By Ferruccio Ferrante, communications officer with Caritas Italy “Wherever you go, you’ll find Caritas” was the name of Caritas Italy’s conference which looked at issues surrounding migrants, young people, families, people facing life alone and those suffering from addictions. Over 600 people from 161 diocesan Caritas brought with them their own experiences of working with Caritas in Italy and went away having shared and gained greater knowledge and hope. In this time of difficulty when the crisis increases its grip, Caritas is by people’s side all over Italy. In the first six months of 2012, requests for help from Caritas increased by 44.5% compared to the previous year. Caritas finds itself with a great responsibility: how to continue to accompany people in their difficulties. It’s a responsibility that can’t be passed over to someone else because each of us must be a champion of change for the common good. But how can we [...]
Caritas Rome provides accommodation through its shelters to poor and vulnerable individuals needing a place to sleep. Some people staying at the shelters have written the below letter to Pope Francis following Lenten reflections. The letter was presented to the Holy Father by the director of Caritas Rome, Msgr Enrico Feroci. Your Holiness, We are guests at Caritas shelters in Rome. Even though you have been Bishop of Rome for very little time, we feel a sense of respect and solidarity which makes us feel very close to you and gives us the impression that we’ve always known you. The choice of your name and what you say in your speeches which we have reflected on during Lent show us daily the essence of the Christian faith: that God is love. Our difficult situation allows us to know firsthand how important a gesture of solidarity can be and the comfort a hug or [...]
Read the original in Italian. It’s nearly four years since an earthquake rocked the Italian region of Abruzzo, reducing the historical town of L’Aquila to rubble. And it’s almost a year since another earthquake struck the north-east of Italy. Caritas Italy has been working side by side with the affected communities since both disasters. The Abruzzo earthquake left almost 300 people dead and tens of thousands homeless when it struck in the middle of the night on 6th April 2009 The diocesan Caritas pitched in immediately to provide the people of Aquila with food, clothes and other essentials in the wake of the earthquake. Beyond catering to the material needs, Caritas Italy also brought spiritual comfort to the shattered communities.
Caritas teams in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey are providing humanitarian aid to over 100,000 people affected by the escalating Syrian conflict. Caritas has launched international appeals for all four countries, which combined total €5 million. (Read: Overwhelming humanitarian crisis within Syria) Conditions for ordinary people in Syria are deteriorating rapidly with a lack of food , clean water, shelter and medical care. The violence has left tens of thousands of people dead and more than 2.5 million people in need of urgent aid. More than 1.5 million forced from their homes remain within Syria. Families sleep outdoors, in abandoned schools or in makeshift camps. The economy has collapsed and savings have been spent long ago. Providing aid is difficult and dangerous, but Caritas has been able to carry on its work and will provide winter fuel, blankets, warm clothes, heaters and rent subsidies in Damascus, Aleppo, Homs and Hassakeh. Read how Caritas has [...]
Violence in Syria has left tens of thousands of people dead and more than 2,5 million people in need of urgent aid. Caritas teams in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey are providing humanitarian aid to over 100,000 people. Caritas has launched appeals totalling 5 million Euro to help them.
By Caritas Turkey There are tens of thousands Syrian refugee families living outside the tent camps along the Syria-Turkey border. This is a number increasing very fast day by day. About an hour far from Istanbul, some Syrian refugee families live in poor and crowded housing conditions. Ali, a 13 year old young boy, is worried for his father, who developed serious hypertension and heart problems recently, following the stress he has to endure every day. He, together with his family and children, had to flee in a rush from a conflict in Syria, facing a dangerous, long journey to cross the border into Turkey. Now, they do not know for how long they will have to stay in Turkey without sufficient resources, jobs, education, health services, and without being allowed to apply for asylum or being given an official status. They are worried about the rent, the future of their children, [...]
Caritas is launching a programme in the New Year to help Syrian refugees who have fled over the border to Turkey. Official figures show there are over 120,000 Syrians in refugee camps in south and southeastern Turkey, but tens of thousands more have not been registered yet. Camps are filled to capacity and the number of people living outside them is increasing. Thousands of people are waiting every day to cross over the border from Syria. “People need humanitarian support and solidarity. They need medicine, they need blankets, they need food, and mostly they need support of people who care them,” said Rinaldo Marmara, director of Caritas Turkey. “Caritas Turkey has worked for refugees since 1991 and we have witnessed how difficult it is to be in a different country without work, without knowing the language, or without having basic resources. Day by day the number of Syrians coming to our office [...]
The Portuguese Parliament has presented Caritas Portugal with its annual Human Rights Award in recognition of its "work in defence of human dignity". Read more in Portuguese.
Caritas Internationalis President Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga has expressed the sadness of the whole Caritas family following the tragic fire at a Caritas workshop for disabled people in south western Germany. The fire in the centre in Titisee-Neustadt left 14 people dead and many injured. Speaking from Düsseldorf, Cardinal Rodriguez said, "The prayers of the whole global Caritas confederation are with the families of those killed in this tragic incident, and with our Caritas Germany colleagues." "We know the colleagues at the scene will do everything to find out the cause for this terrible event," Caritas Germany President Peter Neher was quoted by media sources as saying. He expressed grave sadness in an official statement, "Caritas Germany grieves."
For 50 years CAFOD has been passionately committed to supporting people as they fight poverty and injustice. Watch this video to see how CAFOD has been serving the world's poor for over 50 years.
By Michelle Hough, Caritas Internationalis communications officer What with a police helicopter hovering over the Caritas offices for hours yesterday afternoon, I kept thinking about the film Apocalypse Now rather than writing a blog on Caritas Italiana’s book “Markets of War”*… and it was driving me a bit crazy.
“We had normal lives. We had our own business. We had beautiful houses...it’s all gone, it has been destroyed and burned during the war and now I live in this tent.” Salwa is one of the 100,000 Syrian refugees registered in Lebanon. She lives in a camp in the Bekaa Valley. The rickety tent she shares with her five children is her new home. Made of stitched up bags and rags, it is wholly inadequate for the coming winter rain. “They don’t know where to sleep. Every day we receive many families who tell us they have been sleeping in the open,” said Maria Abou Diman a social worker for Caritas Lebanon Migrant Center. The number of Syrian refugees in Lebanon is estimated at 200,000. Many choose not to register, mainly through fear of reprisals. “Some people think that when they register, their name will be sent back to Syria, and [...]