Establishing Caritas Kimberley and Migrants and Refugees Office

“Caritas is reality of the Church in many parts of the world and must still seek a greater expansion in the different parishes and communities to renew what took place in the early days of the Church,” are the words of Pope Francis which were part of the message at the workshop for the establishment of Caritas Kimberley.

The workshop, after the invitation from Bishop Duncan Tsoke of Kimberley, took place on the 13th and 14th May 2022 in Kimberly. It was a workshop for structuring Caritas and Pastoral Care for Migrants and Refugees. The workshop for the clergy took place on Friday the 13th May and it was followed on the next day by the one of the volunteer representatives from parishes. The total number of the clergy was 28, including the local bishop. The Saturday workshop was attended by 51 parish representatives.

The presenters of the workshop were Sr. Maria Rissini from Caritas South Africa together with the SACBC Migrants and Refugees Office and Fr. Rampe Hlobo from the Jesuits Refugee Service. Sr. Maria started by presenting the history of Caritas and the guidelines it follows. She then presented the structure and what constitute the overall Caritas network reminding them too of the words of Pope Benedict XVI when he said, “The work of charity is not an option but an obligation and must be fulfilled with commitment, professionalism and with the dimension of the heart.”

Sr. Maria went on to speak about the organisational structure of the diocesan Caritas and sub-offices at the parish level. Included also at the presentation by Sr. Maria was the safeguarding policy and protocol of recruitment stating that Caritas South Africa and Diocesan Caritas adopt the policy of Caritas Internationalis and SACBC on Protection and Safeguarding of abuse and exploitation of Children and Vulnerable Adults.

Among some of Caritas desired end results, noted by Sr Maria, is an increased awareness on Caritas as a Mission of the Church to serve communities in need and promote Justice.

In presenting Understanding Migration Concepts and Key Terms, Fr. Rampe focused on displacement and protection (of asylum seekers, refugees, and internally displaced persons). He also looked at protection from the legal framework. He went on to explain many other key terms involved in the sphere of migrants and refugees.

At the end of the workshop Bishop Duncan Tsoke thanked the Caritas South Africa, Migrants and Refugees Office and the Jesuit Refugees Service for availing themselves to offer the workshop. The participants from parishes left the workshop having already voluntarily put together a concrete plan for the five deaneries of the diocese.



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