By Martina Liebsch, Caritas Internationalis migration advocacy officer
It was impressive to see what motivation, persistence even under the most difficult circumstances and solidarity among Caritas organizations can achieve!
During the meeting of the Iraq Working group of Caritas Internationalis (18-19 February 2009 in Beirut), I was plunged into the reality of a maltreated people. Years of isolation, violence, war, displacement and sectarian division. Yet, the belief in a just society, the wish for change, credibility through action and humility made the difference to Caritas Iraq. The two colleagues of Caritas Iraq, Khawla Elia Jajo and Nabil Nissan, were great ambassadors to this spirit!
Even if the seeds planted still have to grow, there is more dialogue and service to society regardless of creed or group, they are signs of hope.
There are two out of the many activities carried out by Caritas Iraq which touched me most.
Caritas Iraq works with 150 volunteers, many young people among them, who through training and exchange learn to serve others and moreover take part in meaningful activities. It becomes even more important taking into account that the unemployment rate is as high. But what can be better than motivating people to rebuild their own society?
The “Well-Baby-Programme”, somehow the starting point of Caritas Iraq, began as a programme to fight malnutrition among children and organically grew into a society building programme, serving as an opportunity for mothers of different faiths to meet and be united regarding concern for their children as well as a starting point for further joint learning on health and other issues.
It is good to know that there is a “circle of solidarity” around Caritas Iraq, which would not have any impact without the courage and the daily work of our colleagues there!