Caritas Korea was founded in 1975 as the ‘Human Development Committee’ under the mission to build a genuine community filled with Christian justice and love where the neglected and poor can lead decent lives in a caring society with the divine right of self-respect regardless of faith or beliefs. Caritas Korea became a full-fledged member of Caritas Internationalis in 1979.
Until the mid of 1980’s, Caritas Korea received support from other countries and channeled the aid to Korea. In 1993, Caritas Korea transformed into an institution of giving support to other countries when the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Korea has entrusted Caritas Korea with its overseas aid work through Caritas Sunday Collection. In 2010, Caritas Korea was restructured to develop and strengthen its institutional capacity and it was registered as ‘Caritas Korea International’ under the Foreign Ministry of Republic of Korea.
As the official agency for international aid and development of the Catholic Church in Korea, Caritas Korea supported more than 1,015 emergency relief and community development projects around the globe through the Caritas Internationalis network.
Caritas Korea focuses on assisting the people in need, empowering the most disadvantaged, and improving the capacity and resilience of vulnerable communities in order to achieve a balanced, integrated, and sustainable development.
During the past decade, Caritas Korea funded Emergency Appeals in response to humanitarian crises, such as famine, natural disasters, communicable disease outbreaks, and conflicts for both immediate relief and long-term recovery. Caritas Korea supports to alleviate the pain and suffering inflicted by large scale disasters, such as the conflict in Syria, Boko Haram insurgency, Rohingya refugee crisis, Venezuela economic insecurity, Southeast Asia floods as well as the human atrocities propagated in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.
Furthermore, to foster the stable and long-term development of local communities, Caritas Korea supports local Development Cooperation projects through close partnership with the Caritas Internationalis member organizations. These projects vary from tackling poverty and revitalizing livelihood by improving education to generating employment opportunities and establishing awareness-raising advocacy programs.
Caritas Korea has also been playing a leading role in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) Program as an official facilitating partner of Caritas Internationalis since 2006. Caritas Korea continues to implement subprojects in direct cooperation with North Korean counterparts and in cooperation with alliance partners.
Caritas Korea works in close partnership with all Caritas Internationalis member organizations and actively collaborates with Caritas partners in Asia as a member of the Caritas Asia regional network.