Caritas Venezuela wins GM5 Champion for People & Planet Award

Posted on Posted in by Juan E. Chebly

The Give Me 5 Campaign is a global campaign for people and planet, a movement that seeks the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This challenge will only be possible if we the people as a global society come together and prioritize sustainable development. Our campaign highlights how only 5% of military spending would be enough to pay for the investments needed to achieve a better world for all.

In commemoration of the 2nd anniversary of the launch of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, The Give me 5 Campaign proudly announces the Give me 5- “Champions for People and Planet” 2017 Award for outstanding contribution and individual recognition to Caritas Venezuela. The Give me 5 Campaign issues this award as an objective recognition to  outstanding action towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, inline with the United Nations Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, is the key to providing solutions to global concerns and the assurance of rights and well-being of future generations. The aim of the ‘Champion for People & Planet’ global prize is to inspire and generate collective engagement in an annual worldwide celebration and to foster the growth of a culture of peace. Members of the UN community and the public are invited to participate.

This year the Give me 5 Campaign (GM5) recognizes the wonderful labor of an NGO whose work goes above and beyond towards the advancement of Sustainable Development Goals. Its main focus its on the social and humanitarian dimension of sustainable development. Providing most needed humanitarian assistance in a country that is suffering the worst humanitarian crises of this hemisphere is in and of itself worthy of recognition. However, GM5 recognizes the arduous context in which Caritas Venezuela is forced to operate while still being able to save thousands of lives every year.

For this and on behalf of the volunteers and members fo the Give Me 5 community we say: Thank you Caritas Venezuela, Catholic Relief Services, Caritas North America and the entire Caritas Network! Thank you for upholding human life during dark times! Thank you for being a shining example of service and kindness!

Sustainable Development is after all about people.

Congratulations Caritas Venezuela!

About Caritas Venezuela: “Help us to help!” is the motto of this non-profit, non-governmental organisation. It was officially established in 1997 as a separate legal entity, although its pastoral work started in 1963. It is present in 27 – out of a total of 38 – ecclesiastic subdivisions, with a national coverage of 71 percent.

Caritas Venezuela has not followed an even path as its actions have been shaped by various historical events. While the oil boom in the 1970s enabled the organisation to do without aid policies, quite the opposite occurred in the 1980s when society began to experience the after-effects of its former bonanza. In the 1990s social changes started brewing, and in 1999 the Vargas flooding disaster – Venezuela’s worst natural disaster during the 20th century – influenced the rebirth of Caritas out of the water.

Its many projects range through such areas as the pastoral care of prisoners and their families, promotion of human rights, accompaniment of the sick and their families, and legal advice and psychological assistance to migrants and asylum seekers. Caritas Venezuela has six reception centres for refugees located in different parts of the country.

Its Compartir (sharing) campaign takes place every year in Lent. Since 2012 it has incorporated celebration of the campaign for life within the activities on 4 October (Saint Francis of Assisi), thus responding to the intolerance that is experienced in the country.

Caritas Venezuela maintains active alliances with various national and international organisations, including: UNHCR, UNICEF, IOM, European Commission Humanitarian Aid, Radio Noticias Venezuela, Sanitas Foundation of Venezuela, health centres, universities and Banco Mercantil. Within the Caritas network, it collaborates fraternally with Secours Catholique (Caritas France), Catholic Relief Services (CRS) and Caritas Spain, among others.