October 19, 2015

“I am a walking miracle.” Caritas is a mission

By |19 October 2015|

Caritas is a mission, not a job. Nirmala Wijesinghe who runs a Caritas safe house in Beiruit is one of the many staff and volunteers around the world who illustrate this through their constant dedication and hard work.

May 29, 2013

Caritas Lebanon celebrates its young volunteers

By |29 May 2013|

Cardinal Sandri invited young men and women to be “protagonists of history” and reminisced the night vigil that took place in Bkerkeh during Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI visit to Lebanon, saying: “The intensity of this prayer was like a beam of light directed towards the Middle Eastern sky, a sky that many wish to see full of dark clouds of violence and war.

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, […]

March 9, 2012

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    Tsunami Zone: A Day in the Life of a Caritas Japan Volunteer

Tsunami Zone: A Day in the Life of a Caritas Japan Volunteer

By |9 March 2012|

Interview with Ms. Seiko Ise  More than 2500 people have volunteered for Caritas Japan programs helping survivors of the March2011 tsunami. Here, a Caritas coordinator describes what the volunteers do--and what motivates them.   How do people get started volunteering for Caritas Japan?  People find out about volunteering with Caritas through the internet or from friends. Staff at our centre in Sendai talk to them and then place them in one of the tsunami-hit areas. They usually stay five days to a week. During summer vacation, we had many students. Now it’s autumn, we have more people in their 30s and 40s, and people over 60. What do the volunteers do?  We clean up debris, distribute supplies, run soup kitchens, clean salvaged photos, and basically respond to any needs raised by the communities. As their needs change, we do different things. For example, when they lived in evacuation centres like school gyms, we set up [...]

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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