Caritas-Nigeria seeks partnership on human development
By EricJames Ochigbo
The Executive Secretary of Carotas-Nigeria, Rev. Fr. Uchechukwu Obodoechina has called partnership on human development to ensure the dignity of persons across the country.
Obodoechina made the call at the Caritas-Nigeria 13th anniversary ceremony/launch of skills acquisition centre and safe water projects on Friday in Abuja.
He said that the Caritas-Nigeria, an agency of the Catholic Church is saddled with the responsibility of ensuring the dignity of the human person and to ensure they enjoy fullness of life irrespective of tribe religious or political affiliations.
The executive secretary said that in the last 13 years, Caritas-Nigeria had been supporting HIV patience in the South East, victims of insurgency in the North, Cameroonian refugees in Rivers, prisoners in Niger and rehabilitating deported citizens in Edo, among others.
According to him, several organisations within and outside Nigeria are helping to see the people that live in dignity in spite of the poverty around them occasioned by many factors.
“That is also why we feel it is important on a day like today to solicit support from our friends, showcase what we have done, and then see how they could also partner with us to be enable us reach more lives,” he said.
Obodoechina said that Caritas-Nigeria was also focusing on climate change, ensuring that the message of caring for the environment reaches all households.
He said that event which is titled, “Mainstreaming Climate-Smart Principles and Practices among Faith asked Communities in Nigeria” is aimed at averting adverse environmental effects.
In his remarks, the Vice President of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) Archbishop Matthew Ndagos said Caritas-Nigeria was established by the conference in 2010.
He congratulated the management and staff of the agency for the progress made in the past 13 years saying that it had become the biggest faith-based humanitarian agency in the country.
The archbishop said that roles of Caritas-Nigeria is an integral part of the mission of the church saying that the agency is a vehicles through which Jesus Christ reaches the downtrodden.
He challenged the management to use the benefit of the hindsight of the last 13 years as a springboard to move the agency to greater heights.
“It is worthy of note that no matter how big and strong Caritas grows, as long as it depends solely or mainly on foreign funding with little or no local contribution, we may well be building on a weak foundation or worst still, building castles in the air.
“Therefore and mindful of the fact that there is dignity in self-reliance and self-sustenance, Caritas management and staff must put on their thinking caps and assist the CBCN in finding creative ways and means of raising and generating local funds for the sustenance of this arm of the church that walks its talks.
“In pursuit of this goal of self-reliance and self-sustenance, I am happy to inform you of the efforts of the CBCN through its Administrative Board in raising awareness among the faithful of our local church of the need to take ownership of CCFN especially its emergency response funds.
“The Board had a with the leadership of some major lay organisations during the first plenary of 2023 here in Abuja where it requested them to give serious thought and consideration to dedicating a certain percentage of their annual income to the support of Caritas- Nigeria emergency fund.
“Ditto CSN fund generating agencies and it is heart warming to note that this has already begun yielding fruits,” he said.
The archbishop prayed for the grace to remain faithful and focused on the mission entrusted to by the local church. (NAN)