The word Caritas means caring and concern for the poor and vulnerable in society. Caritas Uganda is the Socio-Pastoral and development arm of the Uganda Episcopal Conference. In Uganda the organisation was started in 1958 as Social Services and development unit which makes the Country one of thsoe to embrace the Caritas as a development department. The Organisation has a national coordinating body and diocesan office in the 19 Catholic Dioceses. On the International scene Caritas Uganda is a member of the Caritas Internationalis Confederation whose secretariat is in Rome and is composed of 164 member organizations. Importance of Caritas The importance of Caritas lies in structuring the socio-pastoral action to provide the means for effective and coherent work with a mission in mind. Caritas Inspiration Caritas derives its inspiration from
- The witness of Christian Holy Scripture and a living tradition of the social teaching of the church.
- Fundamental reference points - Holy Scripture, the example of Jesus and the Church's social teaching on one hand and the socio-historical reality on the other.
- Reading the "signs of the times" to become more relevant to the church's mission and effective advocates for God's reign on earth.
- A commitment to justice and peace in a world marked by many conflicts and intolerable social and economic inequalities.
- Adhering to the core values found in Christ's teaching and in the tradition of the church
Improved Community Livelihoods
- Increased sustainable food production
- Increase income levels among target groups from 31% to 40%.
- Reduce disease burden among communities.
- Increase access to safe and clean water within target localities.
- Promote adoption of alternative source of energy.
- Promote value addition to production.
Emergency /Relief and Rehabilitation
- To coordinate and enhance capacity of dioceses to respond promptly to disasters and emergencies by 2010.
- To facilitate the rehabilitation of socio-economic assets and infrastructure in 190 communities of the 19 dioceses by 2014.
- To build community resilience and preparedness to withstand disasters by 2014.
- Sensitization on critical cross cutting issues e.g Gender, Emergency, HIV/AIDS, etc...
Forum for dialogging and cooperation
- To ensure effective and efficient communication at all levels
- To annually guide the dioceses on topical issues themes that affect the community under their jurisdiction.
- To conduct one partnership forum for all diocesan development and humanitarian partners annually.
- To organize and support annual peace forum in each Ecclesiastical provinces.
- To participate in at least one international and or regional forum on topical issues that affect humanity.
- To strengthen existing, national, regional and international networks with organizations whose identity and values are similar to those of Caritas.
Enhance Organizational Development
- To develop and implement a capacity building plan for Caritas National office and at diocese level by 2011
- To build and promote partnerships with the government institutions and other relevant stakeholders at all levels.
- Disseminate all institutional policies at all levels by 2011.
Promote Good Governance in the country
- To promote civic education for good governance by 2011.
- Advocate for effective and consistent national development policies and legal framework that promote organized community initiative by 2014.