The Executive Secretary of Carotas-Nigeria, Rev. Fr. Uchechukwu Obodoechina, has called for partnership to enhance its human capital development programmes, enhance the dignity of persons across the country.
Obodoechina made the call at the Caritas-Nigeria 13th anniversary ceremony, and launch of skills acquisition centre and safe water projects, on Friday in Abuja.
He said that Caritas-Nigeria, the development agency of the Catholic Church, has been supporting individuals and communities across the country, irrespective of tribe religion or political affiliation.
Obodoechina added that the agency had supported HIV patients in the South East, victims of insurgency in the North, Cameroonian refugees in Rivers, prisoners in Niger and rehabilitation deported citizens in Edo, among others.
According to him, several organisations within and outside Nigeria are helping to see that people live in dignity in spite of the poverty around them.
“That is also why we feel it is important on a day like today, to solicit support from our friends.
“Showcase what we have done, and then see how they could also partner with us to enable us reach more lives,” he said.
Obodoechina said that Caritas-Nigeria was also focusing on climate change and ensuring that the message of caring for the environment reaches all households.
He said that event titled, “Mainstreaming Climate-Smart Principles and Practices among Faith based Communities in Nigeria”, was aimed at averting adverse environmental effects.
In his remarks, the Vice President of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN), Archbishop Matthew Ndagos said Caritas-Nigeria was established by the conference in 2010.
He congratulated the management and staff of the agency for the progress made in the past 13 years, which has made it the biggest faith-based humanitarian agency in the country.
The archbishop said that the role of Caritas-Nigeria was in tune with the mission of the church of serving God and humanity.
He challenged the agency to use its 13 years experience as a springboard to touch more lives.
Ndagos advised the agency to source for funding locally instead of continuing “to depends solely or mainly on foreign funding with little or no local contribution,”” he added.
He said this was necessary, otherwise “we may well be building on a weak foundation or worst still, building castles in the air”.
“There is dignity in self-reliance and self-sustenance,” he said, and charged Caritas to assist the CBCN in finding creative ways and means of raising and generating local funding for it sustenance.
The Archbishop said the “CBCN through its Administrative Board in raising awareness among the faithful of our local church of the need to take ownership of CCFN, especially its emergency response funds”.
He said that the aim was to make Caritas self-reliant and self-sustaining.
Ndagos added that the Board and leadership of some major lay organisations, had requested the faithful to dedicate a percentage of their annual income to support the Caritas- Nigeria emergency fund.
“it is heart warming to note that this has already begun,” the archbishop said, and prayed for them to remain faithful and focused on their mission.