Human beings are social, and how we live together affects the dignity of the individual and the progress of society. All persons are entitled to participate in community and in decisions that affect their lives. Societies must encourage and enable people to be protagonists, not passive but active players in history.
Development and Peace ― Caritas Canada is a member-driven, democratic organization. Members across Canada form diocesan councils that elect from among themselves our governing body, the national council. Each year, we mobilize an education campaign that highlights our roles and responsibilities as global citizens and gives members an opportunity act. Abroad, we support grassroots organizations that work to empower communities. Some of our partners help marginalized communities form cooperatives and unions. Others educate communities about their legal rights and defend the territorial rights of threatened peoples.
Our partners empower communities to be the protagonists of their own development. Be it in long-term social change programs or emergency and reconstruction activities, the communities we work with are active participants in identifying their needs, proposing solutions and implementing new ways of working together. This participatory approach often takes longer and sometimes even costs more, but it guarantees the ownership and sustainability of process and results.
When people can participate and feel like protagonists, they are able to help write the story of God’s work for justice in our world.