February 7, 2011

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 [...]

January 19, 2011

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 [...]

November 30, 2010

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    The “A million stars” initiative in Switzerland – a sea of candles for solidarity

The “A million stars” initiative in Switzerland – a sea of candles for solidarity

By |30 November 2010|

On 18 December, squares, bridges and buildings in 200 towns and villages will be illuminated by thousands of candles. The event, called "A million stars", is organised by Caritas Switzerland as a sign of social cohesion and solidarity with the most vulnerable and disadvantaged.
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    Middle East Synod: Foster quality and transparency in charity work

Middle East Synod: Foster quality and transparency in charity work

By |22 November 2010|

Interview with Naguib Khouzam, General Supervisor of Caritas Egypt’s SETI Centre and Professor of Educational Psychology at Ain Shams University. Mr. Khouzam, you are the General Supervisor of the Caritas Egypt’s SETI Center for disabled people. This centre trains special needs teachers, supports disabled people and their families and runs research in this field. What insight from your experience did you want to share at the Synod?  Mr. Khouzam: The topic of this Synod is “Communion and Witness”. In my speech, I decided to focus on one point, witnessing through social work in Catholic schools and organisations like Caritas. In my opinion, there are four essential factors to make this work effective. The first one is a certain spirit of work, based on love of others and Caritas’s vision to help the poorest. The second factor is quality. In order to ensure quality services, indicators should be set up and checked through rigorous [...]
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    Caritas Rwanda marks half a century of overcoming conflict and poverty

Caritas Rwanda marks half a century of overcoming conflict and poverty

By |22 November 2010|

Caritas Rwanda has been celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2010. At the end of 12 months of special events, an important celebration will be held in a stadium in the capital Kigali with thousands of local Caritas staff, representatives from Caritas members from Africa and other parts of the world as well as Lesley-Anne Knight, Secretary General of Caritas Internationalis.

October 28, 2010

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 [...]

World Food Day: One in six people go hungry

By |14 October 2010|

“We urgently need to concentrate on rehabilitation and prevention to stop more crises in the next years”, said Raymond Younoussi Yoro, Secretary General of Caritas Niger. Niger was hit by a major food crisis this year that affected around 60% of the population. It’s one of the many countries around the world where starvation is endemic. One in six people will go hungry on World Food Day 16 October and on every other day too. Caritas says urgent action is needed for the 925 million people still suffering from hunger. The first Millennium Development Goal is to cut by half the number of hungry people by 2015. The international community has committed to achieving these goals, but it seems less likely that they will be met. The MDG on poverty, if it is achieved, can only be a first target. Caritas has a vision of zero poverty. No one should be denied the right to food [...]

September 22, 2010

Middle East Synod a symbol of peace

By |22 September 2010|

The first Special Assembly for the Middle East of the Synod of Bishops will take place in Rome from 10 to 24 October. Caritas hopes the Synod can build bridges between faiths in a region wracked by conflict. Caritas will be represented at this event by representatives from the Middle East, sharing their practical experience in this fragile region. Read more on the Synod and Caritas: Interview with Joseph Farah, President of Caritas MONA: Middle East: a testing ground for the spirit of reconciliation Interview with Naguib Khouzam, General Supervisor of Caritas Egypt’s SETI Centre and Professor of Educational Psychology at Ain Shams University: Foster quality and transparency in charity work Caritas press release: Synod for Middle East can bring communities together Lesley-Anne Knight speech to Caritas MONA Regional Forum July 2010:  (Middle East and North Africa) Implications for Caritas of the Instrumentum Laboris of the Special Assembly for the Middle East of the Synod [...]

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.

August 16, 2010

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 [...]

Empowering the poor in Europe

By |16 August 2010|

European Caritas members set up various projects to help the poor. Some provided specific rehabilitation initiatives for particular sectors of the population such as street children, the mentally ill or homeless women. Others offered advice, a meeting place or a hot meal to anybody in need. Caritas not only provided food, shelter and basic necessities to the most vulnerable. It also sought to empower people, value their skills and encourage them to take control of their lives. The common focus is dignity, putting people at the centre. Homeless people at Caritas in Stuttgart, Germany, transformed bottles into art, expressing their hidden talents and challenging the prejudices of mainstream society. In Voralberg, Austria, Caritas gives teenagers who dropped out of the regular school system a second chance. Supported by professional instructors, the teenagers produce wood products and renovate furniture until they can be guided towards vocational training or employment elsewhere.

June 23, 2010

Economic crisis hits poorest

By |23 June 2010|

Progress towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which aim to halve poverty by 2015, is under threat because of the global crisis. Through its advocacy work, Caritas Internationalis sought to keep poverty on the agenda of world leaders. Caritas Internationalis delegation at the UN in NewYork coordinates the MDG Convening Group, building links between NGOs, faith-based groups, and experts. Caritas works closely with the Millennium Campaign’s Global and European programme. Caritas representatives went to theWorld Economic Forum in Davos and theWorld Social Forum in Belém, Brazil, to G20 and G8 meetings in the UK and Italy, and a UN food summit in Rome to lobby for action. Caritas Zambia’s Milimo Mwiba joined supporters from CAFOD (Caritas England andWales) and other Caritas members in London in April for the G20 Summit of developed and emerging economies. Zambia was hit hard by the global recession. The copper town of Luanshya lost more than 3,000 [...]

Another world is possible

By |23 June 2010|

One hundred and fifty Caritas representatives from 14 countries attended theWorld Social Forum (WSF) in Belém, Brazil. TheWSF is seen as a vital opportunity for social movements, NGOs and civil society networks to discuss the issues of poverty and the effects of globalisation. “For Caritas, theWorld Social Forum is an opportunity for the globalisation of solidarity, something which is crucial in the construction of another world,” says Cristina dos Anjos, National Director of Caritas Brazil. Latin America has some of the greatest disparities between rich and poor. A quarter of the 500 million population live on less than a dollar a day, while the world’s richest man, a Mexican, is worth USD 53 billion (€42 billion) . Caritas Latin America and the Caribbean hosted a workshop on a solidarity-based model of sustainable development. “We believe that the power of theWord and the Spirit can convince the whole of society that promoting development [...]

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.

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