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It is with great pleasure that I share with you the annual chronicle of our journey to develop and serve the people of good will in our blessed country. Through various interventions and trainings, the different units of Caritas Pakistan have been trying to reach out to the farthest corners of their dioceses in search of the most deserving.
The closing of the year 2017 was a new beginning for me when Caritas Pakistan bid farewell to its former Chairman, Archbishop Joseph Coutts who had been serving Caritas as its Chairman from 1998 to 2017, a period of 19 years. It has been due to his dynamic leadership that Caritas was recognized in Pakistan for its good work at the government, private, and community level and ranks as an important and dedicated organization in the development sector. Certainly, it was due to his commitment, dedication and service to the Church in Pakistan, that Pope Francis nominated Archbishop Joseph Coutts as Pakistan’s second Cardinal on 29thJune 2018.
During this year, we continued the momentum with programs and trainings on strengthening and mainstreaming safety and security of Christian institutions, food security and livelihood, hygiene awareness, medical camp, peace events, safe drinking water and sanitation services.
I am pleased to share that our One Million Tree Campaign, launched in 2016, continues in all dioceses fulfilling the Gospel mandate to care for the environment. Similarly, the drip irrigation system was introduced in several villages to address the ongoing shortage of irrigation water thus helping the small farmers.
However, the highlight of 2017 was the briefing session on SAFBIN-II (Smallholder Adaptive Farming and Biodiversity Network) which was held in May and June. Caritas Pakistan was privileged to host representatives from local and international organizations including USAID, World Food Program and the Belgian Embassy.
Since the mission of Caritas has been to restore the dignity of the disadvantaged, the annual tradition of organizing the Women Farmers Conference was continued this year as well, so as to acknowledge hardworking women and to reaffirm our commitment to empower them.
At the end, I personally would like to thank our staff and volunteers who have been involved in relief efforts and all our programs. They are the ones serving others as a natural extension of our Christian faith.
On behalf of Caritas Pakistan, I want to assure you of our prayers and expressions of solidarity with the people of Pakistan in their hour of need. A special thanks to our partners who make it possible for us to do the work that we do every day.
Thank you and God Bless you all.
+ Benny Travas
(Bishop of Multan)
Chairman, Caritas Pakistan