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Visit to Laos (14-16 January 2024)

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Caritas Asia visited Laos to learn more of the newly established Caritas Laos, to exchange the work of Caritas from different countries in Asia Region, to meet with the local church leaders and local partners, and to accompany Caritas Laos in institutional development and thematic programs. It was a rather short visit, but we learned much, particularly on the presence of Catholic Church in the country and its work with local communities. We are amazed by how the community members are able to organize themselves for safe drinking water projects despite the limitation and challenges they face. We are grateful for the blessings and support from the Catholic Church leadership of Laos: Bishop John Prida and Cardinal Ling. We also exchanged stories and ideas with Bishop Andrew Souk, President of Caritas Laos, about Caritas work in Asia and globally.

Visit to Sri Lanka (5-11 February 2024)

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Caritas Asia Regional President Dr. Benedict Alo D’Rozario visited Sri Lanka to understand their realities and challenges better in order to strengthen collaboration and cooperation for capacity building of staff and for timely and effective coordination and communication. Besides meeting the Executive Director, Fr. Luke Nelson and staff at the National Office in Colombo, he visited Caritas Sri Lanka's diocesan staff and the communities in Kandy, Badulla, Galle and Ratnapura. He also met the Emeritus Bishop Vianney Fernando of Kandy, one of the founding members of Caritas Asia. During the visit, Dr. D'Rozario observed Caritas Sri Lanka's impressive achievements aiming at ending poverty and promoting peace by implementing food security, sustainable agriculture, conflict mitigation, disaster risk reduction, livelihoods and nutrition, and religious amity projects. Caritas Sri Lanka needs capacity strengthening in resource mobilization, networking, localization, and real-time digital monitoring.