Caritas is a Latin word. Literally it means “charity” or universal love. We prefer “LOVE” which includes all aspects of humanity. Caritas Bangladesh (CB) is a Bangladeshi, national, non-profit, development organisation, established by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Bangladesh (CBCB), to carry out activities of integrated social welfare and development. CB was founded in 1967 as the eastern branch of Caritas Pakistan. Following the cyclone of November 1970 it was re-organised and became known as CORR (Christian Organisation for Relief and Rehabilitation) and took on the character of a national organisation on January 13, 1971. The name Caritas was re-introduced in 1976.
CB is registered under the Societies Registration Act XXI of 1860 No. of 1972-73 dated 13.07.1972. It is also registered with the NGO Affairs Bureau, Prime Minister’s Secretariat, The Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh having registration No. 009 dated 22.04.1981 under the Foreign Donations (Voluntary Activities) Regulation Ordinance, 1978 and under the Micro Credit Regulatory Authority Act 2006 with the registration No. 00032-00286-00184, dated 16.03.2008.
CB has its National Office in Dhaka. There are eight Regional Offices in Barisal, Chittagong, Dhaka, Dinajpur, Khulna, Mymensingh, Rajshahi and Sylhet. In all these places CB is operational in Integrated Development, Disaster Management and Human Resource Development. CB restricts itself at present to 190 upazila (sub-district) for integrated human development work. During emergencies, such as natural disasters, CB is operational in any part of the country.
Caritas Bangladesh is a member of the Caritas Internationalis, a confederation of 165 Caritas Member Organizations over 200 countries and territories.
In the light of the Social Teachings of the Church, Caritas Bangladesh envisions a society which embraces the values of freedom, justice, peace and forgiveness, allowing all to live as a communion and community of mutual love and respect.
Caritas Bangladesh tries to function in partnership with people- especially the poor and the marginalized, with equal respect for all- to attain integral development, to live a truly human life in dignity and to serve others responsibly and with love.
- Core Values
Charity and Compassion: Confronted by global poverty and suffering, our fundamental response is compassion rooted in love. Following Catholic Social Teaching, we make a preferential option for the poor, extreme poor and our brothers and sisters in need. We do not accept the suffering of our needy brothers and sisters as granted: we recognize their dignity and gracefulness in enduring suffering, and we are determined to take action to alleviate it.
Hope: Our hope is inspired by Christian faith and the strength and resourcefulness of our brothers and sisters whom we serve, and we rely on the natural resources of our land. We ardently believe that by working together, we can have a better world where all are able to enjoy fullness of life.
Dignity: We believe in the intrinsic dignity of every person and that all women and men are equal, and that everyone is responsible to one another according to proper family and social relationship. We work with all people regardless of race, gender, religion, social status or politics.
Justice: We believe that the root causes of poverty and misery of our majority people is deeply rooted in the unbalanced economic, social, political and cultural structures, and that every person has a right to necessary gifts of life. We work to transform economic, social, political and cultural structures that are opposed to a just society. Caritas listens to the voice of brothers and sisters in need and enables them to speak for their well-being.
Partnership: We uphold the principle of subsidiarity to build links between communities within the country acknowledging that all receive as well as give. We work within and beyond our Catholic community seeking justice to change unjust situations in our country for the good of all.
Solidarity: We work to enhance solidarity with the people of all faiths, especially with our disadvantaged brothers and sisters, seeing the world through their eyes, and recognising the interdependence of the human family.
Stewardship: We believe the planet and all its resources are entrusted to humankind and seek to act in an environmentally responsible way as true stewards of creation.
Peace: We believe peace requires respect for and the development of human life, which in turn involves the caring for and safeguarding of the goods, dignity, freedom and responsibility of people. Peace is the fruit of justice and is dependent upon right order among human beings.
Goals and Objectives
Goal 1: Social Welfare and Community Development (Addresses SDGs 1, 2, 5, 8, 11, 12 &16)
Improvement of the Quality of Life of the Extremely Poor and of the Vulnerable Communities
- Creation of Employment and Promotion of Income, Food Security and Housing Condition of the Extremely Poor and of the Vulnerable Communities.
- Improvement of Socio-Economic Condition and Dignity of the Extremely Poor and of the Vulnerable Communities.
