February 6, 2013

A decade in Darfur: Call me Actcaritas

By |6 February 2013|

Seldom has a joint programme between aid agencies made such a personal impression on an employee, but the partnership of ACT Alliance and Caritas—Protestants and Catholics helping Darfur--struck a cord with an aid worker in the region. Here, he describes why he likes his nickname. My real first name is Abakar. But everyone calls me “Actcaritas.” I like it. When I go to the camps for displaced people, they all call me “Actcaritas.” My real name is lost. I am logistics fleet assistant. I buy diesel in the market and take it to the camps. We use it to run the water systems, so the people have water. We used to need 30 drums of fuel for all the camps. Now that the programme has built solar-powered water stations, we use less fuel. ACT/Caritas has supported NCA [Norwegian Church Aid] for a long time in Darfur. There were always very strong here. [...]

May 10, 2012

Volunteers in Jordan help with influx of Syrian refugees

By |10 May 2012|

By Caritas Internationalis and Caritas Jordan staff “I like to help others,” said Madleen Qandah, a 21 years old mathematics student in Mafraq. She is volunteering with Caritas Jordan as it aids Syrian refugees fleeing violence in their own country. “I just put myself in the refugees’ shoes and treat them how I would like to be treated in the same situation,” she said. Around 500 refugees arrive a day in Jordan according to various relief agencies. The Jordanian government says the number of Syrian refugees in the country has surpassed 110,000 people. The influx of Syrians is putting huge pressures on the Jordanian economy and housing capacity. The country is also hosting 450,000 Iraqi refugees according to the government, who fled the conflict in Iraq that began in 2003. Working mainly in Mafraq, Caritas Jordan teams have provided 500 families with aid such as heaters, bedding, towels, plastic mats, […]

November 11, 2011

Pope says volunteering sign of God’s love

By |11 November 2011|

Pope Benedict XVI says that through volunteering “we also become visible instruments of his love in a world that still profoundly yearns for that love amid the poverty, loneliness, marginalization and ignorance that we see all around us.” The pope was addressing 160 bishops and representatives of charitable organisations from 25 countries here in Rome for a two-day meeting on volunteering sponsored by the Pontifical Council Cor Unum held in conjunction with the European Year of Volunteering. Among the audience were staff from various European Caritas members and the Caritas Internationalis Secretary-General Michel Roy. Caritas members benefit from the services over 500,000 volunteers around the world. The pope said that volunteering shows that goodness is growing . He thanked the European volunteers and “the millions of Catholic volunteers who contribute, regularly and generously, to the church’s charitable mission throughout the world.” Read the full text

September 6, 2011

Volunteering for better communities

By |6 September 2011|

Caritas Internationalis Delegate Joseph Cornelius Donnelly reports from Bonn. More people everywhere are falling further into poverty and many into extreme poverty. Social situations where we live demand we respond as individuals with clear role to build up communities. People are needed more than only dollars and sense. Civil society organising is natural product of humanity. Dedication builds public confidence. Mobilises possibilities into concrete actions. Caritas Germany and its partners from the International Association for Voluntary Effort (IAVE) hosted a workshop on volunteering this week in Bonn at the UN's annual NGO conference. The conference’s theme of sustainable societies and responsive citizens looks towards next June's RIO+20 global summit. The Caritas-IAVE workshop focused on volunteering worldwide, the 'International Year of Volunteers+1'0, church and civil society and how Caritas and parishes support active citizenship, for example through the project ‘Building Platforms for Citizens’. Caritas Internationalis moderated a dynamic discussion with a packed house over [...]

March 25, 2011

Volunteering for Caritas Japan

By |25 March 2011|

By Yuzo Akai I’ve been a volunteer for Caritas for just over a week. I live in Sendai with my mother and four cats. Normally, I study American modern history at graduate school and I’m a part-time instructor in a college, but that has all changed for the moment following the earthquake and tsunami. As I am a Catholic I decided to help Caritas Japan in their earthquake relief effort. It gives me great pride to be part of an effort based on Catholic teaching. The power of the earthquake was a big shock to us – all that shaking! But what has really surprised me is the big difference between the stricken areas and the safe areas, where buildings aren’t even damaged. The most serious damage was not from the earthquake, but from the tsunami. Such a fine line has divided people’s fates. In some small areas there are […]

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