Caritas Morocco started with a dual foundation because at the time Morocco was divided into two protectorates and there were two independent Caritas organisations. One was called Secours Catholiquebased in Casablanca and recognised in 1947, while the other, called the Secrétariat diocésain de Charité, was based in Tetouan and founded in 1953. The two organisations were united when Morocco became independent in 1956. Caritas Morocco was recognised as a member of Caritas Internationalis in October 1957. The two diocesan Caritas – Rabat and Tangier – have voluntarily maintained a large degree of autonomy. Its organisation is broken down into small teams of volunteers in some towns in the archdioceses of Rabat and Tangier.
Caritas in Morocco demonstrates its solidarity with the most vulnerable, regardless of their nationality, origins, belief or gender, and seeks through its action to promote common good, respect for the environment and sustainable development.
Its first area of intervention targets the Moroccan society through support to specialized associations working with disabled persons, to reinforce the autonomy of these structures and ensure their sustainability; strengthening small family farms, to enable them to sustainably increase their income via agro-ecology techniques and to improve the marketing of their products.
A new problem arose in the mid-1990s with the arrival of large numbers of sub-Saharan migrants trying to get to Europe. Since then the other important area of work of Caritas in Morocco has been the promotion of the rights of migrants by normalizing their access to common law services (health, education, civil status) or by facilitating their integration, for those who wish (vocational training, employability). This work is carried out notably through day care centres for migrants located in the cities of Rabat, Casablanca and Tangier, as well as through collaboration with Moroccan institutions and civil society organizations working in this field.
The issues addressed by the projects of Caritas in Morocco are based on concrete situations with the aim of introducing short-term changes in favour or concerned persons as well as ensuring a sustainable and broader impact of its action by influencing public policies.
Caritas Morocco also collaborates with national and international agencies.
At COP22, Caritas wants to especially defend the position of African countries and communities. Africa still remains vulnerable to the impacts of climate change despite having been the least contributor to it.
Antonio Jimenez is an expert on child migration issues who lectures at the Universities of Huelva and Seville in Spain. Here he speaks about what can be done to minimise risks to child migrants in Morocco.
Morocco used to be a ‘transit country’ for migrants – one through which they would pass on their way to Europe. Now, more and more migrants are settling in Morocco. Europe wants Morocco to be a ‘guardian’ so the migrants stay there.