Caritas at Rio + 20

By |12 June 2012|

The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development to be held in Rio de Janeiro on 20-22 June is expected to represent a new stage in the political process that began back of 1972. Ever since the UN Stockholm Conference on Human Environment, political leaders have been discussing how to reconcile human development needs with environmental protection. The UN Conference on Environment and Development, held in Rio in 1992, declared “Human beings are the centre of concerns for sustainable development. They are entitled to a healthy and productive life in harmony with nature”. Its programme of action, “Agenda 21” identified sustainable development as a strategy based on the integration of the economic, social and environmental pillars. Twenty years later, world leaders and tens of thousands of representatives of the private sector and civil society will gather again in Rio to rethink how to reduce poverty and achieve greater social equity and environmental protection. The [...]

People with special needs supported by Caritas Cuba

By |21 March 2012|

In Cienfuegos, Cuba, a group of young people with Down Syndrome are putting on a show for their parents and friends. The young people delight in singing and dancing.

Caritas Cuba helps elderly as poverty grows

By |21 March 2012|

“The elderly are among those most affected by poverty,” said Migdalia Dopico, coordinator of the Elderly Support Programme for Caritas Cuba. With one in five Cubans now over 60, the problem is getting worse. Caritas Cuba’s 800 volunteers and 190 canteens are responding by providing thousands of meals to 28000 elderly people.

Will street children in Ukraine survive the cold?

By |16 February 2012|

Caritas Ukraine continues to tackle the increasing number of homeless children, one of the country’s biggest sociological problems, who are now facing a harsh winter.

Slum fire in Kenya puts focus on social injustice

By |15 September 2011|

Caritas Kenya is supporting survivors of a huge fire that devastated the Sinai slums in the Kenyan capital Nairobi on 12 September. Over a hundred people were killed and a hundred more injured after a pipeline burst and leaked fuel into the Ngong river, which passes through this slum area. Kenya Pipeline Company  managing director Selest Kilinda blamed a faulty valve. People from the densely populated shanties had already started siphoning the fuel when the fire started. People cooking close to the pipeline may have sparked off the inferno. A group of Caritas staff members and church leaders visited the site of the disaster and met with survivors in a temporary camp and those with serious burn injuries in the hospital. The camp hosts about 200 men, women and children. Caritas Kenya jointly with Caritas Nairobi donated food items, blankets and mosquito on 14 September in the camp. Rt. Rev. Martin Kivuva, Bishop Chairman [...]

Changing lives in Bangladesh

By |20 July 2011|

By Caritas Bangladesh staff  Fishing for crabs in the vast mangrove forest of the Sundarbans in Bangladesh is a dangerous way to make a living. A local poem says you always have a ‘shiver of fear’ as you travel the complex network of waterways, mudflats and small islands because the Royal Bengal Tiger does not work to a ‘timetable’. The Sundarbans, or “beautiful jungle”, is the single largest swathe of mangroves in the world. The coastal mangroves and seasonally-flooded fresh water inland swamp covers 10,000 sq.km. of the Bay of Bengal, half of which are in Bangladesh. They are one of the wonders of nature, home to a diverse eco-system of flora and fauna. They are a source of livelihood for the local people, who catch fish, collect wood, crabs, tiny shrimps and honey there. In the dark forest and canals, however, tigers find it easy to stalk and attack men and [...]

Voices against poverty

By |7 July 2011|

The eight Millennium Development Goals represent the basic human dignities which everyone of us should have. They seek to reduce hunger and poverty in Senegal and everywhere else in the world. Caritas members are working hard towards the targets. Backing up their work on the ground with advocacy, Caritas Internationalis launched its web-based campaign "Voices Against Poverty" in Australia in September.

Poverty in Europe

By |7 July 2011|

Caritas believes it is scandalous that eighty million people live below the poverty line in Europe, a quarter of them children. So, while the MDGs are stepping stones, striving to halve poverty in the developing world, Caritas Europa launched the “Zero Poverty” campaign to end poverty full stop as a starting point for all humanity. I t is an urgent demand. Across Europe, Caritas members said more people were asking for their services. On St Valentine’s Day, Pope Benedict XVI visited Caritas Rome’s Don Luigi di Liegro shelter, describing it as “something concrete that allows the light of God to enter the lives of the whole community.” Don Luigi was the founder of both Caritas Rome and the shelter, and he believed that handing out food and clothes wasn’t enough: society must look into itself to see where it had failed people. This philosophy is very much in line with the [...]

