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Organisation Catholique pour la Promotion Humaine (OCPH)

Organisation Catholique pour la Promotion Humaine (OCPH) – Caritas Guinea was established on 7 March 1986 and recognised by the Guinean government on 10 March 1993 as a religious, apolitical, non-profit NGO.

Under the political regime of Sékou Toure (1958-1984), the Church and its grassroots community were disrupted, divided and traumatised by the revolution, but despite the upheaval the Church and Christians as a whole courageously resisted all pressures and got organised. Therefore, since the advent of the Second Republic in 1984 the Church has regained its freedom of expression and life of faith.

Subdivided into three dioceses – Conakry, Kankan and N’Zérékoré – the Church of Guinea only accounts for 10 to 11 % of Guinea’s population, which is largely Moslem. But its voice is heeded, and its charitable actions are always awaited. It is held in great esteem. First of all, it is expected to get things back on an even keel and to be a reference point in the field of the integral development of “mankind and all men and women”.

The country still faces major challenges. A recent report on household poverty published in June 2012 reveals that on average 55 percent of Guinea’s people live below the poverty line. Poverty is more widespread in the administrative regions of N’Zérékoré, Labé, Farannah, Kindia and Boké.

Between 2009 and October 2011, OCPH – Caritas Guinea ceased its activities at national level. However, granting special importance to this instrument of social ministry, the Bishops of Guinea spared no efforts in seeking ways and means to relaunch OCPH – Caritas Guinea.

In December 2011 a process was launched with the support of Caritas Internationalis that led to a project to relaunch and reorgansise the national OCPH and strengthen governance at diocesan and parish level called the Caritas Guinea Forum. This project was launched thanks to technical and financial support from various Caritas Internationalis network partners, notably the CRS Guinea programme, Caritas Italy, Caritas Africa, Development and Peace (Caritas Canada) and Caritas Senegal who agreed to support this revival.

In this context, OCPH – Caritas Guinea wishes to continue its involvement in the development of agriculture, promote microcredit for small enterprises, encourage efforts to prevent corruption and help peace-building by strengthening the social fabric. Programmes are in place for women and young people aimed at enabling them to become self-sufficient by setting up market gardens. Access to education is an important factor for OCPH – Caritas Guinea, and with this in mind several socio-professional training centres have been established.

On the healthcare front, OCPH – Caritas Guinea has participated in setting up several medical clinics and in a programme to combat HIV/AIDS. It has also helped to run training sessions on HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment and care, as well as managing a project to take care of patients with mental illnesses.

Caritas Guinea’s partners are: Caritas Internationalis, Caritas Italiana, Caritas Africa, Development and Peace (Caritas Canada), CRS-Guinea, the Acquaria Association, Catholic Missionaries Lay Community (CLMC), UNFPA, UNICEF, Poverty Reduction Support Facility (PRSF), WFP and Concern.

Caritas Updates from Guinea