Caring for the poor has always being part of the mission of the church. The Caritas desk since inception in 1996 has put smiles on the faces of many orphans, widows, disabled, poor, sick, needy, destitute, war victims, displaced persons by the delivery of healthcare services, hospital bills, financial grants as well as emergency relief supplies of food, medicine and clothing.
The Caritas desk of CIDJAP is on the forefront of reaching out to these members of our society.
This office attends to the needs of various groups on daily basis raging from giving out food items to the hungry, paying hospital bills, paying of house rent, beginning small scale businesses for some poor people especially women, etc.
In the last few years, the number of persecuted christians needing help who are victims of Boko Haram terrorist attacks have increased.
Caristas caters for over 550 persons requiring help. Over 200 of these persons have health challenges, over 100 of these persons need feeding and dietary support, etc.
CIDJAP through the Caritas desk have continuously supported all these persons according to the available resources and has saved nothing in seeing that the poor in our society are uplifted in body and soul.
With all these support, Caritas desk of CIDJAP has being able to put smiles on the faces of many poor people. But it all seems like scratching the mountain.
In recent past, unemployment and insecurity had been our major challenges. This year, Fulani intrusion with their human massacre left many villages in the middle belt and Southern Nigeria in fear, especially the areas that grow crops to feed the nation. Moreover, people have been killed in farms and women have been sexually abused. A good number of people have abandoned their farm lands and came to the city with hope of being employed, yet to no avail. The outcome of this is hardship. In addition, some men have abandoned their families when life became very unbearable for them, and as a result of that, their poor wives who have no means of livelihood are left to look after themselves and their children.
These have led to a massive increase in people’s coming for alms at the Caritas desk. Some of the reasons are:
Many of the clients have health challenges. They can neither pay their hospital bills nor buy their drugs.
Some are thrown out of their homes by their land Lords because they are not able to pay their house rents while some have no place to lay their heads.
Many cannot afford a meal a day.
Some living with disabilities are rejected by their relatives because of cultural beliefs.
Some husbands left their wives and children when the life is tough.
Many are thrown out of jobs and are asking the office for assistance to start small business.
Some ask for money to complete their school fees or buy handouts.
While some that are stranded, and are asking for transport fare.
Sources of Income
Catholic Diocese of Enugu is the paramount source of our income. The fund used on Caritas desk is the Diocesan Lenten fast collection, Fridays collection after stations of the cross, 20% Caritas Week collection from all the parishes in Enugu Diocese and offertory collections from CIDJAP chapel. Last year, Diocese gave one million Naira (₦1,000,000) in January 2016 and seven hundred and fifty thousand naira ( ₦750,000) from Caritas week 20% collection in September 2016.
Beneficiaries of Caritas?
Caritas desk is open to clients from all parts of Nigeria and beyond irrespective of their religion or tribe. We have clients from Cameroun. Muslim clients from Ogun, Zakibian, Delta, Idoma come at Caritas desk for assistance. The number of clients that rushed to the Bishop’s office and parishes for assistance daily who were referred to get help from Caritas desk were so many. The money Caritas received in 2016 did not go a long way in meeting client’s needs. The number of clients and the amount they wanted were high that many clients left the desk unsatisfied. Many left without been helped because fund was not available.
Some of the outstanding cases undertaken by this office within the past years include:
She is 5 years and has a congenital problem. Her bones are very soft and cannot carry the weight of her body. Her bones break at the slightest provocation.
Recently, she was placed on traction for 2 weeks and is now having POP which she will carry for 8 weeks. With the help of CIDJAP, a Tricycle was got to enhance her mobility.
She is a woman of over 60 years who had uterine prolapse. She recently underwent surgery at the Colliery Hospital, New market which cost N100,000.00. She has recovered and has been discharged. This was achieved with the help of the annual Lenten fast paid to Caritas Department in CIDJAP.
She needs to recuperate and needs to eat nutritious food. She cannot do this yet due to lack of funds. CIDJAP paid all her bills while in the hospital.
It is a surprise how that could happen to her who had 4 children and is old now. Her last child is not less than 30years. Anyway, I guess a lot of things that happen in life cannot be explained. Many things remain mysteries to us.
was born physically challenged. With the help of the services of the Caritas Desk in CIDJAP, she got mobility aid from the Austrian Centre for Social Welfare, Thinker’s Corner, Enugu. On the said day, she came and after interacting with her, she was taken to the social Centre where suitable mobility aid was chosen for her.
She practiced a few times with it and soon got used to it. I could not imagine how she would get to Udi that day with her wooden walking sticks and this tricycle. I went in the company of a Seminarian. At home, she gave us all she could lay hands on.
She seems to have cancer on her gums. Her teeth have fallen one after another until very few are left now. She lives in pain. She has no funds for surgery or her drugs which cost N15,000.00 at University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, (UNTH) Ituku-Ozalla.
CIDJAP has bought drugs for her but due to lack of funds did not continue. Nneka needs our help to buy her drugs so that she can stay longer.
Generally, it is both enriching and emotionally challenging to work with the poor. It is enriching and pacifying to see a smile on a once tear-filled face and a difference made in the life of the person in question. It is also challenging when a case seems hopeless or one dies in ill-health.
It is noble to work with the poor and to donate generously for their welfare. There are a lot of genuine poor people around us who need our help. The call is for us to help them in whatever way we can.
Rev. Sr. Nneka Maduka
General Manager of Charitas
News from Caritas:
Christmas celebration for the poor in the year 2016 was difficult despite the fact the appeal letters were given on time to people and parishes due to hardship in the country. Caritas desk had neither food...
Caritas is a week set apart by Enugu Diocese to fundraise for the poor in all the parishes in the Diocese. On Caritas week, cash, food stuff, fairly used clothes and shoes are donated. 80% of the cash is kept...