By Joseph Farah, President of Caritas Middle East and North Africa
Caritas is composed of seven regions. Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, the Middle East and North Africa, North America, and Oceania. I’m President of Caritas Middle East and North Africa. The regional system reflects the statutes of the Caritas confederation because it is a bridge between national Caritas, the regions and goes right up to the global level represented by Caritas Internationals.
This ability to transcend borders means that Caritas is of a global nature incomparable to other organisations. The regional system needs to be continuously honed in the image of the Church so that Caritas can achieve its vocation towards vulnerable people and their communities.
Partnership is one of the key values of Caritas. Caritas has partnership guidelines, which ensure global solidarity must be fine-tuned taking into account the characteristics of each partner. Partnership is in fact a mixture of spirit and technique.
If the spirit of our partnership must take precedence over the individual needs of people and organisations; the technique must be a common system which is simple and credible, and which must not weigh so much on weaker Caritas such as our own in the Middle East and North Africa. The rule of the “necessary and enough” can be held up as an example for a loyal and effective partnership.
The difficulty of drawing up partnership rules for Caritas has been temporarily overcome with the CI manual which is there to be consulted by different parties, and which needs to be enriched by our personal experiences.
Taken from a speech given in Nairobi at the Caritas Africa meeting, 6 March