Dear Caritas Member Organizations in Asia,
In celebrating the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ, we at Caritas Asia are sending you our warmest greetings of love, peace, and good health this Christmas Season!
We are all aware that the year 2020 has been filled with a lot of challenges for all of us, mostly because of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is hard to ignore our brothers and sisters who have lost a loved one, a job, or have had other struggles brought about by the pandemic. We all have to endure the loss of lives, the unprecedented lockdowns and restrictions, the many down times and despairs, and the countless other struggles during this difficult time. But amidst all these difficulties, our love, faith, hope, peace, joy, and goodwill are never lost. We remain committed in our mission of bringing and living out the Gospel to our beloved brothers and sisters not just in Asia, but in the rest of the world.
Our face-to-face interaction may not have been in abundance this year, yet we managed to reach out to our communities, friends, colleagues and loved ones, even if some of our initiatives were virtual. We are all sharing the experience and trying our best to respond appropriately to this health crisis. The pandemic, though highly destructive and deadly, has brought us all together in responding as one human family, living in one common home.
And so, in this Christmas Season, we are happy to share with you a holiday cheer and a few updates from our region that would help lift our spirits up during these unprecedented times. We are sharing with you herewith a summary of some of Caritas Asia’s activities and events from January to December 2020, so as to give you a glimpse of how our year 2020 has been, amidst the onslaught of the pandemic (please see attached file). You may recall that we have earlier announced the extension, until next year, of our Regional Strategic Plan, which was supposed to end this year, as most of our operational plan for this year had either been cancelled or postponed. Hence, most of the face-to-face regional events we have planned for this year did not take place, but we also managed to conduct online events, or attend to other virtual activities organized by others. You would see these in the attached file.
We are also happy to inform you that our Regional Commission has decided to hold a special Virtual Meeting of our Regional Conference on the third, or last week of January 2021, in order that we may be able to catch up with all our 25 Member Organizations and emerging Caritas organizations in Asia. Since we could not hold our annual Caritas Asia Regional Conference this year, our Regional Commission thought it best to do a 3-hour meeting instead, so as to provide us a good venue to hear and get updates from everyone. Please watch out for further details of this planned meeting that we will share with you in the coming days. We also kindly ask you to block your calendar, once we announce the final date of the Virtual Special Meeting of the Regional Conference. Our expected participants for this important event are the national Caritas Presidents/Chairpersons and National Directors from all our 25 Caritas Member Organizations in Asia, as well as from the emerging Caritas organizations in our region.
Kindly note that our Regional Commission has also decided to postpone our annual Regional Partners’ Forum this year and has planned to hold it instead, when it would already be possible for us to have a face-to-face meeting. We will keep you posted on the development of this event, and rest assured that as soon as it becomes possible to meet you all again in person, we will finalize the resumption of our annual Regional Partners’ Conference.
Please also note that starting on 21 December 2020 until 8 January 2021, we at Caritas Asia will have our Christmas and New Year break, and so, our office will be closed during this period. But should there be any urgent or important matter you wish to relay to us within this holiday season, please feel free to email us. We will try our best to respond to any important matter, even when we are on holiday.
We wish you all happiness and good health this Christmas and may you all have a safe and peaceful New Year!
With love from your Caritas Asia Regional Secretariat,
Dr. Benedict “Alo” D’Rozario
Mr. Zar Gomez
Mr. Ari Nugroho
Regional Program Officer
Ms. Wanphen “Toi” Khemanucheta
Mr. Ratha “Sam” Lay
Mr. Sayumphoo “Ki” Sajja
Ms. Suwannee “Tualek” Kaewchanda