Caritas Cambodia in its quality as the social arm of the Church is entrusted with the task of fighting against injustice, promoting the dignity of the poor and above all contributing to establish the values of the Kingdom in a Buddhist society As such its vision is:
“The realization of a just society where rights of people are respected, integral development is promoted by building communities through an empowering process”.
In order to achieve this vision, Caritas will be an institution to empower the poor through animation and community organization and above all through a mutual learning process.
Consequently its mission will contribute to restore human dignity of the poor and will liberate them from the clutches of poverty.
Caritas Cambodia is the instrument of the local Church to implement the social teachings of the Church into action in the Cambodian society. As such it is the social arm of the Church to take up all activities of solidarity in the Cambodian society.
The Guiding Values and Principles
As the social arm of the Church, Caritas Cambodia enroots its vision in the values of the Gospel and the Social Teaching of the Church. Its action stems from a strong desire to live the values of the gospel in a society where there is a need for constant dialogue and reflection. As a priority, Caritas will help the poorest of the poor without any distinction of caste, creed or religion.
In this regard, Caritas Cambodia shares the aspiration of Caritas International to promote a “civilization of love”, that contributes to create a just society where will be sharing among the people, the poor will have the possibility to ask for their rights and dues.
As the expression of the solidarity of the local Church and as a civil society organization, Caritas Cambodia enroots its mission in the following basic guiding principles and orientations.
The human person irrespective of religion or ethnicity is the focal point of all the activities which are geared towards the social and political empowerment of each individual within the community. Education and empowering the individuals in order to achieve collective empowerment is taken up as a priority.
Promoting equality among men and women is a priority. This results in a special focus on women empowerment through education and community organization. Women are considered as important motors for sustainable community development.
Ecology and sustainable Agriculture
In a country which is predominantly agricultural and where more than 60% of the population is rural, Caritas deems Community based Agricultural development as an indispensable component of its activities and at the same time respecting the ecological order.
Collective ownership of the program and networking
Commitment to build people into communities through the Village Development Association (VDA) is one of the priorities. The VDAs are people oriented Community based activities with special emphasis on economical and social development. The VDAs are organized into federation ant the province level, thus giving the possibility for political participation to the members in the commune and at province level.
Presences of the international forces, exposure to modern values, tourism, have contributed to expose the poorest section of the population to Aids. Due to dire poverty conditions, the poorest tend to eke out a living by entering into prostitution. In the same way, human trafficking also is one of the risk to which young women are faced: they are taken abroad on promises of obtaining an employment, but are forced into prostitution. Caritas Cambodia considers this as an important issue to be addressed on a priority basis both at the social and medical level.