May 20, 2012

Caritas to respond to earthquake in Italy

By |20 May 2012|

An earthquake in northern Italy has killed at least seven people, caused serious damage to buildings in several towns and left about 3000 people homeless. The magnitude-6.0 quake struck in the middle of Saturday night, about 35km north of the city of Bologna. Caritas Italy’s Director Don Francesco Soddu immediately traveled to the affected area. He said, “We’re close to the people in prayer and to particular the families of the victims. We will support the local church in providing aid.” Pope Benedict XVI said that he was “spiritually close to those affected by this calamity" during his regular Sunday Angelus greeting in St. Peter’s Square. Don Soddu discussed the response with local Caritas staff, inculding the directors of Caritas Emilia-Romagna, Modena and Bologna and Arcbishop Paolo Rabitti of Ferrara-Comacchio. Local Caritas staff members are ready to provide shelter and first aid. The quake was the worst to hit the country since the L'Aquila [...]

April 16, 2012

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    Caritas pays tribute to champion of migrants in Rome, killed in traffic accident

Caritas pays tribute to champion of migrants in Rome, killed in traffic accident

By |16 April 2012|

Caritas friend and colleague Lê Quyên Ngô Ðình died this morning in a traffic accident in Rome when her vehicle was involved in collision with a school bus. She was 53. Lê Quyên led Caritas Rome’s work with migrants and had a wider role influencing Caritas policy on migration at an international level. She was well known across the Caritas confederation. Colleagues from across the world remembered her for her dedication to the poor. Caritas Internationalis Director of Policy and Advocacy Martina Liebsch worked closely with Lê Quyên. She said, “Our thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends and with the staff of Caritas Rome. “Lê Quyên was a refugee herself. Her own experiences always showed in the love and hard work she showed towards other refugees she helped. She was motivated by great faith, by courage, hard work and by speaking truth to power. She was a […]

October 7, 2011

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    The Guardian highlights work of Caritas Rome’s migration centre

The Guardian highlights work of Caritas Rome’s migration centre

By |7 October 2011|

Link goes to an external site

August 3, 2011

Migrants as economic actors

By |3 August 2011|

By Olga Zhyvytsya, Caritas Internationalis project advisor Financial inclusion promotes social inclusion of migrants in the country of destination – this was the idea that brought together the Italian Banking Association and civil society organisations at the meeting “Migrants and financial inclusion” held in Rome, 14 June 2011. Italy, once a country of origin for migrants, today faces significant immigration flows. According to Caritas Italy data from 2010, 5 million migrants live in Italy and they constitute 7 percent of the population; foreign employees constitute 10 percent of the work force and 3.4 percent of enterprises belong to foreigners. Migrants contribute 11 percent to the GDP and pay near 11 mld euro in social security contributions. Moreover, near 1 million children of migrants were born or brought up in the country. As a result, Italy faces the growing necessity to consider migrants more as citizens rather than simply as guests, with [...]

July 1, 2011

Caritas Italy celebrates 40 years of work for the poor

By |1 July 2011|

Caritas Italy today begins celebrations to mark 40 years of offering support and services to the poor. Founded by Pope Paul VI in July 1971, Caritas Italy (known locally as Caritas Italiana) brings together 220 diocesan Caritas to offer charitable acts both home and abroad. “Caritas Italiana has been unfailing in its dedication to the poor and disadvantaged both in Italy and also in neglected parts of the world for 40 years. We wish it many more years of service and congratulate it on being a living example of solidarity,” said Michel Roy, Secretary General of Caritas Internationalis. A press conference will be held Friday 1 July at Caritas Italy’s Rome headquarters entitled “Exploring memory, loyalty and prophecy”. It will be followed by a round table, “Forty years of Caritas Italiana and the image of the Church”. In 2010 Caritas Italy spent over 44 million euro on activities domestically and worldwide. It contributed [...]

April 5, 2011

Dire conditions in Lampedusa camps

By |5 April 2011|

This blog entry is based on a series of articles started by Caritas Europa about the Caritas response to the recent events in Northern Africa. In this series, Caritas Italy and reporter Emilio Fabio Tosello regularly share their reports from different places where Caritas is acting to help those affected. Caritas is present on the Italian island of Lampedusa were most of the people leaving Tunisia are arriving. In a few days the situation in Lampedusa has gone from bad to worse. The number of migrants on the island has reached over 20,000, largely outnumbering the 5,000 inhabitants of the island. So far, around 2,000 migrants have been transferred to a camp on the mainland in Italy. The situation is dire with serious consequences for the migrants’ health and hygiene. Thousands of people camp outside at night and only get rationed food and water. Oliviero Forti, Director of Migration at Caritas Italy, [...]

