Caritas Bangladesh has its headquarters in the capital, Dhaka and has eight other diocesan offices. It works in integrated development, disaster management and human resource development. Nearly 6 000 staff and volunteers implement its programmes at national and diocesan level.
Caritas Bangladesh began in 1967 as Caritas East Pakistan. Following the devastating cyclone of November 1970, it was re-organised and became known as the Christian Organisation for Relief and Rehabilitation (CORR). The name Caritas was re-introduced in 1976.
Caritas Bangladesh is implementing over 80 on-going projects based around 4 main priorities:
Education, formation and capacity building: programmes in regional technical schools, training centres, pre-primary and primary schools.
Social justice and human rights: programmes in justice & peace, micro-finance, supporting vulnerable youth and community development.
Health and care: helping the elderly and disabled people, those struggling with addiction or suffering from leprosy and tuberculosis, pregnant and new mothers and their children.
Sustainable livelihood and disaster management: working to end extreme poverty, to combat climate change through adaptation and risk reduction, to improve horticulture and the management of natural resources.
Many Caritas members are among Caritas Bangladesh’s partners, including Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Germany, Czech Republic, Italy, Japan, India, Hong Kong, Korea, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Taiwan, CRS, Canada, Poland, Spain, Sweden, Macau, Indonesia, Portugal, CAFOD, Cordaid, SCIAF and Secours Catholique.
In the light of the Social Teachings of the Church, Caritas Bangladesh envisions a society which embraces the values of freedom, justice, peace and forgiveness allowing all to live as a communion and community of mutual love and respect.
Caritas Bangladesh tries to function in partnership with people – especially the poor and marginalized, with equal respect for all – to attain integral development, to live a truly human life in dignity and to serve others responsibly and with love.
Values that inspire our work are:
Charity and Compassion: Confronted by global poverty and suffering, our fundamental response is compassion rooted in love. Following Catholic Social Teaching, we make a preferential option for the poor, extreme poor and our brothers and sisters in need. We do not accept the suffering of our needy brothers and sisters as granted: we recognize their dignity and gracefulness in enduring suffering, and we are determined to take action to alleviate it.
Hope: Our hope is inspired by Christian faith and the strength and resourcefulness of our brothers and sisters whom we serve, and we rely on the natural resources of our land. We ardently believe that by working together, we can have a better world where all are able to enjoy fullness of life.
Dignity: We believe in the intrinsic dignity of every person and that all women and men are equal, and that everyone is responsible to one another according to proper family and social relationship. We work with all people regardless of race, gender, religion, social status or politics.
Justice: We believe that the root causes of poverty and misery of our majority people is deeply rooted in the unbalanced economic, social, political and cultural structures, and that every person has a right to necessary gifts of life. We work to transform economic, social, political and cultural structures that are opposed to a just society. Caritas listens to the voice of brothers and sisters in need and enables them to speak for their well-being.
Partnership: We uphold the principle of subsidiarity to build links between communities within the country acknowledging that all receive as well as give. We work within and beyond our Catholic community seeking justice to change unjust situations in our country for the good of all.
Solidarity: We work to enhance solidarity with the people of all faiths, especially with our disadvantaged brothers and sisters, seeing the world through their eyes, and recognising the interdependence of the human family.
Stewardship: We believe the planet and all its resources are entrusted to humankind and seek to act in an environmentally responsible way as true stewards of creation.
Peace: We believe peace requires respect for and the development of human life, which in turn involves the caring for and safeguarding of the goods, dignity, freedom and responsibility of people. Peace is the fruit of justice and is dependent upon right order among human beings.
For more information about Caritas Bangladesh, visit our website www.caritasbd.org