Caritas Cambodia

Cambodia
Typography

Caritas Cambodia is the social development arm of the Catholic Church in Cambodia and has been built on the values of Love, Concern, Peace, Unity, Sharing and Brotherhood. Caritas Cambodia first began its work in Cambodia in 1972 to help the victims of war, and functioned until 1975 when it was forced to leave the country. After the interruption during the years of the Khmer Rouge regime and the following years of conflict, Caritas Cambodia was re-established in 1990.

Caritas helps the poorest of the poor. We focus on the most disadvantaged, displaced, and vulnerable people and communities. Caritas works in solidarity with all people of good will and similar vision, and assists the poor solely on the basis of need, and not creed. We strive to promote human dignity, alleviate suffering, and foster charity, justice, and peace. We currently work in 12 provinces and support Village Development Associations in over 300 villages.

Since 2016 Caritas Cambodia has been developing its new strategic framework (2017-2021). As we enter into the next five years, Caritas Cambodia is committed to continue focusing and working with the poor, to empower them, promote justice, and integral development.  Under its new framework, the vision, mission statement and guiding values have been slightly revised but built on the same foundation of serving the poorest of the poor and the most vulnerable communities. Our strategic framework (2017-2021) covers five pillars:

  • Emergency Response, Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation, and Ecological Protection: An efficient and effective Disaster Management ensuring rapid response and Disaster risk Reduction and Ecological Protection
  • Integral Human Development (IHD): Improve  quality  of  lives of  the  poor  through  an integral  development process
  • Anti-human trafficking and Migration: Ensure safe migration and ending modern slavery
  • Advocacy and Communication : Effective Communication and Advocacy
  • Good governance : Effective and strong governance on humanitarian and social development work for the poor and vulnerable communities

Vision
A just society where the rights of the people, especially the poor and marginalized  are respected and integral human development is attained

Mission statement
In order to achieve this vision, Caritas will be an institution to

  • Contribute to enhance, promote; and protect human dignity of the poor
  • Liberate them from the clutch of poverty.
  • Commit to empower the poor through animation and holistic, inclusive  development

Our work and achievement would not have been possible without the support of all partners from Caritas family and other partners/donors who have supported us financially and spiritually. Thank and convey our heartfelt gratitude and appreciation to all the partners/donors.

“We are committed to continue delivering lasting change to the poorest communities. The support from all donors and partners helps us to move forward our vision and mission”.

For more information about Caritas Cambodia, visit our website www.caritascambodia.org.

Caritas Cambodia

Address: #47, St. 198,
Sangkat Boeung Pralith,
Khan 7 Makara, Phnom Penh
Postal Address: P.O. Box: 123,
Telephone: +855 23 210 757
Fax: +855 23 216 258
Email: rattana@caritascambodia.org
caritas@caritasscambodia.org
Website: www.caritascambodia.org

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The International Day of Prayer and Awareness against Human Trafficking is presented on Wednesday, 8th February, 2017. Mr. Kim Rattana, Executive Director of Caritas Cambodia briefed the objective of the day. He said “the international day is to create greater awareness among the general public and to reflect on the current situation of human trafficking; particularly women and children. Another goal is to create. public attention and social action to fight against human trafficking which is still a big issue in Cambodian society as well as in the regional and global level”.
During the day, Caritas conducted staff gathering to join for prayer and collaborated with the National interreligious committee to celebrate the day.
In the morning, all staff of Caritas national office is joining together in prayer to celebrate the global act to fight against human. The morning program at the office included: 1/ presentation of short video featuring a true story of a Cambodian women who was trafficked to China, 2/ prayer led by Fr. Hang Ly from the Apostolic Church of Phnom Penh and 3/participatory campaign by stamping hand on the white fabric to dedicate commitment on fighting against human trafficking in all forms.

The second program in the evening was the interreligious prayer in Buddhism, Catholic, Protestant and Muslim way. The attendees are representatives from the four religions, came together to celebrate the prayer for the victims of human trafficking; especially women and children. The International Day of Prayer and Awareness against Human Trafficking is also celebrated in different dioceses, parishes and Caritas’s provincial programs and project.

According to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, February, 8 is the feats day St. Josephine Bakhita, who was kidnapped as a child and sold into slavery in Sudan and Italy. Once, she was freed, she became a Canossian nun and dedicated her to sharing her testament of deliverance from slavery and comforting the poor and suffering. She was declared as Saint in 2000. On 8th February, Catholics all over the world are encouraged to host or attend prayer services to create greater awareness about this phenomenon. Through prayer , we not only reflect on the experiences of those that have suffered through this affront to human dignity, but also comfort, strengthen and help empower survivors.

Some activities of the International Day of Prayer and Awareness against Human Trafficking conducted at Caritas National office Phnom Penh and Catholic Church-Phsar Touch Phnom Penh.

As happened every year, Caritas Cambodia held an annual staff gathering for all staff at the Catholic Retreat Center in Sihanouk Ville from 18-19 January 2017. Caritas Cambodia is happy to be able to bring 200 staff members in a two-day gathering. This year, there are more participants represented the Catholic Church from Battambong province. The 23th anniversary gathering’s theme is “Together as Family for Mission of Mercy”. Thanks to the Catholic Retreat Center in Sihanouk Ville and Fr. Un Sun that are part of the event and their great hospitality.
Bishop Kike Figaredo, Chairman of Caritas Cambodia welcomed all staff members and representatives from the Catholic Church of Battambong province. On the opening remark, Bishop Kike underlined the value of the theme by emphasizing on four key words:

  1. Together: Think and care of each other
  2. Family: Building work environment as home
  3. Mission: Journey on the same mission to serve the poor and
  4. Mercy: Love and compassion

More importantly, Caritas Cambodia cannot thank enough to Fr. Totet Banaynal SJ, from the Catholic Church in Siem Reap who provided a reflection session on the theme “Family”. Fr. Totet raised a number of key values that are associated to the theme such as “Love in Marriage”, “Love Made Fruitful”, “Some Pastoral Perspectives”, “Towards a Better Education of Children”, and “Accompanying, Discerning and Integrating Weakness”. He also guided us to discussion and sharing among the group.