August 29, 2010

Happy the pizzamakers

By |29 August 2010|

By Michelle Hough Take some flour, water, yeast, tomatoes, mozzarella cheese and a pinch of salt. Add 15 immigrants from around the world. Mix them together with a Caritas Roma course… The fire’s stoked up, the ingredients are ready and for 15 immigrants in Rome, today is exam day. They’ve gathered at a cooking school in the suburbs of the Eternal City to show what they’ve learned on a 200-hour pizza-making course run by Caritas Roma. “One of the most difficult things about making a pizza is trying to get it into the centre of the oven,” says Saeed Anwar from Afghanistan. “You have to make sure it doesn’t drop off the spade as you shovel it in. You also have to make sure it doesn’t go too near the edges so it doesn’t get burnt.” For the exam, students cook not only pizza but also mouth-watering starters such as rice balls, stuffed olives and potato croquettes. Once [...]

June 23, 2010

1 in 6 go hungry

By |23 June 2010|

World hunger reached an historic high in 2009 with over a billion people going without enough food every day. Malnutrition increased by 13 percent in Asia, 8 percent in Latin America and the Caribbean and 6 percent in Africa.

August 16, 2009

Be a Fairtrade pilgrim to Eternal City this Lent

By |16 August 2009|

Millions of people come to Rome every year – 2.2 million went to Papal audiences last year alone. Lent and Easter are particularly important times for people to make a pilgrimage to the Eternal City. Many would use fair-trade products at home but travelling in a foreign country it’s not so easy. Now there is a solution to that problem. The Economic Justice Group of the Commission for Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation (JPIC) is working group of Unions of Superiors General (USG/USIG). It’s a group of people from religious congregations based in Rome and also includes Caritas Internationalis. They’ve just published a booklet “Empowering the poor in the developing world” which contains a rundown of shops in Rome they’ve found selling fair-traded goods. The guide explains both what religious congregations are doing around the world and how they can make a difference starting with many of their headquarters here in Rome. But it’s [...]

Aid and climate justice key to G8 in Italy

By |16 August 2009|

Caritas is urging leaders of G8 countries meeting in the Italian town of L’Aquila to return to promises on aid and revitalize climate change negotiations. Caritas says that increased aid flows from G8 countries in the past has led to an improvement in the lives of people living in developing countries. The economic crisis means more people have been driven into poverty and need support of the world’s rich. But the poor are facing betrayal as G8 donors cut aid spending. Climate change negotiations that will see a new deal in Copenhagen in December need fresh impetuous if the world is to get a desperately needed cuts in emissions and extra support for poor countries to adapt to extreme weather. Caritas is being represented in L’Aquila by CAFOD, one of its members in the UK. Joanne Green, Head of Policy and Pascale Palmer, Communications Officer from CAFOD (Caritas England and Wales) can be [...]

February 24, 2009

All roads lead to Rome: Immigration in Italian capital

By |24 February 2009|

Italy and Nigeria recently reached an agreement to carry out joint patrols to control illegal immigration and trafficking.

December 5, 2008

Caritas Rome building bridges in understanding AIDS

By |5 December 2008|

On 5th December 2008, Caritas Romana celebrates the twentieth anniversary of its AIDS “family houses”. Apart from providing support to people living with AIDS, Caritas Romana seeks to build understanding and knowledge among the community.   Nestled in the woods of a Rome park are Caritas Romana’s “family houses” for people living with AIDS. Don Luigi Di Liegro, founder of Caritas Romana, had to battle the reservations of the local community before the Villa Glori site could be used to house people with AIDS. It was 1988, the disease was relatively new and people were afraid that the upper-crust neighbourhood would be brought down by waves of drug addicts seeking refuge. Massimo Raimondi, who is in charge of the family houses today says that despite 25 years of information, people are still afraid to get close to people living with AIDS. “People who have AIDS have been painted as gay, or drug addicts, or people [...]

August 15, 2008

AIDS: The courage to fight

By |15 August 2008|

In 1991, Angelo went to a Rome hospital to donate blood. This was how he found out he was HIV positive. “I cried in desperation,” he said. “But after a while something was unleashed in me that told me to have courage and to fight for something that was worth fighting for.” He now lives in one of Caritas Romana’s three “family houses” which are set in park land in an exclusive residential suburb in Rome. Apart from a home, Caritas also provides Angelo with food, help with expenses, medical care and access to a psychologist. Locals were originally opposed to the family houses being given over to people with HIV and AIDS. But after a tough battle by Caritas Romana founder, Don Luigi Di Liegro, the houses opened their doors on 5th December 1988. Angelo, thinks that attitudes haven’t necessarily changed that much towards people with HIV and AIDS over the past [...]

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