Goal 2: Quality Education (Addresses SDG 4)
Promote Education Rights and Inclusive Quality Education.
- Children of Disadvantaged Communities have Easy Access to Education Conducive to Learning Environment.
- Strengthen Quality Education Management.
- Promote Vocational/Technical Education.
- Promote Moral and Ethical Education.
Improve Health Education, Care and Public Health Services.
- Strengthen Primary Health Care.
- Strengthen Pro-Life Reproductive Health Education and Natural Family Planning.
- Quality and Equitable Access to Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH).
- Empowering communities to prevent Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI), HIV and AIDS, TB, Leprosy and other communicable diseases.
- Strengthen prevention, treatment and aftercare services for drug addiction and sex abuse.
Goal 4: Disaster Management (Addresses SDGs 1, 3, 6, 11, 13 & 17)
Strengthen Disaster Response and Community Resilience.
- Emergency Response Mechanism is strengthened.
- Strengthening the Community for Enhancing Disaster Resilience.
- Mainstreaming of Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) into Development and Emergency Response Plans, Strategies and Policies.
Goal 5: Ecological Conservation and Development (Addresses SDGs 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 &10)
Strengthen Ecological Sustainability.
- Strengthen Natural Resources Management and Biodiversity Conservation.
- Enhance Adaptive Capacity to Climate Change.
- Improvement of Food Security and Sustainable Livelihoods.
Improvement of the Living Standards of the Indigenous Peoples
- Improvement of the quality and dignity of lives of the indigenous peoples.
- Strengthening Traditional Social Organizations and Peoples’ Led Financial Institutions of Indigenous Peoples.
- Strengthening Capacity Regarding Land Retention and Development of Indigenous Peoples.
Cross Cutting Issues
- Good Governance
- Climate Justice
- Morality and Spirituality in Development
- Inclusive Development
- Child Protection
- Disaster Risk Reduction
Partners in Development
- Extremely Poor both rural and urban
- Marginalized/Indigenous/Vulnerable Communities
- Youth and Adolescent
- People with disabilities
- Government of Bangladesh
- Donors from home and abroad
- Like-minded organizations, forums and networks both national and international
Goal 4: Disaster Management: Strengthening of Disaster Response and Community Resilience
Strategic Objectives: Three strategic objectives are mapped to achieve the goal which are – (1) Strengthening of emergency response mechanism; (2) Enhancement of disaster resilience; and (3) Mainstreaming of disaster risk reduction (DRR) into development.
Coverage under the Goal: The program partners are disaster affected and disaster vulnerable people with a priority to the poor and marginalized, indigenous, persons with disabilities, elderly people, children, lactating mothers, adolescents and youths, daily labor, etc.
Main Focus Areas/Interventions:
The main focus areas of the Goal-4 are strengthening the community-based early warning and rescue systems; conduction of emergency needs assessment; immediate food, cash and non-food item distribution; employment creation through repairing of damaged infrastructure; livelihood support; repair and construction of houses; construction of flood and cyclone shelters; psycho-social care; training for capacity building of disaster management; preparation and support for the implementation of Risk Reduction Action Plan (RRAP); education and awareness raising on disasters; support for the small scale disaster mitigation projects; and support for the integration of DRR and CCA measures into development policies and practices; collaboration with national and international actors in DRR.
The goal intends to attain the following outcomes:
- Early warning, search and rescue operation and emergency response plan for disasters are strengthened.
- Disaster affected people meet their basic needs with dignity.
- RRAP plans are prepared, endorsed by the Government and practiced by the community.
- Developed better understanding on disaster risks and risk reduction/management strategies.
- Integration of DRR and CCA measures into Caritas supported projects.
- Reduced damage and loss from disasters and climate changes.
Governance & Management
Caritas Bangladesh (CB) is a national organization of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Bangladesh (CBCB) to carry out the activities of social welfare and integral human development. The CBCB approves the mandate for CB and guides its General Body (GB) to take all major decisions.
1. General Body (GB)
The GB is the highest policy making body of CB consisting of 31 Members (currently 28) represent the CBCB, Dioceses and Regions drawn from cross section of people, professionals and social workers. The GB makes organizational policies, approves annual budget and audit reports, appoints auditors and elects the Executive Board.
