19th November 2918; Caritas Samoa welcomed over 200 attendees at Tu’utu’uileloloto Hall for their 10 Year Anniversary where they showcased Caritas humanitarian work from around the world, presented achievements and success stories from Caritas Samoa since its establishment, and launched the 2018 State of the Environment for Oceania Report. The present gathering brought together representatives from 24 organizations including the Samoa Red Cross Society, the Disaster Management Office, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Women, and the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment; as well as representatives from Caritas Parishes and members of the public.
Caritas is a Catholic International Confederation consisting of over 165 member organisations and working in more than 200 countries and territories around the globe. Guided by the Gospel Values and Catholic Social Teachings, Caritas and all its members are proactive and respond to global crisis in hopes of easing human suffering. Their mission is to eradicate poverty in all its forms and promote justice. Caritas targets pressing issues such as migration, human trafficking, water and food security, global conflicts, disasters and emergencies managements, health, advocacy and more issues that affect the human person.
For the past few years Caritas Samoa has been working with rural communities in various areas of development through capacity building programs for the unemployed population, disaster management trainings, and water and food security promotion. Caritas Samoa engages the public in their own development through the establishment of Caritas chapters at the parish level. They have also strengthened their organisation through the implementation of the Caritas Internationalis Management Standards. Working with Caritas partners, Caritas Samoa has reached and positively impacted more than a 100 rural communities across the country.
The event also launched the 2018 State of the Environment for Oceania Report, the 5th of its kind. The publication features the environmental changes taking place in the region and its effects on rural communities. The report highlights 5 key issues: 1) coastal erosion, flooding, and sea level rise, 2) environmental impacts on local food and water sources, 3) extreme weather, 4) offshore mining and drilling, and 5) climate finance. Karen Anaya, a writer and researcher of the report stated that their main goal is to take voices from the region into an international platform to induce change. “This report focuses on small isolated communities in the Pacific and their battle in the midst of environmental issues…. It puts a human face on climate change.”
This environmentally conscious event demonstrated that through every effort Caritas Samoa seeks to advocate for a better and more just world. They will carry on in their mission and in their impactful work across the country. Rosa Mataeliga, stated “We will continue to highlight the priority of the human person in everything that we do.”
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