The foundation of all Catholic Social Teaching is the inherent dignity of the human person, as created in the image and likeness of God. The Church, therefore, calls for Integral Human Development, which concerns the wellbeing of each person in every dimension: economic, political, social, ecological, and spiritual.
Dignity cannot be earned or erased, but it is often denied. When people are excluded, marginalized or forced to live in unsafe, unhealthy conditions, they are being treated as though they have no dignity. Development and Peace ― Caritas Canada and our partners work for a world that affirms the dignity of everyone, no matter who they are.
From an unequal economy to discrimination against particular groups, peoples’ dignity is denied in many deeply structural ways. Through projects focused on things like community organizing, training on housing rights and education for women, our partners’ help people come together to recognize, defend and promote each other’s dignity, transforming our world in the process.
When a disaster like an earthquake or typhoon strikes, Development and Peace ― Caritas Canada works with local organizations to provide emergency supplies like bedding, food and shelter. Our partners also address affected people’s emotional needs through psycho-social and post-trauma counselling services. Dignity-centered emergency relief also makes communities more resilient to future disasters by addressing the root causes of poverty that make some communities so vulnerable in the first place.
We are building a world where all people are treated with the dignity they deserve and have the means to lead a dignified life.