Tag Archives: Caritas Ecuador

World Refugee Day: In their faces is the face of Christ

Caritas Burkina Faso helps new arrivals from the conflict in Mali. Photo by Simone Stefanelli/Mali

Caritas Burkina Faso helps new arrivals from the conflict in Mali. Photo by Simone Stefanelli/Mali

Today is World Refugee Day: honoring the courage, strength and determination of women, men and children who are forced to flee their homes. It is our chance to let the 45.2 million people forced from their homes around the world know that we walk with them.

Pope Francis called attention to refugee families “often forced to flee their homes and countries in a hurry and losing all their belongings and their security to escape violence, persecution or serious discrimination because of their religion, ethnic identity or political ideas.”

“We cannot be insensitive toward families and all our brothers and sisters who are refugees,” the pope said. “We are called to help them, opening ourselves to understanding them and offering hospitality.”

“In their faces is the face of Christ,” the pope said.

 3.8 million Colombians have been forced from their homes. Credit: Caritas Colombia

3.8 million Colombians have been forced from their homes. Credit: Caritas Colombia

In 2004, Caritas Venezuela started to work for refugees, most of the victims of the internal conflict in Colombia which has produced more than 3.8 million. internally displaced persons. In Venezuela there about 3000 refugees seeking protection, but there might be more who live under irregular conditions in the country. Those who do not speak to refugees do not know their suffering”, says Migdalia Carrasquel, a lawyer in charge of the refugee programme at Caritas Venezuela.

Catholic Relief Services  (a Caritas member based in the USA) began 70 years ago helping refugees in Europe during and after World War II. Today, CRS says the Church’s concern for the poorest and most vulnerable people compels them to continue that work wherever refugees and internally displaced people are at grave risk. Today, they bring comfort and aid to Syrian, Malian and Somali refugees in places like Niger, Kenya, Jordan, Lebanon and Burkina Faso, where natural or manmade disasters force people from their homes and homelands.

From the trauma of flight, to the anxiety about family that you have been separated from, to the depression of watching your homeland in chaos, to the stress of making ends meet in a foreign country, the psychological pressure but on refugees is immense. In Jordan, Caritas says one in five of the refugees its surveyed need some form of counselling. Providing that care is key to our work throughout the region with Syrian refugees.

While numbers are important in illustrating the extent and gravity of the situation, Caritas Australia says is easy to lose the true picture amongst statistics – the human faces involved in this tragedy. The reality is that these numbers are made up of individuals who have feelings, aspirations, and like every human being, fundamental human needs.

Gisèle, a refugee in Belgium, has been separated from her children for 3 years. Thanks to the support of Caritas Belgium, Gisèle’s youngest son was recently granted a visa to come to live with his mother.

Current family reunification procedures are diffcult, expensive and long. They are creating unnecessary human suffering for thousands of people separated from their loved ones. Caritas organisations in Europe are helping many of them to go through the procedures. Caritas Europa is calling on the EU and its member states to make the right to family a reality.

Please pray for those who have fled Syria, or been displaced by the conflict there. Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand has prepared resources. And finally Caritas Ecuador asks us to dedicate 1 minute of our lives for refugee families. 

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Filed under Advocacy, Australia, Belgium, Conflicts and Disasters, Emergencies, Europe, Migration, New Zealand, Oceania, Refugees

New homes for Haitians

Keys to a new home built after the January 2010 earthquake in Haiti. Credit: Ryan Worms/Caritas

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By Ryan Worms

Almost two years on from the earthquake of 12 January 2010, more than 600,000 people are still displaced in camps. They live in extremely precarious conditions and their health security is at risk.

Three dioceses were particularly affected by the earthquake: Port-au-Prince, Jacmel and Anse-à-Veau/Miragoâne. In certain areas more than 90 percent of the houses were destroyed.

Duval is a village set in the hills above Port-au-Prince, one hour’s drive from the capital. Bernard and his family live in this area. His wife Marie Gerta St Hilaire recalls 12 January 2010: “When the ground started to shake I panicked. I asked my husband to come and help me, but he could barely stand up. When we were able to get back to our house, it wasn’t there anymore. Everything had been destroyed, and there was devastation everywhere. After a while, we moved into a shack with our children. It was very hard, and I didn’t know if we’d ever get out of it.”

There is renewed hope for Bernard and his family: the inauguration of their new house. It was built as part of a partnership between Caritas Haiti and Caritas Ecuador. In Duval, on this first Sunday of November, 31 other families received the keys of their new homes during a ceremony organised in the presence of the President of Caritas Ecuador, Msgr Julio Parrilla.
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Filed under Aid Success Story, Conflicts and Disasters, Disaster Preparedness, Ecuador, Emergencies, Emergencies in Haiti, Español, Français, Haiti, Latin America

En Haïti, à Trianon, la santé devient accessible.

L’ingénieur Marcelin Esterlin et le père Jean Serdieu. Le père dit « ce centre est le fruit des sacrifices de la communauté, de la solidarité de la population de Trianon et est un premier pas important vers le renouveau de notre région. »

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Par Ryan Worms

En ce samedi 5 novembre, la population de Trianon est en fête. C’est aujourd’hui qu’a lieu l’inauguration du centre de santé de la Caritas Hinche –Trianon, un événement majeur pour cette petite communauté de la région du Plateau central en Haïti.

Désormais, les populations de Trianon et des localités avoisinantes n’auront plus à voyager parfois durant plus de trois jours pour trouver où se soigner. Elles pourront recevoir dans ce nouveau centre de santé les vaccinations et une attention médicale 7 jours sur 7, 24h par jour. Les femmes pourront bénéficier d’un suivi prénatal et d’un accompagnement professionnel lors des accouchements. Une salle d’hospitalisation pourra également recevoir et traiter les cas les plus urgents pour une courte durée avant d’être transférés si nécessaire vers des centres hospitaliers plus importants. Continue reading

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Filed under Conflicts and Disasters, Ecuador, Emergencies, Emergencies in Haiti, Français, Haiti, Latin America