ON THURSDAY 2ND JUNE, 2016 AT THE INTERNATIONAL PRESS CENTRE – ACCRA.
Senior Staff of the National Catholic Secretariat,
Ladies and Gentlemen of the Media
I wish to express my personal joy at today’s event and the appreciation of the Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference to you all for gracing the event with your presence.
Since 2010, the Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference has embarked on restructuring of their Headquarters – the National Catholic Secretariat (NCS) aimed at achieving enhanced effectiveness and efficiency. The Bishops are extremely pleased with the outcomes of the restructuring exercise in the following areas; improved governance oversight, greater synergies and coordination among departments, results-based management practices, our identity as Church-based institution is greatly enhanced and visible, and increased transparency and accountability to our stakeholders. We are taking our achievements to another level by establishing legal and institutional framework for our service of charity which includes socio-economic development and public policy advocacy for the common good.
Madam Chairperson, Caritas is a global and credible brand! As part of the Catholic Church, Caritas, which is present in nearly 200 countries and territories around the world, has dynamically adopted people-centred initiatives to bring about change in the lives of affected and at-risk communities. That is why the Bishops’ Conference has taken steps now to secure and protect the Caritas trade and service mark in Ghana by registering it with the Registrar General Department. In addition, Caritas Ghana has been registered and is now a legally recognized organization for the Catholic Church in Ghana. This does not change the social services that the Church has always rendered to humanity in areas of health, education, livelihoods, relief and incomes, but it does introduce significant changes in standard and quality of those services. For example, the global management standards, code of ethics and code of conduct of staff of the Caritas Confederation would be the benchmarks that guide our operations at all times. The principles of Catholic Social Teaching will underpin our actions and relationships. Let me take this opportunity to advise individuals and entities that copy or try to appropriate the Caritas identity, especially outside of the Catholic Church, to desist from such acts before they find themselves having to answer to the laws of Ghana that grant protection to us and our properties.
Madam Chairperson, Ladies and Gentlemen, Caritas Ghana will work towards the following objectives:
- To promote effective institutional structures and functioning of the Church’s service of charity at National, Diocesan and Parish levels.
- To promote the Catholic Church’s Socio-pastoral work as a means of expressing the gospel message and the social doctrine of the church.
- To contribute to the enhancement of the dignity of the human person; especially the poor and the marginalized through their direct empowerment and their representation where they are excluded.
- To undertake social action research as a means to improving social-service delivery.
In 2015, the world witnessed two landmarked international agreements namely the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Agenda 2030 and the Paris Climate Agreement. The Africa Union also concluded its Agenda 2063 and Ghana embarked on the development of a forty-year national development plan. None of these laudable initiatives can be realized without the active engagement of civil society. However, civil society’s effectiveness also largely depends on their own credibility and organizational robustness. The Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference is happy to further contribute to civil society activism and national development by offering its unique caritas brand in Ghana.
With these words, I now wish to light this candle on behalf of the entire Catholic Bishops’ Conference and my own behalf to mark the birth of this new and unique organization called CARITAS GHANA! Let this light symbolize the re-creation, new life and vitality for CARITAS GHANA! Let this light symbolize our joy and celebration on this occasion. Let this light be a constant reminder of our commitment to shed sunshine on the darkness in governance, ineptitude in public services and opacity in public policies.
It is now my singular honour to launch CARITAS GHANA in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit! AMEN.