred families will receive food and hygiene kits. People can [...]
“I never dreamed we would have our own home again,” says Vadivaperumal Letchumi, putting the finishing touches to her new house, built with support of Caritas Sri Lanka. The 42-year-old widow lives in the north east of the country with her two children. It’s a region emerging from a three decade long civil war that ended in 2009. Her previous home was destroyed in that conflict and her family had to flee the fighting. Three years later, she is back and is looking forward to a more secure life with her son and daughter. The family is poor and some days can be tough, but she believes things are improving.“We’re at last living without fear,” said Vadivaperumal. “My daughter can finally go outside to play without me worrying.” As she and her daughter prepare the evening meal, her 18-year-old son returns home from his work as a fisherman. Her husband did not [...]