Caritas Saigon: two year training course in aid work, cooperation and evangelisation

» 09/21/2011 16:01

by J.B. Vu
Recently concluded two year Caritas training course involved 319 Caritas workers from more than 200 different parishes. Cooperation with NGOs, communities, social bodies and representatives of other religions. Caritas members are instructed in basic knowledge and foundations of social work, they are persons of a good heart, anxious to do good and to share with everyone the Good News of the Gospel.

Ho Chi Minh City (AsiaNews) – To teach social skills, promote collaboration with non governmental organisations and bodies of other religions and to evangelise: this was the goal pursued by Caritas Saigon with courses held in the last two years involving 319 workers from more than 200 different parishes. End of course celebrations included a Mass presided by Cardinal J.B. Phạm Minh Mẫn and the presentation of certificates to the course participants.

“One participant confided to AsiaNews – I feel ready now to serve poor people, children in need, elderly people living alone, poor sick people, people suffering from HIV/AIDS in my parish at Tân Định. In these two years – the Caritas worker continued – we learned not only the basis, skills and methods of social work, but also how to approach people in need free of any discriminatory attitude ”.

Sister NĐ illustrates Caritas activity: “Caritas Saigon has co-operated with Association of Catholic Entrepreneurs, Catholic Health Groups to care for orphaned and disabled children. We have invited parish Caritas to participate in programs in poor communities. Besides we have worked with NGOs, charitable and social organizations to provide free eye operations for 150 cases, free medical examinations for over 1,000 persons, to guarantee 11 warm shelters for orphaned and street children, and wheelchairs for 49 disable persons through Rotary Club US. Most important, 32 parish Caritas Committees found food and lodging for 8.547 students from remote provinces places working for university exams”.

This month, September 2011, a US social organization (CMMB) has helped Caritas Saigon to set up a projects on “Educating awareness for prevention and treatment for HIV infection, alcohol addiction, and violence in families.”.

Together with the Pastoral Commission for Ecumenism and Interreligious Dialogue of Saigon Archdiocese, Caritas Saigon and Tam Tông Miếu Pagoda Caritas intends to set up a dispensary offering free medical examinations, medicines and medical counselling for poor people, emigrants and others in need.

Caritas Saigon also associated with the diocesan Pastoral Committee of Families to support and help some provincial students’ groups living at parish hostels in Ho Chi Minh City.

This is the commitment and the role of Caritas for co-operation, in association with NGOs, communities, social agencies and representatives of other religions. These are activities which express the humanity of Catholics. Every member of parish Caritas is “equipped” with basic knowledge and skills of social work, especially with a kind heart. Caritas members aim to bring happiness and to offer the Good News of the Gospel to all people.