Civil society uniting to build a different world

By |7 February 2011|

By Clémence Richard from Secours Catholique-Caritas France  Dakar, 2 pm: Under the burning sun, Sfax Place in the city centre is filling with crowds of marchers. African women dressed in colourful outfits dance to the rhythm of a tune that goes: “Solidarity with the women from all over the world”. Further down, Amnesty International shows a banner denouncing forced expulsion of people. “One human family, zero poverty”, members of Caritas Internationalis shout. The 2011 the Word Social Forum began on 6 February with a march through the streets of the host city Dakar in the West African country of Senegal. Until 11 February, almost 70,000 people from all over the world will share their experiences and think about how to create a better world. There are around 100 Caritas representatives from many countries. To the rhythm of the drums and slogans, they are heading towards the Cheikh Anta Diop University of Dakar [...]

Caritas at the World Social Forum

By |7 February 2011|

Around one hundred delegates from different Caritas organisations are taking part in the World Social Forum in Dakar, Senegal, from 6 to 11 February. Almost 70,000 people from all over the world will gather in Dakar to share their experiences and think about how to create a better world. Since its creation in 2001 in Porto Alegre, the World Social Forum has provided civil society movements from all over the world with an open space for debate, the exchange of experiences and the development of propositions. It has been created as a social alternative to the World Economic Forum that takes places every year in Davos, Switzerland. Caritas fights for the rights of the poorest, climate justice and migrants’ rights through advocacy actions targeted at international organisations, its participation at events and conferences like the World Social Forum and the World Economic Forum and through the organisation of its own conferences. At the [...]

Worldwide solidarity at the World Social Forum

By |7 February 2011|

An African proverb that would best sum up the global movement that is the World Social Forum would be: “Many small people in many small places will do many small things to change the world”. An estimated 70,000 participants from across the world attended the 11th WSF at the University Campus Cheikh Anta Diop in Dakar, Senegal. Participants included people from the business sector, trade unions and government, however the largest demographic was composed of non-governmental actors and civil society organizations. In the weeks leading up to the forum, several caravans drove across Africa in an attempt to raise awareness about this social justice movement. The caravans joined thousands of activists who walked the streets of Dakar during the official opening march with the message ‘another world is possible’. While the forum is loosely governed, an impressive number of platforms for dialogue were created throughout the campus. From 6 to 11 February, hundreds [...]

Soaring food costs hitting poor from Algeria to India

By |19 January 2011|

Millions of people around the world are struggling to cope with rising food prices say Caritas staff. “The price rises in India usually affect the poorest people, but they are now so steep that the middle class is hit hard as well,” said Sunil Simon, in charge of natural resource management at Caritas India. The FAO (the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation) food price index has surpassed the level it reached during the major food riots of 2008. After a year of steady increases, the index reached 214,7 points in December, compared to 206 points in November. What worries Caritas experts is that the index exceeded the level it had attained in 2008, a year of severe food crises and food riots in many developing countries. As one out of six people in the world already suffer from hunger, rising food prices make it even more difficult for poor people to buy [...]

Zero Poverty in Europe Campaign

By |28 October 2010|

Caritas is calling for an end to poverty in Europe with the launch of its Zero Poverty Campaign. “Poverty is a scandal. What else can it be when just over 40 years after man first walked on the moon, there are still humans unable to provide for their most basic needs, like food, shelter, warmth,” said Caritas Europa President Fr Erny Gillen. Zero Poverty campaign coincides with the European Year 2010 for Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion at the European Parliament in Brussels. Caritas has launched a new paper “Poverty Among Us” that outlines steps to a poverty free Europe. The paper calls for the strengthening of the labour market, the welfare state, and the family. “If the fight against poverty and social exclusion is to be sustained, more emphasis must be placed on what policies can do to prevent the spiral of poverty from taking place, particularly in the early stages of [...]

Facts about land justice in Brazil

By |8 September 2010|

The Caritas Brazilian Bazaar project is also supporting the campaign with urns at each of its businesses – artisans and small, family-based farmers among others.

Stamping out corruption

By |16 August 2010|

Caritas is joining other faith-based aid agencies and religious leaders in calling for action on stamping out global corruption. In a letter to the UN Secretary General, over 50 faith leaders and agency directors say corruption is a major cause of poverty in developing countries and a major barrier to overcoming it. They say both rich and poor countries have a responsibility to overcome it. Read the full text:  In 2003, the United Nations General Assembly signed the UN Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC). It was the first global treaty ever that provides a framework to harmonise anti-corruption efforts worldwide. This week the UNCAC Working Group on a Review Mechanism meet in Vienna, Austria to look at progress so far ahead of a summit in Doha in November. Over 50 religious leaders and heads of faith-based organisations including Caritas Internationalis Secretary General Lesley-Anne Knight called on delegates working on the review to turn UNCAC from [...]

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