Caritas Samoa celebrates 10 years

By Soli Wilson ,

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CARITAS REPORT LAUNCH: The celebration yesterday included the launch of a key report (see story page 10). In this picture are Tuala Puletini, Monica Sio, Karen Anaya.

CARITAS REPORT LAUNCH: The celebration yesterday included the launch of a key report (see story page 10). In this picture are Tuala Puletini, Monica Sio, Karen Anaya.

Caritas Samoa celebrated their 10th year anniversary at the Tu’utu’uileloloto Hall with speeches highlighting their triumphs, performances for entertainment and food. 

The National Director of Caritas Samoa, Monica Sio said the future of the organization is looking up for the next ten years. 

“As a part of moving forward, we divided our organization into sub groups in terms of women, health, policy making, peace and justice and most importantly, our youth. 

“We aim to encourage these focus groups to develop, spread out and get as many people involved,” she said.

Caritas currently boasts nearly 300 volunteers across Samoa who communicates the villages’ needs to Caritas.

Since its establishment in 2008, Caritas Samoa has been active within communities in the areas of emergency response, early recovery and disaster management where they work closely with Red Cross. 

“For the 2009 tsunami, Caritas had a lot of help from overseas that we donated for the victims in forms of food and about 70 houses were built through this help.” 

One of the major obstacles throughout their 10 year journey was the people’s expectations of them.

“Most people think we have a lot of money. We have to ask for donations from overseas,”

Ms Sio said sometimes villagers expect donations or material things instead of training programs.

“What we try and tell them is the importance of showing up even if there is no money but [instead] love to offer for those in need.”

Now, other than responding to natural disasters, their operations have expanded to include Catholic Social Teaching services. 

“We not only provide help for natural disasters but also for those who have been victims of violence as currently seen on the rise,” Ms Sio said.

Caritas Samoa was officially established in 2008 and became a full member of the Caritas Internationalis Confederation in 2011; declaring it as the official 165th member of the C.I Confederation. 

Ms Sio also had advice for the readers.

“I advise you to love those who are in need. For those who are in need, our office is here at Tu’utu’uileloloto Hall or contact us on 27768.”

© Samoa Observer 2016

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