Caritas Korea was founded in 1975 as the Human Development Committee, becoming a full-fledged member of Caritas Internationalis in 1979. Its development programme aims to empower people trapped in poverty and to enhance their capability to look after themselves.
Caritas Korea overseas programmes include education projects to support primary education in Nepal, Afghanistan and Burundi and projects to achieve sustainable agricultural and water development in Kenya, Ethiopia and Nepal.
In addition, Caritas Korea provides access to healthcare for families in Iraq, offers dental services for Palestine children, supports people with disabilities and has anti-trafficking programmes for women and children in Asian countries.
Since 1993, Caritas Korea has been responding to emergency and disaster situations at home and abroad providing relief supplies rapidly, effectively and professionally. It provided aid following the devastating earthquake in Haiti in 2010 and continues to be the facilitating partner providing aid to the people of North Korea on behalf of Caritas member organisations.
Caritas Korea’s main office in Seoul employs 10 staff; there are 100 others in the 15 Caritas diocesan offices.
Caritas Korea works in close partnership with all the Caritas member agencies, such as Caritas Japan, Caritas Germany and Catholic Relief Services USA. In addition, the agency actively collaborates with Caritas partners in Asia such as Caritas Bangladesh, Caritas Sri Lanka, Caritas Thailand, Caritas Cambodia and Caritas Myanmar.