Address: Av. Teherán (antigua prolongación Av. Páez), a 200 mts. de la UCAB, frente a la Urb. Juan Pablo II, Sede de la Conferencia Episcopal, Montalbán, Caracas, Venezuela Postal address: Apartado Postal 4897, Caracas, Venezuela Telephone: +58 212 443-3153 Fax: +58 212 443-9643 Email:firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter:caritasdevzla www.caritasvenezuela.org/
“Help us to help!” is the motto of this non-profit, non-governmental organisation. It was officially established in 1997 as a separate legal entity, although its pastoral work started in 1963. It is present in 27 – out of a total of 38 – ecclesiastic subdivisions, with a national coverage of 71 percent.
Caritas Venezuela has not followed an even path as its actions have been shaped by various historical events. While the oil boom in the 1970s enabled the organisation to do without aid policies, quite the opposite occurred in the 1980s when society began to experience the after-effects of its former bonanza. In the 1990s social changes started brewing, and in 1999 the Vargas flooding disaster – Venezuela’s worst natural disaster during the 20th century – influenced the rebirth of Caritas out of the water.
Its many projects range through such areas as the pastoral care of prisoners and their families, promotion of human rights, accompaniment of the sick and their families, and legal advice and psychological assistance to migrants and asylum seekers. Caritas Venezuela has six reception centres for refugees located in different parts of the country.
Its Compartir (sharing) campaign takes place every year in Lent. Since 2012 it has incorporated celebration of the campaign for life within the activities on 4 October (Saint Francis of Assisi), thus responding to the intolerance that is experienced in the country.
Caritas Venezuela maintains active alliances with various national and international organisations, including: UNHCR, UNICEF, IOM, European Commission Humanitarian Aid, Radio Noticias Venezuela, Sanitas Foundation of Venezuela, health centres, universities and Banco Mercantil. Within the Caritas network, it collaborates fraternally with Secours Catholique (Caritas France), Catholic Relief Services (CRS) and Caritas Spain, among others.
The Venezuela food crisis is affected people in unexpected ways. Not only has it left thousands of people hungry and many children at risk of malnutrition - it's now threatening the production of communion hosts. Nuns in Caracas tell us how people are so hungry they're eating the scraps from making the communion host.