Caritas members from Africa as well as Asia, Europe, North America and Oceania are meeting in Nairobi. The aim of the three days is to share past experiences in responding to emergencies for the confederation to better save lives.
Caritas Africa President Cyprian Kizito Lwanga from Uganda began the proceedings by talking about the strengths of Caritas. He said that the forum came at an important time for the Church and the Church in Africa. It is the 2000 anniversary of the conversion of St Paul, a symbol of peace and reconciliation. And the Africa Synod of Bishops meets in the Fall in Rome.
Lesley Anne Knight, Secretary General of Caritas Internationalis gave a speech looking at the challenges we face in the aftermath of the economic crisis but that anything is possible if we work together with solidarity and hope.
Sr Aine Hughes of Caritas South Africa said the crisis could either be faced with paralysis or as an opportunity for working more effectively.
We worked in detail, hearing examples from Congo, Kenya, Madagascar and others on best practises and how to make them better.
In the afternoon, Kenya’s Cardinal John Njue joined the meeting. He spoke of the deep appreciation felt from the work of Caritas. He said Africa has made great progress but more needs to be done. He said Caritas means love, and love is not just a word, but making other people feel valued.