As we are entering into the five year strategic framework (2017-2021), the management team represented by Mr. Kim Rattana, Caritas Cambodia Executive Director provided a brief review of the framework, working process, involvement and participation from all level of staff including the communities, the government, partner organizations and donors. He shared with all colleagues the five strategic orientations that are going to be implemented in the next five years. Those strategic pillars include 1/ Emergency Response, Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation, and Ecological Protection, 2/Integral Human Development (IHD), 3/ Anti-human trafficking and Migration, 4/Advocacy& Communication and 5/Good governance.

On behalf of Caritas Cambodia management, Mr. Rattana thanked to all staff that accompanies the organization during year and is looking forward to a continued support and commitment towards a five-year journey and beyond.

Caring for environment
The staff gathering this year is special as it cares for environment. As part of its commitment to promote environment, Caritas Cambodia has collaborated with the Ministry of Environment and the provincial department, as well the provincial authority to highlight the importance of conserving the environment. There are two main environmental activities being carried out within the two day gathering. The first activity is the collection of waste around the retreat center compound and along Ochheuteal beach, one of the beautiful beaches in the country. The second one is mangrove plantation at Preynob, allowing majority of staff to get their first time experience in planting mangrove trees. Both activities are aimed at raising awareness about environment among the communities and general public.

On 9th December 2016, Caritas’s Centre for Child and Adolescent Mental Health program (CCAMH) commemorated its 25th anniversary in conjunction with the celebration 68th anniversary of the International Human Rights Day under the theme “Promoting child’s rights and rights of people with disabilities”.

On 68th anniversary of International Human Rights Day H.E. Teav Vannol, Member of the senate and Chairman of the first commission on Human Rights to the Senate presided the event to mark the 25th anniversary of CCAMH.
On behalf of the government, His Excellency, Teav Vannol expressed gratitude to CCAMH for their unique and steadfast journey in addressing the need of Cambodian children with development disabilities and mental health problems, aimed at improving their individual rights and the quality of the life of the families. His Excellency extended appreciation to the work of CCAMH by announcing continued and firm support and commitment of the government in fulfilling the needs and rights of  children with disabilities and the families.

In Cambodia, comprehensive services for the mentally handicapped persons, especially children and adolescents are not widely available at present. Ms. Sok Dearozet, Program manager for Community Based Inclusive Development program said Caritas is committed to fill the service gap for children with special needs and their families. For the past 25 years, CCAMH team has been passionately engaged in promoting children’s rights through various means to include them in education, vocational rehabilitation and other aspects of the society.

To fulfill the mission, CCAMH is has been implementing Center-based, School-based and Community-based programs. These three programs are built on the values of social justice, health and educational equity. “Through early identification, counseling and multi-model therapy the Caritas-CCAMH team reaches the children with neuropsychiatric problems, such as cerebral palsy, mental retardation, autism, epilepsy and mental health problem”, reported Ms. Dearozet.
 
CCAMH began operations in Cambodia in 1991 and has been actively engaged in providing quality service to children with neuro-psychiatric problems, developmental and psychological problems in the country. With a strong collaboration with the Government’ s Ministry of Health, CCAMH has made substantial progress by establishing itself as a pioneering organization to provide quality service for children with neuropsychiatric, developmental and mental disabilities. All children in the age group of 0-18 are the focus of Caritas-CCAMH and clients from 23 provinces of Cambodia benefit either directly or indirectly from the services.
 
Dr. J.Bhoomikumar, Program Director and Consultant Child Psychiatrist, working at the center for the past 20 years remarked: “It has been a challenge to work in post conflict setting but a satisfying experience to develop sustainable systems of health care in the community, school and at the center for vulnerable children. The 25th year of Caritas-CCAMH coincides with the ‘Year of Mercy’ and during this year the team at CCAMH extends its program to the young prisoners, a pioneering effort in the region. Compassion (serving with), Curiosity (to explore the causative factors) and Creativity (in delivering multi-model therapies) are the core values

the Caritas-CCAMH team aspires to strengthen in the coming years. The Caritas-CCAMH team gratefully thanks all the Caritas partners for the invaluable support over the years and looks forward to the journey together with love and wisdom for the sake of children with disabilities in Cambodia. For further information on the achievement and background of CCAMH program, read more: Interview Dr J-Bhoomikumar.nterview Dr J-Bhoomikumar.
 
2016 marks the 25th anniversary of Caritas-CCAMH. During the year, a series of events were held such as workshops, trainings, meetings and several other activities. Approximately 200 participants representing the Cambodian senators, lawmakers, government officers from in-line Ministries and provincial departments, Catholic NGOs partners, children with disabilities and their parents, Caritas staff attended the 25th anniversary in Chey Chumnas Referral Hospital in Takmao, Kandal province. The day ended with a solidarity lunch along with traditional performances by a group of children and handicapped children from Apostolic of Battambong.