By Ferruccio Ferrante, communications officer with Caritas Italy
“Wherever you go, you’ll find Caritas” was the name of Caritas Italy’s conference which looked at issues surrounding migrants, young people, families, people facing life alone and those suffering from addictions.
Over 600 people from 161 diocesan Caritas brought with them their own experiences of working with Caritas in Italy and went away having shared and gained greater knowledge and hope.
In this time of difficulty when the crisis increases its grip, Caritas is by people’s side all over Italy. In the first six months of 2012, requests for help from Caritas increased by 44.5% compared to the previous year. Caritas finds itself with a great responsibility: how to continue to accompany people in their difficulties. It’s a responsibility that can’t be passed over to someone else because each of us must be a champion of change for the common good.
But how can we do this? Some ideas to come out of Caritas Italy’s conference were: organising flash mobs, responsible consumption and saving and ethical buying. Continue reading
Shocking abuses and killings in Colombia are so under-reported that many Italians aren’t even aware of the country’s decades-long war.
Copyright: Caritas/Michelle Hough
By Michelle Hough, Caritas Internationalis communications officer
What with a police helicopter hovering over the Caritas offices for hours yesterday afternoon, I kept thinking about the film Apocalypse Now rather than writing a blog on Caritas Italiana’s book “Markets of War”*… and it was driving me a bit crazy. Continue reading
Care of Caritas Italy
The Catholic Church in Italy will hold a national fundraising collection in parishes Sunday 10 June following the earthquake and aftershocks that have affected the Emilia Romagna region.
The Italian bishops have already allocated €3 million to help survivors of the quake that struck 20 May in the area of Modena and Ferrara and the large aftershocks which still continue.
The funds collected 10 June will be used by Caritas Italy (known locally as Caritas Italiana) to help in the aftermath of the disaster. Caritas Italy has already pledged €100,000. See the poster: poster_terremotonorditalia_A3
Up to now 150,000 people have been forced from their homes with 15,000 living in tents Caritas Italy says that with aftershocks continuing, fear is increasing among those evacuated from their homes. Its staff are working with local diocesan Caritas Emilia Romagna workers to coordinate the emergency response through a coordination centre has been set up in the small town Finale Emilia.
More details can be found on the Caritas Italy website
Even though permanent housing is springing up across L'Aquila, some elderly and physically vulnerable people are still facing L'Aquila's freezing winter in tents and temporary accommodation. Credit: Caritas/Michelle Hough
By Michelle Hough, communications officer for Caritas Internationalis
I’m thinking about how I really should buy a pair of warm boots. My feet are freezing. I’m standing in a tent in L’Aquila, the central Italian town where a 6.3 magnitude earthquake killed over 300 people in April and left over 65,000 people homeless. The drafty blue tent is someone’s home.
Maria Olga, 76, and her two sons have been living in the temporary shelter on the edge of a sports field for seven months. A wheelchair sits between two beds because Maria Olga can’t walk very far. She looks very fragile. There is a stove so they can cook instead of going to the nearby canteen, where “there is always a queue”. As the tent walls shake in the icy mountain wind I wonder how on earth they manage to live in such conditions.
“They’ve left us with two toilets and two showers which don’t work properly. When you turn them on, ice cubes come out,” jokes Sandro Cicerone, who also lives in the camp which is made up of around 20 tents. Continue reading
By Michelle Hough, communications officer with Caritas Internationalis
When I was 5 years old, my dad went to work in Nigeria for a year. He mended big earth moving machines, and there were very few jobs in this line in England in the late 1970s. He could have either stayed in the UK, where he would have been unemployed and unable to support his family, or go to Africa.
In the 1930s my dad’s parents left an impoverished Ireland to find work in London. Twenty years before that, my maternal great grandfather left Ireland to go and work in the Welsh coal mines.