2. Executive Board (EB)
The Executive Board (EB) is the decision making body comprising 12 members elected by the GB. The EB approves and reviews the projects and activities as well as recommends budget and audit reports to the GB. The EB forms Audit and Budget Sub-committee for the scrutiny and review of budget and audit reports.
3. Audit and Budget Sub-committee
The Audit and Budget Sub-committee is appointed by the Executive Board for scrutiny and review of the audit reports and budget proposals.
4. Central Office
Executive Office: The Executive Office (EO) consists of the Executive Director (ED), the Assistant Executive Director- Finance & Admin. (AED-F&A) and the Assistant Executive Director-Programs (AED-P) who are appointed by the General Body at its AGM as recommended by the CBCB. The Executive Office is the implementation and decision making body for the project and the organizational management.
CPEC: The Central Planning and Evaluation Committee (CPEC) comprises of the ED, the AED (F & A), the AED (P), the Director (CDI), the Manager (Accounts), the Manager (Audit & Compliance), the Manager (HR) and the Senior Manager (PMQ). The CPEC reviews the projects at the office level and recommends the same to the EB for approval. It also scrutinizes the budget proposals and recommends the same to the Audit and Budget Sub-committee.
5. Regional Offices
Regional Management Team (RMT): Eight Regional Offices are operational to implement the project activities at the field level. Each Regional Office is headed by a Regional Director and assisted by all Senior Officers.
RPEC: Under each Regional Office, a Regional Planning and Evaluation Committee (RPEC) is functional for reviewing the project proposal, project activities, budget, etc. The RPEC comprises of nine members of whom one-third members are appointed by the Bishop of the respective diocese and another one-third by the respective Regional Director. The remaining one-third is co-opted by the previous two-third members.
There are three Trusts – CORR-The Jute Works (CJW), Mirpur Agricultural Workshop and Training School (MAWTS) and Caritas Development Institute (CDI) run under the management of Board of Trustees (BoT). The ED of CB is the Chair of the BoT.
7. Caritas Micro Finance Program (CMFP)
CB is registered with the Microcredit Regularity Authority (MRA) under the MRA Act, 2006. A five-member Managing Committee helps to run the Microcredit Program.
8. Internal Audit
Internal Audit Section consists of 13 staff and this audit team is headed by a Manager (Audit & Compliance). This team conducts internal audit twice a year. Internal Audit team oversees the compliance of the policies and guidelines. The internal audit reports are very useful for taking remedial measures for improvement in the financial management. The Internal Audit Section is under the direct supervision of the Executive Director.
9. External Audit
Caritas and its projects accounts are audited by the certified external auditors (Chartered Accountants) as enlisted with the NGO Affairs Bureau. The external audit firm for the Fiscal Year 2016-17 was M/s K M Alam & Co., Chartered Accountants.
10. Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation (PME)
The PME having five-member team is headed by a Senior Manager (PMQ). The PME facilitates to design of monitoring systems and tools, operates monitoring system; and provides technical support for developing software, data analysis and reporting.
The approved policies/guidelines as followed by Caritas are: HR Policies including Code of Ethics and Code of Conducts for staff and Zero Tolerance, Conflicts of Interest, Handling Complaints and Protection of Complainers; Financial and Administrative Policies, Gender/Man-Woman Relationship Policy, HIV/AIDS Policy, Anti-corruption Policy, Information Disclosure Policy, Child Protection Policy, Policy on Prevention of Money Laundering and Combating Terrorist Financing, Audit Charter, Resource Mobilization Policy, Guidelines for Guesthouse Fund Management, Engagement of Volunteer in Caritas Bangladesh, Facebook, Equal Employment Opportunity Policy, etc.
Caritas also complies with the Caritas Internationalis Management Standard (CIMS), the Foreign Donation (Voluntary Activities) Regulation Ordinance 1978, The Microcredit Regulatory Authority Act-2006, Right to Information Act-2009, Anti-Terrorism Act-2009, Money Laundering Act-2012, Citizens Charter, Disability Welfare Act, other relevant government policies and guidelines of donors.
- Geographical Coverage:
Website address: www.caritasbd.org